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Building communities : the importance of participatory management in non-profit housing Geary, Vanessa 1994

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BUILDING COMMUNITIES: THE IMPORTANCE OF PARTICIPATORYMANAGEMENT IN NON-PROFIT HOUSINGbyVANESSA GEARYB.A., The University of British Columbia, 1990A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESSCHOOL OF COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL PLANNINGWe accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAApril 1994© Vanessa Geary, 1994In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. it is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)___________________________epartment ofr tThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate___________DE-6 (2188)ABSTRACTSocial housing in Canada is at a crossroads. Continual government cutbacks have put thevery quality of life in social housing communities at risk. The management of socialhousing, from the development of policy down to the control residents have over theirhousing, is a crucial component of the quality of life in these housing communities.However, all too often residents do not have the opportunity to participate in themanagement of their housing.This thesis explores the role, significance and consequences of participatory managementstyles in non-profit housing through a literature review and case studies of two VancouverNon-Profit Housing Societies: Entre Nous Femmes Housing Society (ENF) and Red DoorHousing Society (Red Door). Participatory management stresses the importance of goodhuman relations and resident participation in management decision making. For this study,management was conceived of in broad terms, representing issues around property, as wellas the health of the community. The key element in any model of resident participation ispower--who has it, who makes the decisions, and whose lives are affected. The primaryassumption behind this research is the belief that resident participation in non-profithousing management leads to increased control for residents over their living environmentand results in benefits for all of the stakeholders involved in non-profit housing.The case studies were developed on the basis of 37 open-ended interviews with residentsliving in four of ENF and Red Door’s communities, ENF and Red Door staff and board,and people working within the non-profit housing sector, related advocacy areas, marketrental housing, and the British Columbia Housing Management Commission. In addition,a focus group discussion was held with staff and board members of ENF and Red Door.— 11 —The study discovered that non-profit housing has unique goals and aims which make itinappropriate to rely solely on private market rental management techniques. The existenceof organizational and civic cultures which emphasize inclusion and empowerment arecrucial factors of participatory management. However, this philosophy must coincide withthe reality of each housing community. The first step in any participatory managementscheme is to ask residents if they want to be involved, and in what issues and how.Resident participation will mean different things to different people, so it is necessary tocreate a variety of ways residents can be involved. It is also important to recognize issuesof accessibility and voluntary participation, while balancing diverse needs and realities.Participatory processes take time and energy. Therefore, education and training,community development and identifiable results for all those involved are fundamental tocreating effective participatory management schemes. Participatory management recognizesthat the most valuable assets of non-profit housing are the residents. It replaces the topdown, hierarchical model of conventional management schemes with one based onpartnership and shared decision making. Finally, this research highlights the need forwomen to be part of all aspects of housing from the creation of policy and programs, todevelopment and management.— 111 —TABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACT iiTABLE OF CONTENTS ivLIST OF TABLES viiLIST OF FIGURES viiiACKNOWLEDGEMENT ix1.0 INTRODUCTION 11.1 Purpose 21.2 Objectives of Study 31.2.1 Long Term Objectives 31.2.2 Short Term Objectives 31.3 Scope of Study 31.4 Research Methodology and Philosophy 41.4.1 Data Collection 51.5 Conceptual Framework 61.6 Participatory Housing Management 71.7 Assumptions Behind the Research 101.8 Significance of the Study 102.0 CANADIAN SOCIAL HOUSING 122.1 Canadian Housing Policy 122.1.1 Housing As A Commodity 132.1.2 Housing As A Part of Urban Policy 162.1.3 The Federal 56.1 Non-Profit Housing Program 172.1.4 The Provincial Non-Profit Housing Program 192.1.5 From Quality to Affordability 222.2 Housing As A Women’s Issue 252.3 Trends Toward Participatory Processes inHousing Policy and Management 28- iv -3.0 PARTICIPATORY HOUSING MANAGEMENT 343.1 Market Rental Housing Management 343.2 Non-Profit Housing Management 35Government 37Non-Profit Housing Societies 38Property Management Staff 39Residents 40The Power Relationship Among theStakeholder Groups 413.3 Purposes and Outcomes of Resident Participationin Non-Profit Housing 423.4 Models of Resident Participation 473.4.1 American Models 49Conventional Management with IncreasedTenant Participation-Tenant Councils 50Resident Management- Resident ManagementCorporations 51Community Development CorporationOwnership and Management 523.4.2 British Models 53Mutual Housing Associations 54The Tenant Participation Advisory Service 54Consumer Advisory Panels 553.4.3 Canadian Models 57Co-operative Housing 58Tenant As Members 61Tenants’ Associations 63Tenant/Management Committees 63Facilitative Management 64Tenants on the Board 644.0 RESIDENT PARTICIPATION IN NON-PROFITHOUSING: TWO VANCOUVER CASE STUDIES 664.1 Methodology For The Case Studies 664.1.1 Research Approach 664.1.2 Which Housing Societies and Why 664.1.3 Data Gathering Techniques 684.2 Introduction to Case Studies 714.2.1 Entre Nous Femmes Housing Society 714.2.2 Red Door Housing Society 754.3 Principal Research Findings 784.3.1 Management Issues 78Non-Profit Housing Management 78Non-Profit Housing Management versusMarket Rental Housing Management 844.3.2 Resident Participation Issues 86Definitions of Resident Participationin Management 86The Importance of Resident Participation 90Issues of Power and Control 94Barriers to Resident Participation 1024.3.3 Effective Participatory Management 108Making Resident Participation Effective 108Involving Residents 121Keeping Participation Voluntary 1224.3.4 Women and Participatory Housing Management 1235.0 POLICY IMPLICATIONS FOR PARTICIPATORYHOUSING MANAGEMENT 1275.1 Research Summary 1275.2 Challenges With Methodology 1315.3 Implications 132BIBLIOGRAPHY 138APPENDICES 145- vi -LIST OF TABLESTable I Resident Management Continuum 31Table II Characteristics of the Respondents 70Table ifi Non-Profit Housing Management 81- vii -LIST OF FIGURESFigure 1 The Four Stakeholder Groups of Non-ProfitHousing Management 9Figure 2 Core Housing Need Population, 1991 14Figure 3 Average Income for Selected Family Types inConstant Dollars, Canada, 1991 15Figure 4 Funding for Non-Profit Housing 20Figure 5 Arnstein’s Ladder of Citizen Participation 32Figure 6 Power Dynamics in Non-Profit Housing 42Figure 7 Resident Participation and the Greater Community 131- viii -ACKNOWLEDGEMENTI would like to thank my advisors, Dr. Aprodicio Laquian and Dr. Penny Gurstein for theiradvice, patience and support over the last two and half years, and Jill Davidson for beingthe external reader for the thesis defence. Thanks to Robin, John, Elena and Ghislain fortheir brilliant editing and “technical support”. I want to say a special thank-you to myfamily and friends for their constant support and sense of humour throughout whatsometimes seemed an ordeal. I would also like to acknowledge and thank those peopleworking within the non-profit sector and British Columbia Housing ManagementCommission who generously gave of their time and knowledge. Finally, and mostimportantly, I would like to thank the women and men who work for, volunteer for, andlive in the communities of Entre Nous Femmes Housing Society and Red Door HousingSociety for sharing their experiences. I hope the readers find their stories as interesting andinspiring as I did.- ix -1.0 INTRODUCTIONSocial housing in Canada is at a crossroads. The co-operative housing program has beencancelled, the non-profit housing program severely cutback, and federal and provincialgovernment focus is increasingly on deficit and debt reduction. It is unlikely the situation willimprove in the near future. With fewer housing units being built, questions regarding type andquality of housing become more important. Is it enough to create “modest shelter” or shouldCanada be attempting to facilitate the creation of communities where people have choice andcontrol? In the words of one resident who lives in non-profit housing in Vancouver:BCHMC’s definition of a home boils down to ‘a roof over your head’.That’s not a home! A home is a community, its people living, its peoplesharing, its people crying, its people having choices. I think they shouldredefine their meaning of home. That’s what this is, its the people thatmake a community, its the people that make this a home, not the building(Debi Prey, personal communications).The impetus for this thesis comes from past research on the housing needs of female-led singleparent families. This research, done by talking directly to women who live in non-profithousing, highlighted the importance of management. The women voiced the opinion that theability to make choices about the community in which they live allowed them to take greatercontrol over their environment. They also felt that by including tenants in decision making, thehousing better met the needs of the people who live there.The management of non-profit housing, from the development of policy down to the controlresidents have over their housing, is a crucial component of the quality of life in these housingcommunities. Participatory housing management is of particular relevance in British Columbiaat this time. Residents in some non-profit housing communities are demanding more of a sayin their housing. They are forming tenant committees and lobbying for greater input. In therecent Report of the Provincial Commission on Housing Options, fifty-seven recommendationswere made which attempted to provide a basis for action on housing in British Columbia. The—1—recommendations related to residential land, home ownership, rental housing, special needs,homelessness, secondary suites, provincial and local government, and management. Fromtheir consultations, the Conmiissioners discovered that:there is very little participation by tenants in the ongoing operation andmanagement of the projects in which they live.. .we believe that theprovincial government should take a leadership role in encouraging tenantparticipation in property management (Audain and Duvall 1992: 63).The Report recommended that the Province “require that the boards of all societies whichprovide housing through the Non-Profit Housing Program must include tenant representation”(ibid.: 63).Management styles vary from housing society to housing society, and the degree of tenantparticipation depends on the philosophy of the society. While one standardized model wouldnot be appropriate for every situation, certain principles regarding participatory managementmay be universally applicable. Although the Report only discussed tenants sitting on nonprofit housing society boards, there may be other ways of increasing tenant participation. It ishoped this study will begin to highlight some of those ways.1.1 PurposeThe purpose of this study is to examine the role, significance and consequences of participatorymanagement styles in non-profit housing. Experiences with resident participation in non-profithousing management are documented to study the methods, expectations and results, and toascertain what structures are needed to make resident participation viable. This study focuseson management as a way of creating community. As such housing management is conceivedof, not only in terms of service provision, but also as a support system and decision makingmechanism which can heighten resident satisfaction and quality of life within the housingcommunity.-2-1.1 Objectives of StudyThis study has three long term and four short term objectives.1.2.1 Long Term ObjectivesThe long term objectives of this study are:• to contribute to the theoretical discussion of non-profit housing management;• to expand the conventional view of non-profit housing management to includemeaningful resident participation; and• to acknowledge the gender implications of non-profit housing management.1.2.2 Short Term ObjectivesThe short term objectives are:• to evaluate participatory management styles in non-profit housing through casestudies of two non-profit housing societies;• to document ways residents can and do participate;• to determine what structures are needed to facilitate resident participation, andhow these structures facilitate the desired results of resident participation; and• to document levels of women’s participation in all levels of non-profit housingmanagement.1.3 Scope of StudyThis study focuses solely on non-profit family housing in the Greater Vancouver RegionalDistrict built in the 1980s under the Federal 56.1 Non-Profit Housing Program1and theProvincial Non-Profit Housing Program. Case studies of two non-profit housing societies,1 The “Federal 56.1 Non-Profit Housing Program” refers here to the non-profit housing program funded andadministered by the federal government through CMHC. Although the provincial non-profit program alsofalls under Section 56.1 of the National Housing Act, and receives funding from the federal government, itis administered by the provincial government through BCHMC, and is referred to here as the “ProvincialNon-Profit Housing Program”.