Houselink Community Homes
Organization profile published 1984

Year Published:  1984  
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX3015

See also CX2646.

Abstract:  HOUSELINK COMMUNITY HOMES provides housing for people who have received psychiatric treatment in Metopolitan Toronto. The organization established to support co-operative residences that house three to five people each.

At present, 79 people live in 18 residences. Although the majority of houses are located in the City of Toronto proper, there are also houses in other boroughs and suburbs.

Each co-op is self-financed and managed. Residents pay rent directly to the landlord and, if required utilities are assumed by the residents in their names. usually a lease is not required but should a landlord request one, it is signed by one or more of the residents.

The model is based on a self-help principle. All decisions regarding the operation of the house are made by the group. A volunteer house co-ordinator is provided to those co-ops that request one. Tthe house co-ordinator acts as a facilitator, provides an "'outside" perspective on house issues and is available to the group in a crisis situation. Also, staff are available as back up to the volunteers.

Each co-op sets its own house rules and reserves the right to evict people who are disruptive or unco-operative. HOUSELINKS has only four non-negotiable rules: no late payment of rent or rent default, no drug or alcohol abuse, no physical violence and no illegal activity.

A resident advocacy program has been established to provide individual residents with volunteers who act as advocates on their behalf. these volunteers may also serve to play a social role.

Most of the housing stock is rented from private landlords but HOUSELINK has recently made forays into the non-profit housing sector. Currently two units are located within housing co-operatives; two units are owned by a municipal non-profit housing corporation; one is located iwthin a private non-profit housing corporation and three are owned by HOUSELINK (with financing through CMHC). Two five-bedroom allocations have recently been given to HOUSELINK for 1984.

The organizaiton is member controlled with a 14-member board of directors elected annually. One-third of the board must be residents/ex-psychiatric patients and plans are underway to increase this number to one-half.

HOUSELINKS attempts to provide both resident and non-resident members with an opportunity to interact within social/recreational context. Regular activities are planned and administered by a social-recreation council comprised of residents.

This abstract was published in the Connexions Digest in 1984.
See also CX2646.

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