“Inglewood is a great neighbourhood because people have taken ownership”, says Shirley-anne Reuben, Executive Director of the Jack Long Foundation. The foundation is an affordable housing society that carries on the legacy of the well-known architect and community leader, Jack Long, who strongly believed in the power of community.
Out of this strong sense of community lies the motivation for a new affordable senior housing project, in which senior residents are playing an active role in the design process – driven by their own hopes and dreams. Autonomy, support, and a genuine feeling of home are the principles they‘ve indicated are integral to the design. “Our seniors want to have their independence while living in the community. They want to age in place and remain active community members”, says Shirley-anne.
She also believes “the way to get affordable housing is through communities”. This belief guides the Jack Long Foundation approach to affordable housing projects. They facilitate a community-based, collaborative and inclusive planning process, placing the highest value on the knowledge and vision community members bring to the table.
What is coming next? Shirley-anne has high hopes for this project and expects it to become a reality in the near future. The necessary next steps in the process will be enabled by the continuous support of The City. So far they have received The City’s support via Council to obtain a parcel of land for the pilot of the project, which is called “Elderhouse”.
She imagines that this affordable housing project will offer seniors the opportunity to live their lives in the community that they so deeply love, have all their needs met, and remain active community members. She also hopes that the oral history of the neighbourhood is kept alive, with seniors proudly and actively holding the role of storytellers of the many narratives of Inglewood through time.