St. Clare’s takes a “Community First” approach to housing, knowing that healthy communities and healthy tenancies reinforce one another.
Components of Healthy Communities:
Through referral agreements with a wide variety of agencies serving different needs populations our buildings combine subsidized and market rent tenants, ensuring a diverse community. The diversity addresses one of the concerns tenants raise: they do not want to be stigmatized in their housing. Further, it ensures that higher needs populations can be integrated and balanced in the building community.
Tenant meetings provide monthly opportunities to listen to tenants, help them hear each other, and work together to understand and accommodate their needs. We collaborate with Tenants and their agencies to create policies and practices that work for everyone.
Together with tenants, a Rights and Responsibilities document is created to summarize our obligations to one another. St. Clare’s is transparent and open with tenants about the role of property managers and what expectations tenants need to meet. Conflict Resolution is offered and provides opportunities for tenants to create supportive connections to the building community. Tenants build personal capacity by learning to consider how their behaviour impacts others.
Both St. Clare’s staff and referring agencies encourage interested tenants to organize and hold events or workshops. There are a number of opportunities for interaction, and successful development of healthy relationships within the building: tenants benefit from forming new relationships, which can help discontinue less healthy relationships and habits.
Though not all tenants participate in meetings, or interact with staff during the day, each building has night staff to keep an eye on the maintenance of the building, remind tenants of appropriate behaviour when necessary and keep track of building activity for the regular staff to note for continuity.