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AFC Webinar – No Place Like Home(Share): Insights from an Intergenerational Homesharing Program in Toronto
September 30, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pmFree
In collaboration with the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE), the City of Toronto, implemented the Toronto HomeShare Pilot Project that matched 11 over-housed older adults 55+ (overhoused with respect to physical home space, social needs or supports with activities of daily living), with post-secondary student homeseekers who were experiencing difficulty securing safe and affordable housing.
This innovative pilot project was the first and only existing HomeShare model that was formally ‘facilitated’ by social workers and housing experts who would oversee the matching of seniors with student home-seekers, and carry out education sessions, conduct home safety audits, and address risks and accountability as part of the ‘matching process’. As a testament to the success of the pilot project, Toronto HomeShare was fully funded as a program by the City of Toronto in 2019 and the HomeShare Network has in 2020 expanded to the City of Barrie, through a partnership with the Mayor’s Office and Georgian College.
HomeShare leveraged an opportunity in Toronto that had become evident during the housing affordability crisis, specifically that many residents are over-housed and many remain under-housed: there are 2.2 million empty rooms in the City, and 20% of these rooms, if filled, could provide a solution for 20% requiring housing. Not surprisingly, these findings are reflective of many major cities across Canada.
Dr. Mirza, who is the community lead for the Toronto HomeShare Program, will share insights from the implementation, research and evaluation, as well as ideas and solutions for scaling up projects based on the Toronto model to other areas of the province and country. While addressing the housing crisis remains important, long term parallel solutions are vital and may prove to be very effective.
Raza M. Mirza, PhD received his MSc and doctorate degrees from the Graduate department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Toronto’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. His areas of expertise and teaching interest include research methods, medical decision-making, the socio-behavioral determinants of health in persons aging with a chronic illness, and factors influencing late-life social, mental and physical well-being. He has been an invited speaker at national and international gerontology and geriatrics conferences, workshops and symposiums, and has consulted with various levels of government on diverse issues related to an aging population. Dr. Mirza currently works in research at the University of Toronto’s Institute for Life Course and Aging and is the Network Manager for the non-profit organization the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE; www.nicenet.ca), an international knowledge transfer network in the field of aging. He is the community lead for the Toronto HomeShare Program, was the co-lead for an age-friendly community study of social isolation of Chinese seniors in the Kensington-Chinatown area in Toronto, and is the chair of the Central Ontario Age-Friendly Network.
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