-3-Red Door Housing Society (Red Door) and Entre Nous Femmes Housing Society (ENF), bothof which have included residents in management and decision making, are examined todiscover successes, challenges and obstacles inherent in participatory management.1.4 Research Methodology and PhilosophyThis study is an exploratory examination of non-profit housing management, and does notattempt to prove a specific hypothesis. Instead, it attempts to discover the importance ofresident participation and how it can be effectively implemented. It is intended to serve as abeginning or spring-board for further research and action. Exploratory research “is abeginning. It is a mapping of territory. It is an exciting first step and a frustrating realizationof where the researcher could go” (Herringer cited in Nairne 1991: 2).A participatory or action research framework was used as the basis of the research for anumber of reasons. Firstly, participatory research is about creating change, it is the“systematic collection and analysis of information for the purpose of informing political actionand social change” (Barnsley and Ellis 1987: 4). Secondly, participatory research, “by linkingthe creation of knowledge about social reality with concrete action...removes the traditionalseparation between knowing and doing” (Maguire 1987: 4). It allows or even demands thatdifferent ways of knowing be validated and a person’s personal bias be acknowledged.Thirdly, the research was carried out in as much a participatory manner as possible so that it isdone “with” rather than “on” people (ibid.: 34). In this sense it is hoped the roles between theresearcher and the people participating in the research were flexible enough to break down.Conscious efforts were made to respect people’s privacy and homes and ensure that theresearch fitted the societies and the communities. The people involved in the research, whilethey did not develop the research question nor the objectives, did have a choice about whetheror not to participate and how their participation would be established. Some also gavefeedback on the interview questions and the material describing the two housing societies. The-4-participating non-profit housing societies also had control over certain aspects of the researchsuch as deciding to omit the name of the specific communities involved in the interviewprocess.Finally, a participatory framework was adopted because it facilitated a feminist analysis. AsPatricia Maguire has written “participatory research taught me the necessity of being explicitabout personal choices and values in the research process. Feminism taught me that thepersonal is political” (ibid.: 6). Traditional analysis on urban structure and housing has tendedto ignore distinctions between the experiences of women and men in the name of “gender lesshumanity” (Andrew and Moore Milroy 1988: 1). The intention of this research was not toignore nor negate the experience of men. It was to acknowledge the “distinctive experience ofwomen--that is seeing women rather than just men at center stage, as both subject matter of andcreators of knowledge” (McCarl Nielsen 1990: 20).1.4.1 Data CollectionThe data collected for this research were largely qualitative, although some quantitative data,such as housing statistics, were used in order to support the qualitative findings. Qualitativeresearch “produces findings not arrived at by any means of statistical procedures or othermeans of quantification” (Strauss and Corbin 1990: 17). It “is a way of grounding ouranalysis in real life and ensuring that the theories we develop have a basis in reality” (Barnsleyand Ellis 1987: 4). Open-ended interviews with residents, staff and Board members of RedDoor and ENF, as well as people working within the non-profit sector attempted to discoverexperiences and beliefs regarding resident involvement in non-profit housing management. Inaddition, a focus group was utilized to expand on personal experiences through groupdiscussion. Secondary sources of data included literature on housing management, non-profithousing, and women in housing. Documents such as housing society by-laws andconstitutions, government regulations and guides were also consulted.-5-Specific methods included:• An examination of relevant literature on housing management, housing programs andwomen in housing. From this research, models of comparison were discovered.• Open ended interviews with people working in the non-profit housing sector, staff atthe BC Housing Management Commission (BCHMC), and staff at housing andpoverty advocacy groups.• Open ended interviews with staff and Board members of two selected non-profithousing societies (Red Door and ENF), both of which have attempted to includeresidents in management.• Open ended interviews with residents who live in communities run by the two nonprofit housing societies (Red Door and ENF).• A focus group discussion with staff and Board members of the Red Door and ENF.1.5 Conceptual FrameworkHousing is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as “any shelter, lodging, or dwelling place” oralternatively as “the act of one who houses or puts under shelter”. However, in this study thedefinition of housing is linked more to the concept of human settlements and therefore,encompasses, but also transcends the existence of the building or shell. Housing is generallyconsidered an important factor in the lives of individuals and families, and the social health ofcommunities. It is the “base”. Simon has suggested that Canadian social housing programs in“providing a secure home base from which to deal with the larger world. ..anticipated thatindividuals and families would be better able to cope with their personal problems” (Simon1986: 10). In the words of the Toronto Department of Public Health:The concept of adequate housing goes beyond the simple notion of aphysical structure that meets certain standards of acceptance. Ideally, inaddition to providing shelter, housing should support needs associated withphysical, psychological and social well-being to be consideredadequate for a healthy life (as cited in Doyle 1992: 5).-6-As Turner advocated in Housing By People, housing should be considered a ‘verb’ or aprocess by which people continually provide and manage their own housing, “the importanceof housing lies, not so much in how it looks or what it is, but more in what it does for people’slives” (Turner 1976: 97).Further, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, in its Strategic Plan 1992-1996,committed itself to promoting “good living environments for all Canadians” (CMHC 1991c:11).(Housing) is more than bricks and mortar. Whether in rural areas, or in anyof Canada’s cities, housing is a key element in the quality of our livingenvironments (ibid.: 11).Doyle and Melliship acknowledge that this view of housing is promising “as it encompasseshouse and community and suggests a broader understanding of housing may be developing”(Doyle and Melliship unpublished paper: 103). In short, the idea that “shelter alone is nothousing”, (A Women Housing Manifesto 1987: 5) may have come of age.1.6 Participatory Housing ManagementManagement is a crucial factor in the conceptualization of housing cited above, and in the typeof environment created. Housing management is complex. Anne Power, who has writtenextensively on Council housing in Great Britain, describes it as being about “responding toinfinite variations in problem-solving around people and property. Their constant interactionmakes neat and fixed prescriptions impossible” (Power 1991: 2). For this study, managementwas conceived of in broad terms, representing not only issues around property, but also thehealth of the community. Fundamental to this definition of management is decision making,and who makes the decisions.The answer to the question “who makes the decisions?” depends heavily on the type ofmanagement style adopted. Management style is defined in the International Dictionary of-7-Management as the “approach adopted by management to exercising authority, encouragingparticipation in decision making, motivating staff, delegating authority, communicatinginformation and maintaining control” (Johannsen and Page 1980: 206). While housingmanagement will vary from office management because of the existence of residents andproperty, management theories are useful in defining non-profit housing management styles.Participatory management can be defined as “a style of management that lays stress on theimportance of good human relations and of workers’ participation in management decisionmaking” (ibid.: 251). Power describes participation in housing management as “tenants havinga share in housing decisions” (Power 1991: 15). Participatory housing management includesresident involvement and, in some cases, control over decisions which affect their communityand living environment. In this study the term “participatory management” becomessynonymous with “resident participation”.A historical precedent for this type of management comes from nineteenth century Englandwhere Octavia Hill and the Society of Women Housing Managers advocated socialresponsibility in housing management. Hill perceived housing management to be about morethan income generation. She was concerned about the moral and housing conditions of hertenants, saw the importance of dealing with the tenants and dwellings together, and emphasizedthe moral imperative by enforcing punctual rental payments (Clapham, Kemp and Smith 1990:206; see also Brion and Tinker 1980 and Power 1991). It was a new and more intensive styleof management, and while Hill’s methods appear dated now, it was a personal style of housingmanagement concerned for the well being of the residents as well as the value of the property.In order to study non profit housing management in BC, the relationship between the fourbasic stakeholder groups was examined. These groups are:-8-1) government which is responsible for policy development, program implementationand funding. (In B.C. this involves BC Housing and Management Conunission(BCHMC), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the provincialMinistry of Housing.);2) non-profit housing societies which have responsibility for program delivery;3) paid staff who handle property management within the housing communities; and4) residents who live in non-profit housing.None of these stakeholder groups exist in a vacuum. As the diagram below demonstrates, allare shaped by the “organizational” and “civic” cultures in which they function. The civicculture refers to the context of the larger community or society, its rules, patterns ofparticipation and cultural norms. The organizational or bureaucratic culture refers to thespecific culture of an institution or organization. The nature of these cultures, to a large extent,shape the answers to such questions as how residents fit into the decision making, and howpolicy effecting housing management is determined.Figure 1: The Four Stakeholder Groups of Non-Profit Housing ManagementCivic CultureVNon-ProfitHousing StaffOrganizational CultureNon-Profit-9-1.7 Assumptions Behind the ResearchAn important part of qualitative research is the recognition and acknowledgment of the bias andassumptions of the researcher (Strauss and Corbin 1990: 18). The primary assumption behindthis research is the belief that resident participation in housing management is fundamental toachieving housing goals. Not only does it contribute to the quality of life, but also to thesuccessful functioning of the housing community. The ability to participate in the decisionmaking about one’s housing results in a greater sense of control over one’s environment andlife. This sense of control, in turn, can lead to feelings of ownership and responsibility towardthat community. It was also assumed that the opportunity to participate results in tangiblebenefits for all of those involved, from skill acquisition to better decisions. Residentinvolvement in management and decision making was believed to result in housing whichbetter meets the needs of the people who live there. However, this is not to imply everyonewill react in the same way to having the opportunity to participate. For example, participatorymanagement practices may be in place, but a resident may not be able or may not want to takeadvantage of them. In this sense choice, to participate or not, is crucial. The basis of thisresearch lies in the assumption that housing, in providing a stable environment for living, canserve as a base for work, leisure, self-actualization and family life.1.8 Significance of the StudyBecause of the pressures on social housing, perhaps it seems irrelevant to be studyingparticipatory management at a time when the very existence of publicly funded housing is inquestion. However, management style is at the heart of non-profit housing. With theincreased interest in participatory methods, be it in research or citizen participation, it is anopportune time to begin discussing resident participation in non-profit housing management.Further, as women’s housing needs become recognized, it is crucial this recognition beextended to the discussion of management.