Last month in Shelterforce, Vancouver Housing Authority (VHA) Communications Director Patty Hastings penned an article sharing lessons that VHA has learned from doubling their number of supportive. housing units over the years. Hastings discusses examples of VHA properties like Lincoln Place, Meriwether Place, Rhododendron Place, and the future Tenny Creek Assisted Living, outlining each property's unique successes and challenges.
"With each community, lessons are learned about how to improve the built environment and service delivery for residents. The population served makes a difference, as does the location; a downtown building feels much different from one on a quiet suburban street,” says Hastings. “Those trial-and-error experiments and lessons from Meriwether Place, Lincoln Place, and others in VHA’s portfolio are shaping its future supportive housing developments... What works in one building and for one population may not work for another.”
Frank insights from VHA staff and their community partners illuminate the expected and unexpected hurdles that the housing authority has faced when setting up supportive housing communities, as well as how they have worked to address these issues and improve service delivery and resident quality of life. VHA’s learnings from their supportive housing projects provide helpful advice to other housing authorities looking to establish or expand similar communities.