Isabelle Lizée, General manager at the Carrefour action municipale et famille. Ms. Lizée holds a Bachelor’s degree in communication psychology and has been in the municipal sector for twenty-five years. She is one of the important personalities who contributed to the emergence and the development of municipal family policies in the 1990s and the development of the Age-Friendly Municipalities initiative in partnership with the Government of Quebec. Her expertise makes Isabelle an essential reference to the municipal issues related to families and seniors.
Age-Friendly Cities and Communities and the challenge of acting on housing: A research action in the province of Quebec, Canada
Considering the aging of the population in the province of Quebec, which is occurring faster than in the rest of Canada (ROC) and most western countries, new infrastructures will be needed. Accessible and adapted housing is particularly critical. Since its creation in 2007, the Quebec Age-Friendly Cities (AFC) Research team has gathered numerous data on the importance of housing for older adults and, in counterparts, on the difficulty for smaller cities and communities to achieve actions on this matter. Furthermore, the portrait of retirement homes and assisted living in the province of Quebec tend to be more and more homogenous, with an impressive growth of big private for-profit facilities. On the rate of for-profit organisation in housing for the elderly also, the province of Quebec sets itself apart from the ROC. However, this formula seems to be inadequate for rural communities and low-income elders. Focusing on this particular challenge, the Carrefour action municipal et famille and the Quebec AFC Research team have completed an action research project in 2016, aiming to 1) Inform and sensitize municipal representatives and administrators to the potential benefits of community housing for seniors, 2) Demonstrate that innovative housing models could be implemented in the province and 3) Provide practical guidelines to engage in – and complete – a community housing project for seniors. The objectives of the presentation are 1) explain the action research process and 2) show the tools developed in this project, namely, two short movies, and a practical guide on the development of community housing addressed to municipal representatives and administrators. By doing so, we inform stakeholders about community (not for profit) housing, innovative housing models and professional and financial resources helping their development. These innovative housing models are inspired from international views, mostly Scandinavian. Real-life examples prove that these models are not only suitable for Quebec’s context, but also appear as a response to some challenges in the domain of housing for the elderly in the province of Quebec. In the presentation, some of these innovative housing models will be presented briefly, and the role of actors in collective intervention and municipal representatives and administrators in the development of innovative housing for the elderly will be defined.