-10-The examination of different types of resident involvement in social housing management is notnew. However, research on this topic that specifically relates to non-profit housing,particularly in B.C., is scarce and it is hoped this study will generate issues for furtherinvestigation. Concern has been voiced at the idea of increased resident control, for fear itcould lead to discrimination against certain groups. The intention of this research is not to‘dump” the responsibilities of housing management onto the laps of the residents or insist onvolunteerism by the residents. Nor is it to promote or in any way facilitate discrimination. Theintention is to explore whether participatory management is one part of creating healthycommunities, and from the degree of interest in this topic, it would appear that it is an approachworthy of serious consideration.-11-2.0 CANADIAN SOCIAL HOUSING2.1 Canadian Housing PolicyHousing policy can be described as “intervention in housing production, distribution orconsumption that affects the location, character and availability of homes, or the rightsassociated with housing occupancy” (Clapham, et al., 1990: x). Conceptualized this way,housing policy falls broadly under the rubric of domestic social policy, encompassing “thoseactivities oriented toward education, health and welfare of the population” (Jackson, Jacksonand Baxter-Moore: 1986: 567). However, social policy is not always implemented solely withwelfare objectives in mind (Clapham, et al., 1990: 21). Tn Canada, housing policies havetraditionally had economic goals, as governments have been attracted to housing developmentas a way of easing unemployment and producing economic “multiplier” effects (Harris 1991:372).In Housing and Social Policy, Clapham, Kemp and Smith present two philosophical modelswith regard to welfare provision: the market model and the social democratic model (1990: 24;see also van Vliet 1990). The market model advocates the view that:social services should, where possible, be provided by families, friends orthe market, rather than the state.. .the very term ‘welfare state’ has comeunder attack from those who regard the legitimate role of the state as being aminimal one, primarily concerned with upholding private property rightsand with creating conditions that are conducive to the smooth running of themarket (ibid.: 24).As Nairne has observed, “the central problem with this model is the assumption that all marketactors have the wherewithal to exercise choice in the housing market” (1991: 10). In contrast,the social democratic model rejects “the market as necessarily the most efficient and beneficialmode for the delivery of welfare”, and argues that “state intervention is necessary and desirablebecause of the failure of the market to supply essential welfare services to an adequatestandard” (Clapham et al. 1990: 29). Central to this model are the principles and goals ofcitizenship and equality (Nairne 1991: 10). While these models serve as useful tools for-12-theoretical analysis, as van Vliet has written, “in reality all national housing systems includefeatures of both models and approximate one or the other in different ways” (1990: 11).2.1.1 Housing As A CommodityThe provision of housing in Canada has been and continues to be primarily reliant on theprivate, capitalist market which treats housing as a commodity, dependent on the forces ofsupply and demand (ibid.: 9). Although this system has delivered housing to a majority ofpeople, leading some politicians and authors to proclaim Canadians are among the best housedpeople in the world (Harris, 1991; Hulchanski, 1988; Rose, 1980), many are still unable tosecure affordable, adequate housing which is appropriate to their needs. According to CMHC,in 1991, one in eight or 1.16 million households in Canada did not have the resources to obtainhousing meeting current standards, and therefore were considered to be in ‘core need’ (CMHC1994). While the national average of households in core need was 12.2 per cent, in B.C. theaverage was 14 per cent (164,000 households), among the highest rates in the country.These statistics become more revealing when they are broken down and examined according toparticular sub-groups. Renters are five times more likely to face housing need than people whoown their homes. Of all core need households, 72.9 per cent are renters (CMHC). Tenantsmake up 36 per cent of the households in BC and 58 per cent in the City of Vancouver, buttheir household incomes are only 61 per cent of those of homeowners (Statistics Canada, 1991Census and The Tenants’ Rights Action Coalition (TRAC) 1993: 3). In Vancouver, almostone in four tenant households pays more than 50 per cent of their income on rent (City ofVancouver 1993a 5:2).Further, because these statistics do not consider gender, they do not fully reveal the situation ofwomen, especially single mother families and elderly women who live alone. In 1991, two infive single parent families, almost all of whom were women, lived in core housing need, and- 13 -women outnumbered men three to one in senior’s housing (Canadian Housing Coalition1993a: 1). As will be discussed later, women’s housing needs, although often extreme, havelargely been ignored or overlooked by government policy makers in the name of genderneutrality.Figure 2: Core Housing Need Population, 1991What becomes clear from these numbers is that housing need is directly related to poverty.According to Donnison, “inequality and exclusion from the wider society define poverty”(1969: 31). In 1991, household income for families in core need was one quarter of that forthose not in need (CMHC 1993: 3). Housing affordability is perhaps the most important factorrelated to income, as the Healthy Toronto Subcommittee wrote,the cost of housing also has adverse effect on health; when housing costsare high, those on low incomes have less disposable income. This isstressful in itself and may lead to a reliance on food banks (Healthy TorontoSubcommittee 1988: 75).Single Parent18%Families/Children15%Couples/NoChildren7%Non-ElderlySingles31%Source: CMHC, 1994.-14-Figure 3: Average Income for Selected Family Types in Constant Dollars,Canada, 1991Source: Statistics Canada, 1991 Census.However, there are other factors such as security of tenure, stability and choice that are alsogreatly affected by income. In a society where housing is valued primarily as a commodity,security comes through ownership, something often unattainable for people with low or evenmiddle incomes. In the City of Vancouver, the median price for a new single family detachedhouse was $300,000 in 1992, while condominiums averaged at $192,000 (Real Estate WeeklyFriday, August 13, 1993).In response to those whose housing needs are not met by the private market, government hasattempted to intervene through public and social housing policies and programs.2 Social2 The terms “social” and ‘public” housing can be confusing. Social housing, in its general sense, refers toafi publicly built and subsidized housing. More specifically, social housing refers to housing owned andoperated by municipalities, cooperatives and non-profit housing societies. Social housing complexes aregenerally smaller in size and scale than public housing, and are intended to fit into the existing fabric of thecommunity. Public housing, while it is a form of social housing, refers to dwellings owned and operatedby the government. For CMHC, it refers specifically to housing funded jointly with the provinces andterritories under Sections 79 and 8 1/82 of the National Housing Act (CMHC 1991: iii). Both types ofTwo Parent Families withChildren (2 earners)Two Parent Families withChildren (1 earner)Male Lone ParentFemale Lone ParentFemale Lone Parent (1earner)Female Lone Parent (noearner)0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 70000- 15 -housing is “housing that is subsidized to assist people in need who can’t find adequate,affordable shelter in the private market” (BCH1VIC 1 992a: 1-1). However, these actions havealways been taken with the clear intention of not interfering with the smooth functioning of thefree market. As Wichman observed, government in Canada has played a “residual role,intervening only to fill the gaps of housing need not met through market housing activity”(Wichman 1981: 20). Since World War Two there have been many different national andprovincial housing programs, but it has been argued that these programs have been primarilyreactive rather than based on coherent policy goals (see Dennis and Fish, 1972; Hulchanski,1988). As Hulchanski has written:Canadian housing policy has focused almost exclusively on the supply ofhousing units in the private sector. Rather than a housing policy as such,there have been a series of housing programs designed to stimulate privateresidential construction as an instrument of macro-economic policy (1988:16).Housing has rarely been considered by governments in Canada as an end in and of itself.Rather, it has been a side effect of government efforts to achieve other macro-economic policygoals, and its importance in the eyes of policy makers has depended on their ideological viewof housing, whether a commodity or a basic right.2.1.2 Housing As Part of Urban PolicyIn the 1960s, as concepts of social policy expanded, housing policy became linked moreclosely to urban policy. In 1968, the first national housing conference was convened by theCanadian Welfare Council, and in keeping with the tone of the day, housing was considered,not in isolation, but as an integral part of the broader social context. The recommendationsfrom the conference emphasized issues such as “quality of life in the community, communityconsultation, and more choice in location, design and form of tenure” (Anderson 1992: 33).housing are rented for an amount equal to a percentage of the occupants income (usually between 25 and 30per cent).-16-Perhaps the most important concept coming from the conference was the first recommendation,which advocated the right of all people to housing:The Canadian Conference on Housing (1968) declares that all Canadianshave the right to be adequately housed whether they can afford it or not(Wheeler 1969: 331).In 1973 two new programs were introduced: Non-Profit Housing Assistance and Co-operativeAssistance. These programs were intended to “make it easier for non-profit housingorganizations to develop housing projects” (Rose 1980: 57). Loans were provided to nonprofit corporations, either charitable or co-operative, owned and occupied by members or by amunicipality. In addition, start up funds were provided by CMHC. The 1973 changes to theNational Housing Act were significant in that they encouraged local community and third sector(non-profit, non-governmental or cooperative groups) involvement in housing, andemphasized smaller scale housing developments.2.1.3 The Federal 56.1 Non-Profit Housing ProgramIn 1979 further amendments were made to the National Housing Act. As explained in aCMHC report:The changing intergovernmental context, together with factors such asdeclining production levels in traditional low-income housing programs,growth capital requirements at the federal level, and increased local interestin non-profit and cooperative housing, led to the federal announcement inMay 1978 of a basic shift in housing policy. Using existing legislativeprovisions to begin with, the federal government has sought to consolidateits low and moderate income housing programs into a single simplifiedprogram (as cited in Wichman 1981: 13).The Federal 56.1 Non-Profit Housing Program and 56.1 Cooperative Housing Program,named after the section of the National Housing Act in which they were contained, weresupposed to:extend the social status benefits of quasi-homeownership to two groups:first, a moderate income group which probably could not afford to purchasea dwelling; and second, low-income residents who received furtherassistance to reduce housing charges to a maximum of 30 per cent ofadjusted family incomes. (Wekerle 1988: 106).- 17 -Key to these programs was the intention of creating a social mix, rather than ‘ghettoizing’ lowincome people. As Hulchanski has written:This shift from public housing to the more socially mixed public, privateand co-operative non-profit housing programs resulted from dissatisfactionwith large scale public housing projects only for the very poor (Hulchanski1988: 20).The Federal 56.1 Non-Profit Housing Program was funded and administered exclusively bythe federal government through CMHC. Rather than receiving capital funding from CMHC,non-profit housing societies secured mortgages from private lending institutions which thefederal government insured at a guaranteed interest rate write-down to 2 per cent for 35 years.This interest rate write down allowed subsidies to be provided to residents so that they did notpay more than 30 per cent of their income towards housing (CMHC 1983: 13). CMHC alsoprovided project start-up funds to assist sponsoring groups from their initial incorporationthrough to project development (ibid.: 22). These funds gave non-profit housing groupscontrol over their projects by allowing them to secure a site, hire an architect, and workthrough the preliminary stages of development without the financial support of a developer.Once the development was built, an Operating Agreement between CMHC and the non-profithousing society laid out the terms and conditions on how the community would be run.Under the Federal 56.1 Non-profit Housing Program 45 communities with a total of 2,387units were built in the City of Vancouver. One-third of the units were for families and the othertwo-thirds were for seniors and people with disabilities (City of Vancouver 1993b: v).The Federal 56.1 Non-Profit and Co-operative Housing Programs were canceled in 1986 whenthe Conservative government altered the orientation of social housing policy. Concerns overthe “effectiveness and cost of social housing programs as well as their delivery to householdsin need of assistance” led to a review initiated by the Minister (BCHMC 1986: 1). Accordingto CMHC, depending on the criteria used, between 47 and 69 per cent of households served by- 18 -the Federal 56.1 