Georgian Bay Home Share is a new and innovative initiative of Grace United Church Thornbury that will help to solve the housing crisis in the southern Georgian Bay area. It is intended to address the serious lack of affordable housing for low income wage earners as well as the goal of providing a way that seniors can age at home.
Georgian Bay Home Share Vision
GBHS will offer one way of alleviating the housing crisis in The Town of Blue Mountains and Meaford areas while keeping seniors in their homes. This will be accomplished by matching home providers with home seekers. Everyone needs a home that is safe, comfortable and affordable.
Georgian Bay Home Share Mission
Matching home providers with home seekers will be accomplished through in- depth interviews by a qualified team, followed by support, 6 months post match. The home seeker will provide agreed upon home duties in lieu of some rent. This arrangement will provide the home seeker an affordable home while allowing the home provider to remain in their home. The local economy will benefit as employers in the retail and service sectors will have an increased workforce from which to hire.
Georgian Bay Home Share Values
- Inclusivity of all levels of income, gender and ethnicity.
- Integrity using a team approach that ensures confidentiality and respect.
- Collaboration to work, learn about and support other organizations.
- Religion or church membership will not be a part of any interviews/conversations.
Georgian Bay Home Share History
GBHS evolved from an idea, to a concept, to a community justice initiative.
- 2017 Visioning Day with the congregation at Grace United.
- 2019 Community Round Table with 32 community leaders.
- 2019 Church service with Pam McDermid, the Senior’s Coordinator at Beaver Valley Outreach.
- Feb 2022 Library Presentation regarding various affordable housing alternatives.
- June 2022 Church Service focused on Home Share model.
- 2022 Consultation with Waterloo Region Home Share.
- Fall 2022 Received a matching grant from “The Watkins Fund for Innovative Ministries with Senior Adults at The United Church of Canada Foundation.”
Significant Data- Canada Census 2021
- Town of Blue Mountains – 38.7% of tenants are spending 30% or more of their income on shelter costs.
- Meaford – 35.9% spend 30% or more on shelter costs.
- 34.2% Town of Blue Mountains population is 65 or over (compared to 18.1% in Ontario)
- 31.3% Meaford population is 65 or over
- There are 4350 private households in the Town of Blue Mountains. 1255 have one person living in them, 2025 have 2 people living in them.
- There are 5828 private households in Meaford. 1400 have one person living in them, 2215 have 2 people living in them.
- According to the United Way of Grey Bruce in March 2022, to afford a market rent of $1500/per month for a 1 bedroom rental, a household must earn $60,000 per year or $32.96 per hour with a 35 hour work week.