4. Peel Advisory Working Group on Older Adults’ Housing (PAWGOAH)
PAWGOAH was established in 2001 by Peel Regional Council and its mandate is to “To develop and promote ways for meeting current and future needs for appropriate and affordable rental and ownership housing for older adults in the Region of Peel.” This advocacy and research working group consists of more than 20 members representing community agencies, private sector and social housing developers, government representatives (including municipal, regional, provincial and federal levels), the health sector and older adult residents. Over the years PAWGOAH has held sessions and forums with many groups including builders, developers, planners, housing renovators and real estate agents to inform them of the needs of the increasing population of older adults aged 55 and over.
Key Activities Supporting Accessibility Initiatives:
The following key public education activities undertaken by the Peel Advisory Working Group on Older Adults’ Housing (PAWGOAH) helped to address the lack of information about accessible housing in the Region of Peel and the activities helped to raise awareness of disability issues and barriers.
Presentations delivered by the Peel Advisory Working Group on Older Adults’ Housing to approximately 500 participants at the following events:
- Presentations for three large Professional Business Group for Retired People (Probus) Clubs
- A session for families at the Clarkson Community Centre
- A training session for agents belonging to the Brampton Real Estate Board
- A meeting of the Building Healthy Communities Committee.
PAWGOAH provided training to over 100 real estate agents who are members of the Brampton Real Estate Board.
PAWGOAH Chair Michael Wright made presentations to several Peel Probus Clubs whose members are retired business people.
Broader Distribution of Booklets Entitled “A Guide to Housing Options for the 55 Plus Group in Peel Region”:
This booklet includes information on a variety of housing options available in Peel including social housing, long term care, and federal assistance to renovate homes to make them accessible, etc.
PAWGOAH strived to disseminate the booklet more broadly. Over the past year, more than 1000 booklets were sent to libraries, seniors clubs, Access Peel, Peel Customer Care Centre, the Region of Peel Health Department’s reception area at 44 Peel Centre Drive, the Peel Elder Abuse Prevention Network as well as conferences including the Aging, Mental Health and Addiction Conference, the Connections Resource Fair for Persons with Disabilities, the Elder Help Peel Senior and Youth Conference, the Credit Valley Hospital’s ‘Multiculturalism Fair’ and the Brampton Senior Citizens’ Council Information Fair.
Published Region of Peel accessible housing information in a leading Canadian publication
The Care Guide is Canada’s most comprehensive guide to seniors housing and care services and has a distribution of 110,000 copies annually in the GTA.. PAWGOAH has partnered with the Care Guide to produce articles relating to older adults and their families in Peel who are interested in housing and other relevant care services. The January 2009 edition of the Care Guide focused on information about the PAWGOAH, social housing in Peel, long-term care, new housing developments in Peel, accessibility in the Region of Peel (including the Accessibility Advisory Committee) and elder abuse. This increased awareness of progress in addressing the housing needs of older adult residents in Peel.
Included “accessibility” as one of the topics at PAWGOAH regular meetings
At the December 2008 meeting, the PAWGOAH group collaborated with the ROP Accessibility Advisory Committee to hold their meetings on the same day and to invite each other’s members to meetings. As well, Meenu Sikand, Region of Peel Accessibility Planning Specialist, made a presentation to the PAWGOAH to increase awareness of the AAC and of the barriers persons with disabilities encounter when seeking to accessible residence in community. The June 19, 2009 meeting of the PAWGOAH was held at the newly constructed extension of the Caledon East Walker Road Peel Living Seniors Building located on Walker Road in Caledon East. A presentation was given and a tour conducted to show the members the new building which boasted numerous accessibility features.