Program were low to moderate income, and the Program did not necessarilyprovide housing at minimum cost (CMHC 1983: 319). CMHC concluded:the costs associated with income mixing and rental market stimulationshould be clearly recognized. Even if Section 56.1 were totally effective inmeeting objectives, the high subsidy cost for each low-income unit providedprohibits the extent to which social housing problems can be resolvedthrough these programs (ibid.: 323).The Program which replaced the Federal 56.1 Non-Profit Program targeted only low-incomehouseholds. In the opinion of Hulchanski the elimination of “income mixing from private andpublic non-profit housing. ..in effect, reintroduced the public housing program” (Hulchanski1988: 21).2.1.4 The Provincial Non-Profit Housing ProgramThe Provincial Non-Profit Housing Program3as it existed until the spring 1993 FederalBudget4was established in 1986 in order “to help needy households who cannot obtainsuitable, adequate and affordable rental housing on the private market” (Canada Mortgage andHousing Corporation 1989: 1). Under the Global Social Housing Agreement, the program isjointly funded by the federal government through CMHC, which provides 67 per cent of thefunding, and the provincial government through BCHMC, which provides 33 per cent. It isadministered solely by BCHMC.The Program assists public and private non-profit organizations to build or buy housing whichthey own and manage and make available to households which are in “core housing need”(ibid.: 1). As with the Federal 56.1 Program, CMHC insures the mortgage which coversdevelopment costs, such as land construction and architect’s fees (BCHMC 1992a: 1-5).3 The name of the program discussed in this paper is more specifically the ‘Non-Profit Regular Program’,but here it is refered to as the ‘Provincial Non-Profit Housing Program’.4 the 1993 federal budget, the Conservative government virtually eliminated the Non-Profit HousingProgram by cutting funding for further development of social housing outside of a small amount forshelters for victims of family violence, improving the homes of people with disabilities and on-reservenative housing.- 19 -Operating costs, including maintenance and administration, are covered by the federal andprovincial rent subsidies and rent contributions from tenants (ibid.: 1-5). Once the housing isdeveloped, the non-profit society receives subsidies that make up the difference between thebreak-even rent for the project and the portion paid by the tenants. As the table below shows,the economic rent which is the cost per unit to operate a building at a break-even level5,less thetenant rent contribution, the amount of which is based on the tenant’s income, equals thesubsidy provided by the government (ibid.: 2-3). The subsidy lasts up to 35 years (BCHMC1993a: 2).Figure 4: Funding For Non-Profit HousingSource: BCHMC Guide for Housing Societies, 1992, p.2-8.In the project selection process non-profit societies must give details to BCHMC about theirage, number of members, and previous experience in general management, communityinvolvement and housing management (BCHMC 1993b: 7). After completion of the building,the societies handle the day-to-day property management (BCHMC 1992a: 2-7). Therefore,they are also required to outline expected staffing requirements, types of files and servicecontracts, and most importantly for this study, a discussion of the operating philosophy inrelation to the intended client group, and whether tenant participation in management will beencouraged (BCHMC 1993b: 8).5 As opposed to the market rent which is the rent which could be obtained if the unit was rented on thelocal private market.Tenants(% of income)CMHC, 67%(Subsidy)BCHMC, 33% Reserves(Subsidy) (if applicable)OperationsMortgage- 20-Under the Non-Profit Housing Program, an Operating Agreement which lays out all the termsand conditions of how the society manages the program, the building and the subsidy is signedby both the non-profit society and BCHMC. This agreement “formalizes the relationshipbetween BCHMC and the Sponsor over the expected 60 year life of a project (ibid.: 8). Thesponsor society must also provide a detailed Operating Plan and Operating Budget which isapproved by BCHMC prior to the completion of the housing development.Tenants are selected in keeping with the terms and conditions set out in the OperatingAgreement. Typical target groups include: families, where there is at least one adult and oneor more dependents; seniors, aged 55 or older; and people over 40 with specific housing needs(ibid.: 4). In all cases, applicants must provide proof of their household income, assets andcurrent rent (BCHMC 1992a: 3-1). To be eligible for housing under the Non-Profit HousingProgram, a household must have an income below the Core Need Income Threshold6,and bepaying more than 30 per cent of its gross household income for shelter, and/or be inadequatelyhoused (ibid.: 3-4).After determining whether or not the applicant is eligible, the housing society must thenevaluate the household’s need for housing. This is done through a point system whichevaluates housing need based on six main factors:• termination notice without cause from present accommodation;• present accommodation is unsatisfactory, such as overcrowding, living with family orfriends, inadequate kitchen or bathroom facilities, lack of recreation space or affectedhealth;• percentage of income support allowance being used to pay rent and heat;6The Core Need Income Threshold (CNIT) is the annual household income sufficient to pay market rent foradequate accommodation within a certain community. CNIT levels vary according to unit size and fromcommunity to community. CNIT tables are adjusted annually. For example if the average market rent fora 1 bedroom apartment is $450 per month, and if rent is 30% of income, then income or CNIT must be atleast $1,500 per month or 18,000 per year (BCHMC 1992a: 3-13).- 21 -• gross household income;• assets; and• other discretionary factors such as the location of the applicant’s home and work, orthe health of the applicant.Once accepted and in residence, the relationship between the residents and the society isgoverned by the Residential Tenancy Act of BC, which gives both the tenant and the society or‘landlord’ rights and responsibilities.Since 1986 a total of 12,359 units have been allocated in B.C. under the Provincial Non-ProfitHousing Program. Of these 5,288 were for families, 4,820 for seniors and 2,251 for ‘specialneeds’ (BCHMC 1993c).7 Of the 4,322 units of family housing that are currently underBCHMC administration, 1,116 or 34 per cent are two parent families and 3,206 or 66 per centare lone parent families, the majority headed by women. Single parent families also make upthe vast majority of families currently on the waiting list for social housing. Of the 5,068active applicants from the Lower Mainland in June of 1993, 3,311 were families; 1,889 or 60per cent were single parents and of these 343 or approximately 20 per cent were considered tobe in the ‘high need category’.2.1.5 From Quality to AffordabilityOver the years the emphasis of Canadian housing policy has shifted from ‘quality’ to‘affordability’ with rising housing costs, especially in urban centres, and an increasing lack ofrental housing. Recurrent throughout the last four decades has been the theme that theproduction of housing units is essential to solve housing problems.8Production goals are adopted on the assumption that all Canadians will bedecently housed if a sufficient number of units are produced so that there is7 The statistics quoted in this paragraph were obtained directly from the BCHMC Housing ServicesDepartment, some are found in BC Social Housing Programs Status Report, May 1993.8 Despite this general theme, since 1984, with successive Tory governments, the production of housingunits for moderate and low income people has been dramatically reduced.- 22 -one adequate dwelling for every Canadian family (Dennis and Fish 1972:17).However, the emphasis of these production goals has been on the private market throughgovernment incentives such as homeownership grants. Non-profit housing is still only afraction of total housing in Canada. From 1971 to 1991 non-profit and co-operatives rosefrom 4,000 to almost 18,000 units in the City of Vancouver, accounting for 9 per cent of thetotal housing stock and 15 per cent of the rental housing stock in the City (City of Vancouver1993a: 3). As already stated, in June 1993 the number of people on BCHMCs active waitinglist was 5,068 for the Lower Mainland alone. Housing need is still a long way from being metin Canada. As the Ontario Association of Housing Authorities wrote in 1964:Housing performance under the National Housing Act has been productionoriented rather than distribution oriented, a quantitative operationqualitatively devoid of broad social objectives and economically inaccessibleto many Canadians. The production of new houses should be a means to anend, not the prime policy objective (Dennis and Fish 1972: 1).In addition, the bias government housing policy and programs have shown for homeownershiphas resulted in more money being spent on tax-subsidies for owner-occupiers than on socialhousing (Harris 1991: 372). As Doyle and Melliship reported,Only once, in 1980, were estimates of Federal Government tax expenditurespublished by the Department of Finance. This publication shows that in1979 the estimated expenditures for non-taxation of capital gains on aprincipal residence was $3.5 billion. The cost of social housing programsfor that year was less than a tenth of that, i.e. $305.7 million (unpublishedpaper: 72).Hulchanski has similarly written that “tax expenditures in general, and housing taxexpenditures in particular, mainly benefit the highest income households” (1985: 29).Harris has argued that these biases are likely to continue for two reasons. First, “the powerfulinterests that have shaped housing policy in the past still hold sway at both the federal and locallevel”. Second, the past bias toward homeownership has created expectations among “the-23 -large, relatively affluent and therefore powerful electorate that would resist any attempt toreduce the tax subsidies that they currently enjoy” (Harris 1991: 372).The nine years of Conservative government from 1984 to 1993 witnessed an ever shrinkingrole for government in social housing policy development and provision. While CMHCspends about $2.1 billion annually on operating grants for existing social housing units, theemphasis has been increasingly on who the government perceived to be ‘neediest of theneedy’. Examples include the elimination of income mixing in social housing in 1986, thecancellation of the co-operative housing program in 1992, and more recently the allocation ofnew housing units for 1994 going only to shelters for victims of family violence, housing forpeople with disabilities and on-reserve native housing. There is no doubt that these groupshave unique and extreme housing need. However, this trend is disturbing in the context ofhousing as a social right, “the notion of public housing for general needs has been increasinglyeclipsed by the view that only ‘special’ needs should require the direct attention of the state”(Clapham et a!. 1990: 55). As Sylvia Haines of the Canadian Housing and RenewalAssociation observed, “what is happening here is the federal government is getting out of thehousing business” (The Vancouver Sun May 12, 1993).It is too soon to tell whether the recently elected Liberal government will reinstate socialhousing as a priority. The early signs are not overly encouraging. In the Liberals’ firstbudget, in February 1994, the focus was on homeownership. The annual subsidy to covertwo-thirds of the operating budgets of the 652,000 households (approximately 50,000 in BC)living in social housing was maintained. However, the only “new” funding was $100 millionfor the reinstatement of the Homeowner and Disabled Residential Rehabilitation AssistanceProgram (RRAP) which provides loans to low income people and people with disabilities tobring their houses up to health and safety standards. In addition, the First-time Homeowners’- 24 -Grant, which allows first-time home buyers to make a five per cent down payment, wasextended.The emphasis is increasingly on ‘cost savings’ within government, and in accordance withthis, CMHC has recently established a National Task Force to look at savings within socialhousing. One of the initiatives to come from this is a return to direct lending by CMHC. Thisis projected to save $120 million over four years, and these savings will go back intohousing.9 All social programs are under review in Canada, and social housing will certainlybe part of this review.2.2 Housing As A Women’s IssueWomen, particularly single mothers, are negatively affected by changes in government housingpolicy and the resulting shortages in affordable housing (Audain and Duvall 1992: 51). In their1984 pivotal work Women and Housing: Changing Needs and the Failure ofPolicy, JanetMcClain and Cassie Doyle observed that as “family and household composition changes, morewomen become first order housing consumers” (1984: 3). By 1991, 30 per cent of Canadianhouseholds were female led, and of the 597,780 economic families led by women, 50.6 percent were low income (Statistics Canada, 1991 Census Report).Single mother families, along with elderly women living alone, are the largest group of femaleled households and primary housing consumers. Statistics Canada reported that in 1991thirteen per cent of all Canadian families, and 12 per cent in British Columbia, were led bysingle parents, of which 82 per cent were female-led. In BC this translates into 107,375 singleparent families, 88,245 led by women (Statistics Canada, 1991 Census Report). Further,women are less likely than men to own their own homes, thereby losing the security ownershipprovides. Women-led households represent 38.6 per cent of renter households and make upInformation from this paragraph comes from the Vancouver Regional office of CMHC.