Houselink Community Homes
Organization profile published 1982

Year Published:  1982  
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX2646

See also CX3015.

Abstract:  HOUSELINE COMMUNITY HOMES is the largest community-based alternative housing programme in Ontario. Developed as a non-profit volunteer organization in 1976, HOUSELINK develops and supports self-financed, unstaffed, affordable co-operative housing for people who have received psychiatric treatment. Currently the organization operates twelve co-ed, co-operative apartments, townhouses and houses across Metropolitan Toronto. Each co-operative accommodates four or five people who establish their own house rules and choose their own housemates. Residents may stay as long as they choose. Support is available to each co-operative from a volunteer house co-ordinator. Volunteers are selected for their ability to relate to people and be a friend. Their role is not that of an interventionist. Rather, they seek to foster and facilitate the independence of the house through social visits and house meetings.

HOUSELINK employs seven full-time staff who are selected on the basis of their commitment to alternative services and their experience in the mental health field. The organization is operated by its membership, which includes all current and former residents and other interested individuals who believe in the HOUSELINK objectives. At monthly open meetings, members are invited to raise, discuss, and make recommendations on policy matters to the Board of Directors. The Board is composed of 14 people, one third of whom must be resident, expatient members.

Unlike many other housing programmes, but consistent with HOUSELINK'S belief in residents' right to make their own decisions, HOUSELINK does not insist that its residents be involved in day-time activities. HOUSELINK believs that peer accountability and support, together with a feeling of personal autonomy are more positive motivators than agency rules and regulations. HOUSELINK does provide a social recreational programme, offering a variety of activities, which are planned and implemented by a committee comprised of residents and members.

HOUSELINK hopes to develop about eight more units by 1985. Consistent with the organization's commitment to co-operative housing, it is seeking to create some of these new units within larger co-operative development projects in Toronto. HOUSELINK has also purchased housing with assistance from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

This abstract was published in the Connexions Digest in 1982.
See also CX3015.
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