- 25 -two-thirds of the residents in non-profit housing. The majority of people living in familyhousing are single mothers, and single parent households constitute 34.7 per cent ofhouseholds in core housing need (Doyle 1992: 9; Doyle and Melliship unpublished paper: 17and CMHC).Despite these facts, the literature reveals that the housing needs of women have not beenexplicitly acknowledged nor dealt with in government housing policy and programs. In 1984,McClain and Doyle wrote, “research and policy development on housing have almost ignoredthe needs of women” (1984: 63). It was not until McClain and Doyle’s study that housingstatistics were actually broken down along gender lines. Prior to this census, households werecategorized as “family” or “non-family” or by number of persons (Stern 1991: 6).Housing is not a gender neutral issue. As Doyle and Melliship write:To consider housing as gender neutral is in fact to operate under an implicitbias. This bias fails to recognize both the economic inequities which framewomen’s lives and the social assumptions about women’s place andfunction which put them at a disadvantage if they live in household formsother than the male-led norm (unpublished paper: 8).Doyle and Melliship further argued that “both economic and social factors combine to create asituation in Canada in which many more women than men have housing needs that are not met”(ibid.: 8). These factors include the reality that women earn, on average, 70 per cent of whatmen earn, thereby reducing their ability to compete in the housing market; a for profit housingmarket that operates under the capitalist system to make housing a commodity to be bought andsold; the greater need for safety in housing as a result of violence against women in oursociety; the fact that women more often have primary responsibility for children; and, thesexist assumptions that underlay housing policy and forms (ibid.: 9).Lack of choices or control for women also extends to the management and design of non-profithousing. In 1986 Simon wrote that “women are still grossly under-represented at the financial- 26 -and technical area of government housing agencies” (1986: 11). In 1987, the WomenHousing Manifesto, which was adopted by the Canadian National Action Committee on theStatus of Women, cited a lack of participation by women in housing at all levels, includingmanagement (1987: 5). In 1990s the situation has not changed greatly. Women still “havevery limited role in the design, construction and management of market and non-profithousing--few women hold senior positions in those fields” (Audain and Duvall 1992: 51).Cooperative housing offers many advantages to women, especially single mothers, overtraditional models, specifically affordability, security of tenure, and importantly, a supportivecommunity (Wekerle and Novac 1989: 225). Further, it provides the opportunity for womento be involved and in control of their own housing from the design and development to thedaily management and maintenance. However, the literature suggests housing built by and forwomen better meets their needs:By looking at the options that single mothers face in the housing market,and by contrasting them to alternative shelter arrangements developed byand for them, we begin to appreciate the disparity between the obsoleteassumptions about gender role activities reflected in the environmental needs(Klodawsky and Mackenzie 1987: 10).Wekerle and Novac came to a similar conclusion when examining case studies of women’shousing cooperatives, “when women develop their own housing, their concerns withcommunity are reflected both in the physical design of the housing and in the social decisionmaking and community life” (1989: 223).As the “traditional” life cycle changes, so do housing needs. People are no longer followingthe pattern of living at home, moving into an apartment before marriage, and then moving intoa single family home designed for father as the wage earner, mother as the homemaker and 2 to4 children (McCamant and Durrett 1988: 10). Rather, the family with two working parentspredominates. The fastest growing family type is headed by a single parent. Thus, as thereality of people’s lives changes, housing policies must also change to meet this new reality- 27 -and its needs. Otherwise, instead of working to negate systematic inequalities, housingsystems can play an active role in sustaining societal inequity (Clapham et al. 1990: 71). AsDiane Morisette concluded:The philosophy, eligibility criteria, and direction of social housing programsare slow to take into account changes in the make-up of the Canadian familyand the situation of women at different stages of life. Women musttherefore be veiy closely involved in the development of social housingprograms, since they are the main users (1987: 32).2.3 Trends Toward Participatory Processes in Housing Policy and ManagementIn thinking about housing policies and programs it is important to ask “where and how are theydrafted?”. Are they formulated solely within bureaucracies or are they conceived of and draftedoutside institutions and refined by bureaucrats? Policy drafted in these differing ways willreflect different concerns, values and perceptions of housing need. The familiar case of ‘carpetunder the dining room table’ is a clear example. The ‘expert’ is imagining what the room willlook like, while the single mother is imagining the crumbs and the stains. As Malpass andMurie have stated:the political nature of housing policy and practice implies a focus not just onthe content of policy but also on the processes by which it is made,implemented and evaluated. This means looking at who is involved (orexcluded) and what resources they can deploy (1987: 25).At present, housing policy and programs are developed largely within government and theirbureaucracies, with the result that social housing has often failed to meet the needs of itsresidents. While there are some aspects of ‘user input’ through program evaluations, theseusually come after the policy has been formulated and implemented. These processes areessentially ‘top down’ and therefore result in policies that reflect the values and priorities ofgovernment, rather than those people living in or delivering social housing. Exceptions may bePublic Conm-rissions, like the Provincial Commission on Housing Options, and consultations,such as those around rent protection, both of which took place in BC recently. In these cases,- 28 -people are asked for their input before policy is formed, but even here the timetable, scope andissues to be discussed are usually set by government.As an alternative, a process of participatory policy making has been suggested. Clapham et al.describe this as the “new citizenship model” where the concept of citizenship embraces “agenuine commitment to infusing welfare services with opportunities for participation in flexibleand decentralized structures rooted in local communities” (1990: 245). By adopting policymaking processes that include a wide range of people, experiences and voices, it is argued thatpolicy betters reflect the reality and needs of those it is intended to serve and whose lives iteffects most.These processes can be translated into the experience of day to day management of socialhousing. While there is a wide spectrum of management styles in social housing, traditionallyit has followed the model of private market management in being primarily ‘top down’ in theform of a rigid ‘landlord-tenant’ relationship. This is not surprising, as it is hard to expectmanagement styles to encourage resident involvement when the policy behind them was notcreated in this spirit. In a situation where non-profit societies are dependent on governmentfunding, there is always the concern about “biting the hand that feeds us” by establishingpolicies which are not part of the accepted norm. However, increasingly, the values andbenefits of involving residents in decision making on community issues, and the costs ofexcluding them, are being recognized.Housing management has not received much attention in the housing policy formation processin Canada. As seen above, more attention has been spent on policies designed to increase thestock of housing and homeownership. In the United States the situation was similar untilwidespread operating difficulties and quality of life questions began to emerge in publichousing developed for low and moderate income households. As Kolodny wrote in 1976:- 29 -Housing management has emerged as an area of serious policy concern anddeliberate programmatic innovation only in the last half-dozen years. Toobservers unaware of the construction bias that has so dominated nationalhousing policy, it must seem bewildering that so much official andprofessional attention could be lavished on a housing unit’s first 12 to 24months and so little devoted to sustaining it over the many decades of itseconomic and physical life (1976: 1).However, the increased attention to housing management also came about due a changingunderstanding of what constituted shelter which, as Kolodny observed:it involved a shift away from a standard based purely on input--the existenceof a dwelling in acceptable physical condition--to one that focuses on theoutput--the actual delivery of those services (housing and not strictlyhousing) which are residentially based (ibid.: 1).In Great Britain, where one-third of people live in “council” housing (Silver, McDonald andOrtiz 1985: 213), resident participation had long been considered a good idea, but only recentlyhave strides been made in terms of putting it into action. The Housing Act 1988 and the LocalGovernment and Housing Act 1989 have meant that “most landlords are keenly conscious ofthe need to rethink and reassess their services in the light of the challenges which they face”(Institute of Housing 1989: vii). One of the keys to this rethinking is involving tenants in theprocess of housing management (ibid.: vii).In both cases, resident participation represents “both a direct and indirect response to social andpolitical trends which have favoured equity, social justice and local democracy considerations”(Community Resource Services 1988: 1). However, resident participation can mean differentthings to different people. From the literature, there emerges a wide spectrum of residentparticipation in social housing. As Table I shows, resident participation can range from totalresident control, as in co-operatives, to more direct management control where the residents areexcluded from decision making processes (Ontario Ministry of Housing 1991: 14; see alsoInstitute of Housing 1989: 18 and Simon 1977: 1).- 30 -TableI:ResidentManagementContinuumlbDirectSolicitSolicitInputPartnershipSharedControlResidentManagementCommentManagementControl‘Wearedoingthis.”“We’redoing“Wewanttomake“Weagreetodothis“Residentsmay“Residentstakethis...anychangesinthetogether.’assumecertainresponsibilityforcomments?’comrnunity...havemanagementmanagingtheyouanyideas?”responsibilities.’project.”Non—participationInformresidentsandOrganisedresidentsCouldinvolvejointJointauthorityResident—controlledsolicitcommentassociationshelpful(moreformalised)after(some)decisionsaremadeResidentstypicallySurveys,suggestionRegularinformationAllowsresidentstoMayinvolveIndependenceandunorganisedandboxesorformalshapechoicesresidentsonboardslegalauthoritiesdependentconsultationthroughworkgroupsofdirectorsinitiatedbyorcommitteemanagementTraditionalAnnualmeetingInputfromresidentsConsistentBoardcouldhaveCo-operativemodelManagementretainsbetweenoccursbeforerelationshipvetopoweroverafullcontrolofmanagementanddecisions/actionbybetweenresidents’resident-processresidentsmanagementassociationsandmanagementmanagementadvisorycommitteeCanlegallyexcludeSitevisitsbyboardResidentscanResidentsareresidentsfromboardmembersrequestmeetingsandmanagement(nomembershipinfluenceagendastraditionallandlord)Source:ConsultationCounts:TakingActiononaHousingFrameworkforOntario(OntarioMinistryofHousing,1991:14).decisions,butmanagementretainsfinalauthority(majorityorallboardmembersareresidents)The key element in any model of resident participation is power--who has it, who makes thedecisions, and whose lives are affected. As Turner has observed the issue of “who decides?”is central to housing and human settlements (Turner 1976:12). Tn 1969, Sherry Arnstein wrotean article entitled “A Ladder of Citizen Participation” in which she asked “what is citizenparticipation?”. In response to this question, she stated:citizen participation is a categorical term for citizen power. It is theredistribution of power that enables the have-not citizens, presentlyexcluded from the political and economic processes, to be deliberatelyincluded in the future (Arnstein 1969: 216).Arnstein created a typology of citizen participation using “eight rungs on a ladder” as metaphors,each representing the extent of people’s power to determine the end product (ibid.: 217).Figure 5: Arnstein’s Ladder of Citizen ParticipationCitizen ControlDegreesDelegated Power of7 Citizen PowerPartnershipPlacationDegreesConsultation of•4 TokenismInforming3Therapy2 NonparticipationManipulation1Source: “A Ladder of Citizen Participation” (Arnstein 1969: 217).At the bottom of the ladder were “manipulation” and “therapy”. Here the real objective was“not to enable people to participate in planning or conducting programs, but to enablepowerholders to “educate” or “cure” the participants”. Next came “informing” and-32-“consultation” which were described as “tokenism” because they allowed citizens to hear andbe heard, but provided no assurance these views would be heeded by the decision makers.“Placation”, the fifth rung on the ladder, was “simply a higher level of tokenism”, allowingcitizens to advise while the decision making power stayed with powerholders. Rungs sixthrough eight were characterized as “degrees of citizen power”. “Partnership” enabled peopleto negotiate and enter into trade offs with traditional powerholders. At the top of the ladderwere “delegated power” and “citizen control” where “have-not citizens obtain the majority ofdecision-making seats, or full managerial power” (ibid.: 217).Arnstein acknowledged the eight rung ladder was a simplification. In reality neither the “havenots” nor the “powerholders” are a homogenous bloc. However, Arnstein’s typology issignificant because it attempts to address the issue of redistribution of power:participation without redistribution of power is an empty and frustratingprocess for the powerless. It allows the powerholders to claim that all sideswere considered, but it makes it possible for only some of those sides tobenefit (ibid.: 216).The ladder illustrates that a broad spectrum of citizen participation exists, some of which is infact “non-participation”. While these observations do not refer directly to housingmanagement, they are useful to consider when examining models of resident participation insocial housing. As Edwards stated:Where the power lies, where it should lie, who wields it and how: thesekinds of issues are the meat of any serious debate about tenant involvementin decision making (1986: 2).- 33 -3.0 PARTICIPATORY HOUSING MANAGEMENT3.1 Market Rental Housing ManagementTraditionally market rental housing management has provided a model for non-profit housing,partly because many of the management tasks and responsibilities are similar. In both marketrental and non-profit housing, the manager is responsible for maintenance, rent collection,tenant selection, upholding occupancy agreements and other aspects related to the property, andare responsible for maintaining good relations with the tenants by responding to their legitimaterequests. The legal relationship between the owner and residents in both sectors is set out in atenancy agreement, governed The Residential Tenancy Act.Nevertheless, the objectives of market housing are different from those of non-profit housing.Market housing management focuses on property management which is an “economic servicedesigned to create the greatest possible net return from a given building over its remainingeconomic life” (Brauer 1973: 3). Inherent to this is the concept of private property, “withoutwhich individual ownership and use of real estate would not be possible” (Downs 1980: 20).Property management can be divided into five main functions: (1) public relations;(2) administration; (3) financial controls; (4) marketing; and, (5) operations (Goodwin andRusdorf 1989: 227).While effective housing management means responding to the reasonable requests of residents,in market rental housing the landlord or manager makes the decisions. Residents have littleroom for input. “In this system, the people who have to live there have to put up withwhatever decisions are made for them” (Lloyd 1973: 3). Ultimately the only recourse residentshave is to move out, and this option is very dependent on the resources available to the residentand the state of the rental market. As stated in the Landlord‘s Handbook, “you’re in business- 34 -and you must exercise control over who rents your property” (Goodwin and Rusdorf 1989:19), hardly the type of relationship based on principles of partnership.The underlying concern for market housing owners and managers is profit. The size of thebuilding and whether it is owned by a company, family or individual will make a difference.As one market rental housing manager interviewed said in describing who he worked for:We’re lucky.. .it is a small company, family owned, so there is a name tothe face.. .they are compassionate to tenants, it is not solely a money makingventure (Market A).1°Rental market housing managers must balance the owner’s interests, with the right of tenants tocreate a home (ibid.). “The most important part of my job is to maintain the tenancy...(but) itgoes further than collecting rent” (ibid.). However, the bottom line in market housing is that“rental property is a business” (Goodwin and Rusdorf 1989: 227), and the landlord-tenantrelationship is basically a business relationship (ibid.: 12).3.2 Non-Profit Housing ManagementNon-profit housing has social objectives, which can be encouraged or discouraged throughmanagement. In managing non-profit housing, the functional needs of the property must bebalanced with the social needs of the community. Housing management in more social terms isabout “providing good quality housing and services to those who have been in housing needand about maximizing the useful life of a limited housing stock” (National Federation ofHousing Associations 1987: vii).The most direct result of the social goals of non-profit housing is the provision of affordable,secure and decent housing. In social housing residents have security of tenure. RentO this study interviews were conducted with people from two non-profit housing societies, the nonprofit and private market rental sectors and BCHMC. Where results from these interviews are cited, they areindicated by category, i.e., Market A, Staff B etc. This notation preserves confidentiality of individualrespondents, but indicates the category of data sources. For more of the details of this methodology, seeChapter 4.- 35 -contributions are set annually according to income, so tenants do not have to worry about renthikes. Residents also have the security of knowing the building will not be demolished orconverted into condominiums. As one of the staff people interviewed observed, “non-profithousing is more geared to the needs of the tenants, whereas market housing is mostly geared tothe owner’s needs” (Staff A). However, “non-profit housing is not necessarily aboutempowering the tenants” (ibid.). Many non-profit housing societies manage their housing intraditional ‘landlord-tenant’ terms. The existence of a broader social objective depends heavilyon the philosophy of the society, and to an extent, the direction set by government. It can alsobe heavily influenced by management style.Studies done in the 1970s showed management style was an important factor in residentsatisfaction with their housing. As Wichman reported:The general consensus arising from the results of these studies indicates thatmanagement style is, indeed, a very crucial factor in determining the senseof well-being that a resident experiences in his (sic) housing environment(1981: 25).Wichman cited a 1973 study on senior’s housing by the Canadian Council of SocialDevelopment which stated:It is apparent that the character of the development’s management is themost important factor in determining whether or not the quality of theresidential environment will meet the needs of residents (ibid.: 25).The importance of management is even more crucial if social housing is going to “afford itsusers a feeling of dignity and satisfaction with their environment, as well as basic shelter”(ibid.: 61).Management of non-profit housing also differs from market rental housing in organizationalstructure. There are responsibilities unique to non-profit housing such as subsidies, incomeverification, and other issues as set out in the National Housing Act and the Societies Act. Ingeneral, there are four basic stakeholder groups with intersecting roles and responsibilities innon-profit housing: (1) government, through BCHMC or CMHC; (2) non-profit housing- 36 -societies; (3) staff of the housing communities; and, (4) residents who live in the housing (seeFigure 1, page 9). The roles of the last three groups and the relationship between all groupswill vary from society to society.GovernmentWhile provincial governments have responsibility for housing under the Constitution, thefederal government has the power to set federal funding levels and develop programs inpartnership with the provinces. The policy directions set by the federal government haveprofound impacts on the provision of affordable housing. Provincial governments alsodevelop policies and programs, but they are very reliant on the federal transfer of money forhousing. They have the power to create legislation and to establish and amend regulations,such as the Residential Tenancy Act or the Societies Act. The provincial government is alsoresponsible for building and health standards, repair and maintenance, and licensingrequirements.In addition, government, through its housing agencies, oversee the delivery of housingprograms. CMHC and BCHMC interpret government policies and programs, set managementstandards and provide annual operating grants to non-profit housing societies. These rolesgive CMHC and BCHIVIC a substantial amount of power, and as one non-profit housingsociety Board member commented, “it sometimes feels like we have to kiss their feet or we willlose our funding” (Board C). BCHMC and CMHC also monitor financial aspects of thetenants and the societies, as well as the eligibility of tenants. Interestingly, BCHIVIC andCMHC are also the places disgruntled tenants sometimes go to complain about the non-profithousing society which runs their housing. To some of those involved in housing societies thisis considered a paternalistic attitude and shows a lack of trust on the side of BCHMC andCMHC, but for the tenants it represents an avenue for problem solving.- 37 -Non-Profit Housing SocietiesUnlike public housing where government also has the power of direct management, in nonprofit housing this power, together with the accompanying responsibility, is handed off tocommunity based groups. However, while the non-profit housing society is technically theowner or landlord, they are accountable to BCHMC and CMHC, which have the power to setthe operating grant and, ultimately, to take back the property if they deem this necessary.Non-profit housing societies are made up of members who elect a Board of Directors which isresponsible for society business. Members of the non-profit housing boards are legally liablefor the housing. Decisions made at the Board level are of two main types, those that deal withthe housing society and those that deal with the communities they run. Included in societybusiness are aspects of development, financial control, membership development and staffing.Societies also have the power to set their own goals, objectives and philosophy. Communityissues involve creating policy on how the housing will be run, and can include everything fromwhether or not pets are permitted, to whether residents are hired to do work around thebuilding. In some cases community decisions are made together with the residents and theproperty manager.Non-profit housing societies, like all non-profit societies operating in BC, must beincorporated under the Societies Act which requires them to remain in good standing with andreport annually to the Registrar of Companies (BCHMC 1992a: 8-2). As with market rentalhousing the relationship between the society and residents is a balance between rights andresponsibilities governed by The Residential Tenancy Act (ibid.: 5-3), which includes anarbitration process, administered by the Residential Tenancy Branch, in the case of disputes.However, non-profit housing societies must also adhere to the terms outlined in the OperatingAgreement they sign with either BCHMC or CMHC. Operating agreements provide guidelines- 38 -for issues such as rental, tenant selection, budgets, tenancy agreements, subsidy, default andmanagement. The BCHMC Operating Agreement states:The Society shall furnish efficient management of the Project (sic), maintainthe Project (sic) in a satisfactory state of repair and fit for habitation and willcomply with health and safety standards including any standards requiredby law, and shall permit representatives of the Commission (BCHMC) toinspect the Project (sic) at any reasonable time. If in the opinion of theCommission, the Society is not providing efficient management ormaintaining the Project (sic) in a satisfactory state of repair, the Society,under direction of the Commission, will rectify the deficiencies (1991: 5).The Agreement goes on to define “good management” as including, but not being limited to:1) Maintaining adequate maintenance files and records and implementing soundprocedures of preventive and corrective maintenance.2) Maintaining files on all tenants, which will include copies of tenancy agreement,copies of any correspondence, and proof of income.3) Maintaining adequate financial records, expenditure controls, and cash receiptcontrols.4) Developing and maintaining sound maintenance, leasing, tenant relations andgeneral operational procedures and practices appropriate to the size of the buildingand the overall operation.5) Maintaining good operational files containing copies of such things as legalagreements, pertinent Acts (e.g. Residential Tenancy Act, Society Act), minutes ofsociety meetings, constitution and by-laws, and any other items appropriate tomanagement continuity.6) Ensuring sound fire and safety procedures are set-up with directions given totenants. (ibid.: 5)It is important to acknowledge non-profit housing is very much dependent on the volunteerismof Board and society members. This reliance on volunteer labour has profound implications interms of management because all to often society members have neither the time not the energyto develop “extra” aspects of management such as community development.Property Management StaffIn non-profit housing it is usually the property management staff who are responsible forensuring “good management” on a day to day basis. As referred to above, this involves aspects- 39 -of maintenance and repair, and financial management such as rent collection, dealing witharrears, knowing the operating agreement, and banking. It also involves tenant relations suchas filling vacant units by recruiting new tenants, informing tenants of their rights andobligations, as well as the community rules, representing the board and enforcing its decisions.As organizations grow, paid staff, who have more time and resources than volunteer boardmembers, inevitably become more instrumental in determining future directions. This givesthem substantial decision making power or at least influence over decisions. Further, the jobof property manager may include helping tenants set up meetings or establish systems ofcommunications. One staff person who was interviewed referred to the property manager as a“resource person”, someone who can direct tenants to where they can get help withoutnecessarily solving their problems for them. This element of support can be very draining forthe staff, and requires the establishment of good relations and trust with the residents (seePower 1991 and Peterman 1988 for more information on the specific role of a propertymanager). As Isler et al. described the role of a property manager is very complex:To some degree, the problems he (sic) faces every day call for thecombined skills of an accountant, bookkeeper, purchasing agent, buildingmaintenance expert and diplomat. And if managers happen to be amateurpsychologists, too, so much the better (1974: 1).As with the role of the Board, the property manager’s job can involve residents, but again thisdepends on the society and to a large extent the property manager themselves.ResidentsThe people who actually live in the housing are affected by the decisions made all of the abovestakeholder groups. As with all rental housing, residents have responsibilities as set out in theResidential Tenancy Act and the tenancy agreement. In non-profit housing rules which arespecific to the community may also exist. Whether residents are involved in the managementof their housing depends on the attitude of the society, staff and BCHMC. It also depends onthe residents themselves, whether or not they want to or are able to get involved. Therefore themethods and levels of participation, if permitted and encouraged, will vary from community to-40 -community. Residents can set up committees or Resident Councils, take part in maintenanceand repair either as volunteers or paid employees, be part of the process of tenant selection,make decisions on issues affecting the community and decide on the specific uses of commonspace or rooms. In addition, there is nothing stopping residents from being on the board of thesociety which runs their housing. However, generally residents of non-profit housing in BCare not involved in the management of their communities, and if they are, they, like societymembers, usually do so as volunteers.The Power Relationship Among the Stakeholder GroupsAs discussed in Chapter One, the organizational and civic cultures in which the various groupsfunction create a power dynamic. While each group has a certain amount of power to define itsown organizational culture, the civic culture demands a more or less hierarchical relationshipamong and within them. If conceived of in terms of power, the relationship would be very topdown. The ability to set policy and direct the delivery of programs gives government ultimatecontrol. Government ideology will also affect the organizational culture of the other threegroups, and even its own agencies. CMHC and BCHMC oversee the implementation ofgovernment programs and the activities of the housing societies, which gives them influence inhow the societies will operate. The non-profit housing societies have the power to set theirown policy and philosophy which affects the nature of the communities in the buildings theydevelop and run. Property managers have power which comes to them from laws establishedby government and rules established by the housing society. Residents have the power todevelop the identity of their community, but whether or not they are involved in decisionmaking depends largely on the other three groups.-41-Figure 6: Power Dynamics in Non-Profit HousingGOVERNMENT(Legislation [Societies Act/Residential Tenancy Act]IBCHMC/CMHC)+NON-PROFIT HOUSING SOCIETY4 wPROPERTY MANAGEMENT STAFF+RESIDENTSAs shown in the above Figure, a momentum in terms of power is created by the hierarchicalnature of the conventional management system in non-profit housing. While the absolutepower may flow downward, it is overly simplistic to believe any stakeholder group lacks thepower to affect those above it. Even the residents, shown here at the bottom of the powerspectrum, have the ability to affect change within their communities and the other three groups,especially if they unite. Tenants have the power, and have used it in the past, to complain toBCHMC, elected representatives and even the media about their conditions. Housing societiesand funding agencies may not like it when residents take their concerns to the media or to localpoliticians, but it is a way residents can take some control, and if this power is not misused, itcan be a very effective tool.3.3 Purposes and Outcomes of Resident Participation in Non-Profit HousingAs already mentioned tenant participation means different things to different people.Its scope is so broad and so open to individual interpretation that, likejustice and freedom, it is easy for virtually everybody to be in favour of it.A useful working definition, which could encompass most of the acceptedusages of the term, is ‘the involvement of tenants in decisions which affecttheir housing’ (Edwards 1986: 2).-42 -Similarly, the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) broadly defines residentparticipation in non-profit housing as residents acting “together to improve the quality of life intheir non-profit (housing community)” (1993: 6). In the literature the term “tenantmanagement” is often used. However, rather than referring to one style of management, thisterm generally describes “a wide range of initiatives which see tenants of subsidized housingtaking over some aspects of the management of the project” (Community Resource Services1988: 1).Along the same lines as Arnstein’s eight rung ladder of citizen participation (see Figure 5, page32), the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) in Great Britain has categorized themain types of activities commonly referred to under the rubric of tenant participation. There areten categories:the first category consists solely of providing information to tenants withoutinvolving them in the decision making, although some landlords may receiveinformation from tenants, but ignore it when received.• tenant consultation goes one step further and typically involves a specific proposalwith an opportunity for tenants to make comments or suggest alterations before the planis completed.• a dialogue, usually between a representative of the landlord and the tenant, meansconsultation and discussion over a period of time.• negotiation occurs when tenants and landlords acknowledge that they both have adegree of power, and attempt to achieve a solution which is satisfactory to both parties.• accountability assumes housing officials (and perhaps elected officials) are answerableto tenants for their performance; it requires the establishment of monitoring andreporting procedures.• delegation refers to delegating the responsibility for non-statutory housingmanagement tasks to tenants and tenant organizations.-43 -• landlords can decide to offer tenants individually or collectively a choice of two ormore options, although this choice is not usually able to be expanded, nor theunderlying policy decisions questioned.• shared responsibility is where landlords, tenants and others play a direct part indetermining policy and overseeing its implementation.• tenants and landlords can both be involved in an arbitration process designed to settledisputes or consider claims for special treatment or compensation.• finally, control means the delegation of statutory housing management functions totenants, or in other words, housing management co-operatives (Edwards 1986: 2; seePower 1991 for a similar analysis).These categories have varying implications with regard to power and control, and one model ofresident participation may, in different ways, meet the criteria of more than one category.However, like Arnstein’s ladder they provide an indication of the broad range of participation.Resident participation as represented by these categories, begins to recognize Turner’s beliefthat:Good housing is that in which both the housing procedures and thedwelling environments produced act as vehicles for personal fulfillment andstimulate real social and economic development (Turner and Fichter 1972:255).The aims of resident participation will vary according to the situation, but generally they alsorecognize Turner’s belief. As outlined by the Institute of Housing Tenant ParticipationAdvisory Service the aims are to:• encourage community development• facilitate better housing management• give more power and choice to tenants• increase resident satisfaction with their housing• help members make decisions which respect the needs of the community (1989: xii).- 44 -In participatory models of housing management there is a potential to replace the principle of“tenant as client” with “resident as active partner” in the decision making and smoothfunctioning of not only the building but also the community. The opportunity exists for peopleto use their own skills to improve their quality of life. As Power has written:Only residents experience directly and fully the problems of a particularestate. They have a strong vested interest in making things work. Withoutthem it is impossible to sort out many social as well as physical andmanagement problems that affect estates.. .Residents on their own cannotsolve the complex, interacting problems of management and economicviability, unless they themselves become the landlord. Therefore, apartnership between tenants and the landlord is usually the best wayforward. Within the partnership, tenants are active partners, not passivesupporters or recipients (1991: 5).However, increased control and involvement on the part of residents does not mean the rightsand responsibilities of conventional management are eliminated:The landlord-tenant relationship places fundamental responsibilities on thelandlord. For example, communal maintenance, repair and a tenant’s rightto peaceful enjoyment of the home. The tenant must also act by law in aresponsible way towards the property, towards neighbours and towards thelandlord (ibid.: 239).Indeed, as Turner observed, the opportunity for residents to take some control over theirhousing in fact comes with added responsibilities:Autonomy entails the ability to enter into reciprocal relationships, to exerciseboth control over essential life needs and discretion in trade-offs whichestablish priorities.. .but autonomy does not imply unqualified license... (it)represents a measure of obligation and responsibility as well as the power tosatisfy one’s wants (Turner and Fichter 1972: 247).In whatever form resident participation takes, be it resident groups working in partnership withthe landlord or residents sitting on Boards, benefits are derived for residents and housingsocieties. These benefits relate to both property management concerns such as maintenance, aswell as broader social aspects such as resident self-determination and self-respect (CommunityResource Services 1988: 4). For example resident groups are seen to provide the following:For the tenants, they can improve the quality of life, increase leadershipabilities and skills, and perhaps improve opportunities for employment. Forlocal housing authorities, resident groups provide important input formanaging the housing well. They also provide a sense of “ownership” to-45 -tenants, which contributes to better maintenance and lower operating costs(Prairie Research Associates 1991: ii).Specific benefits cited include long-term cost savings, increased occupancy rates, reductions indelinquent rents, higher unit rental incomes, increased maintenance productivity, job creationfor tenants, reduced vandalism and other crime, reassertion of social control, increased residentself-determination and self-respect and general community development (ibid.: 2).Perhaps the greatest benefit of resident participation is responsive management (CommunityResource Services 1988: 2). Therefore flexibility is crucial. However, resident participation isnot a panacea for every problem confronting a housing community. One model of participationwill not fit every community or situation. Every community is unique and therefore will haveto develop its own process, “it is important to view tenant management as an approach, ratherthan a method” (ibid.: 2). Participatory processes are time consuming and frustrating, but theyalso result in benefits for everyone involved. Thus as Peterman has written, “we need to bequite sure why it is we are seeking resident management, what to expect from it, and what arethe negative aspects we must try to avoid” (1987: 2).Finally, it also important to consider the views of some American housing advocates who warnthat proponents of resident management may be “falling into a trap carefully laid by those whowish to see the federal government out of the public housing business and that the net result ofimplementing these alternatives is likely to be less rather than more public housing” (Peterman1988: 2). These critics focus their attention primarily on the resident management andprivatization of public housing in the United States, “the sale of public housing is useful toconservative interests both politically and economically. It is also in line with their ideology”(Silver et al., 1985: 228). However, they also have valid concerns about resident managementschemes:It is probably not an overstatement to say that many conservatives wouldlike the federal government to be totally removed from the direct provisionof public housing. Resident management is an appealing concept to such-46 -people. It embodies the principles of hard work, self determination, selfsufficiency, independence and entrepreneurship. In addition, successfulresident management can lead to property ownership, which is believed tobe an essential element in building and maintaining responsible citizenship(Peterman 1987: 4).It is not so far fetched to link resident management with the sale of public housing. Ownershipis an obvious end result of such a scheme. As White described:What I really mean by tenant participation.. .is participation in managementitself and the whole realm of the decision-making process, includingdecisions about budgets, how much will be spent, what it will be spent on,and filling vacant positions on the authority. In fact, the logical conclusionis to carry it through to the actual ownership of public housing projects(Canadian Council on Social Development 1970: 39).While these warnings should not deter the investigation or promotion of resident involvementin non-profit housing management, it is important to carefully consider them, especially in lightof the current review of social programs taking place in Canada. The intention of this thesis,and of most of the literature on this topic, is to promote the creation of healthy communitieswhere residents are able to take some control over their living environments, whether or notthey have ownership. It is not to condone or in any way support the reduction of operatingbudgets in favour of residents doing maintenance and upkeep work themselves. The beliefexists that people living in social housing should be grateful for what they have, and thereforeshould be more than happy to help around the community. While individual residents no doubthave some responsibility to their living environments, the responsibility of providing safe,secure and affordable housing, and the funds to run it properly, is that of government. Decenthousing is not a privilege. It is a fundamental human need and a basic human right, and one ofthe most valuable assets of our society.3.4 Models of Resident ParticipationExamples of how residents participate in decision making about their living environments arefound all over the world. Many of these come from less technologically developed countrieswhere ‘self help’ strategies are increasingly seen as important ways people with low income- 47 -provide themselves with shelter. Sites and services and community upgrading, two of themost enduring strategies adopted by international development organizations such as the WorldBank and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), recognize the reality thatthe formal sector does not, and government low cost housing programs can not, compete withthe informal sector, and the people themselves, in providing housing for the urban poor(Turner 1976: 135). In many of these projects it has been found that the success of housingand environmental improvements is directly related to the degree of resident participation inplanning and implementation (Skinner et al. 1987: 235).For example, the Kampung Improvement Program (KIP), a long running communityupgrading effort in Indonesi&s “urban villagest’or squatter settlements, has involved residentsin the drafting, discussion and implementation of improvement plans (Silas and Indrayana1988: 69). In kampungs where the residents have been involved from the beginning, theresulting sense of pride has resulted in respect and care for the improvements. In otherkampungs where no participation occurred, the deterioration has often been rapid due to lack ofmaintenance (ibid.: 74 and Silas 1987: 156). In addition, community participation in KIP hasbeen a fundamental part of ensuring scarce funds go as far as possible (United Nations no date:100).By studying models of resident participation from developing countries it is possible to gainimportant new information, as well as a different perspective on our own situation. However,models of resident participation in the management of social housing which are applicable toCanadian non-profit housing come primarily from other developed countries. The modelspresented here do not, by any means, represent all methods of resident participation in publiclyfunded housing, nor will they be directly applicable to every situation. Rather they serve as aindication of the diverse strategies that have been adopted as ways to involve residents in theirhousing.-48 -In the early 1970’s resident management schemes were first introduced in public housing in theUnited States and council housing in Great Britain primarily as attempt to regenerate “problem”housing developments (Community Resource Services 1988: 1). These schemes were initiatedas last resorts in crisis situations where conventional management had failed, and it was notuntil after these experiences that the broader potential benefits of resident participation wererecognized.3.4.1 American ModelsIn early resident participation schemes in the United States, tenants acted primarily in advisoryroles or in organizing social and recreational activities which tended to complement rather thancompete with the services provided by management (Canadian Council on Social Development1970: 39). However, it was around the issue of maintenance that residents began to makemore demands in terms of involvement. By the 1970s much of American public housing wasalready 20 or 30 years old, and in a state of disrepair, which in some circumstances was simplybeing ignored. Residents organized and demanded representation on the local boards andcommissions which ran public housing, leading to employment opportunities for residents,participation in policy development including rental policies and the development of socialprograms which were responsive to the tenants’ needs (ibid.: 39 and 40). After receiving anegative assessment by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, residentmanagement was largely abandoned (Peterman 1987: 1). However, more recently, the ideahas once again become popular. High profile residents of public housing have becomeconvincing spokespersons that, if not the only solution, “resident management is the bestsolution to all of the problems associated with public housing” (ibid.: 1).Peterman, who has written extensively on resident participation in public housing in the UnitedStates, has outlined five alternative options to conventional management:• conventional management with increased tenant participation- tenant councils;-49 -• resident management- resident management corporations;• community development corporation ownership and management;• cooperative housing;• mutual housing association (Peterman 1988: 3).Cooperative housing and mutual housing associations will not be considered here. Insteadthey will be discussed under the Canadian and British sections.Conventional Management with Increased Tenant Participation-Tenant CouncilsIn the United States, resident participation in management was the result of a long and bitterrent strike by tenants of the St. Louis Housing Authority in 1969 (ibid.: 4). As part of thestrike settlement tenant advisory councils were established as a way of “promoting andmaintaining community spirit” (Simon 1977: 1). Today tenant advisory councils are commonin most public housing.Under this model residents are responsible for tasks such as budget reviews and preparation,and in some cases for screening and orienting new residents and dealing with grievances byand about other residents (Peterman 1988: 5). While this option gives residents considerableresponsibilities, it essentially maintains the status quo in terms of power because the authorityto go along with the responsibility stays with the housing authority (ibid.: 5). However,Peterman argues, the existence of tenant advisory councils “provides a mechanism which couldbe used by residents to increase their participation in management decisions” (ibid.: 5).The main advantage of tenant councils is that they are relatively easy to establish. They do notrequire any structural or organizational changes, although the commitment on behalf of thehousing authority must be present (ibid.: 5). If strengthened, Peterman believes, tenantassociations could result in management that is “more responsive to resident needs and desiressince residents would have a real say in how their units were operated” (Peterman 1987: 9).- 50-Resident Management- Resident Management CorporationsResident management in the form of residents forming a corporation to take over all themanagement tasks of their community started in Boston at Bromley-Heath in 1971 after severalyears of resident organizing (Peterman 1988: 6). In 1973, as a result of the rent strike in 1969,and after a lengthy period of negotiation and on-the-job training, two tenant managementcorporations (TMCs) were established in St. Louis to take on the full managementresponsibility for two housing communities totaling 1,256 units (Kolodny 1981: 136). Basedon these experiences, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and theFord Foundation initiated the National Tenant Management Demonstration Program in 1976which involved seven sites in six cities across the United States (Peterman 1988: 6).All residents over the age of 17 automatically become members of tenant managementcorporations, and each TMC elects its own Board of Directors (Kolodny 1981: 138). It isargued that not only are residents able, with some training and support, to take over themanagement of their housing, but that resident managers do a better job since they are closer tothe problems and more accountable to other residents (Peterman 1987: 9). In addition, residentmanagement schemes can lead to indirect benefits such as resident pride and a strong sense ofcommunity (Peterman 1988: 6). As Kolodny reports,The problems of housing a population overwhelmingly made up of welfaredependent, female-headed households confronted the TMCs with the needto rethink their roles as managers. To a far greater extent than most otherpublic housing in the country, the St. Louis projects (sic) have developedprograms in education, recreation, health, and other social services; specialcare for children and the elderly; job training; and direct employment(1981: 137).When evaluated, the National Tenant Management Demonstration was shown to have somepositive benefits, but it was also found to be expensive and difficult to implement, andtherefore, further expansion of the project was not recommended (Peterman 1988: 7). Othercritics of resident management schemes see them as a way government can justify abrogating-51 -its responsibility to provide safe, secure and decent housing (Silver et al., 1985: 213). Thismodel has not worked in all cases where it has been tried, therefore while it may be viableunder the right circumstances, it is not a universal remedy (Peterman 1988: 7).Community Development Corporation Ownership and ManagementCommunity Development Corporations (CDCs) are probably closest in nature to Canadiannon-profit housing than any of the other models. They grew out of the dismantling ofAmerican housing programs in the 1980s when non-profit groups such as tenant andneighbourhood organizations, churches and labour unions attempted to fill the vacuum ofproviding affordable housing for low income people (Dreier 1993: 9). CDCs are usually basedin a specific area, with community residents on the Board, and are therefore well groundedwithin the fabric of the neighbourhood (ibid.: 9).The style of management adopted by CDCs varies. Many are conventional market rental, whileothers promote tenant participation. However, tenants always have some involvement throughpositions on the CDC Board (Peterman 1988: 9). Today there are over 2,000 CDCs in theUnited States which have built over 300,000 units in the last 12 or so years (Dreier November1993: speech to the BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA). CDCs have traditionallytaken over abandoned buildings or developed their own housing, but Peterman suggests theycould also take over the production and management of public housing (Peterman 1988: 9).The advantages of CDCs come from being community based and controlled, which can alsolead to economic benefits. As Peterman has reported, in terms of public housing, “theiremphasis on community based development would provide jobs, thus increasing the economicwell-being of public housing communities and building technical capacity among residents”(ibid.: 8). The disadvantages, in terms of managing public housing, are that many CDCs areeither too small or lack the experience to deal with managing large public housing- 52 -developments, and that the sale or transfer of public housing to a non public corporation couldlead to the eventual loss of units available to low income households (Peterman 1987: 11).3.4.2 British ModelsAs in the United States, the impetus for participatory management schemes in Great Britaincame from the need to rejuvenate a badly deteriorated public housing stock, and as in theUnited States it was tenants who pushed for the changes. Publicly funded housing in Britaintakes the form of public estates which are run by elected local authorities or councils (Power1991: 239). In recent years legislation has been passed all over Britain encouraging thesecouncils to involve residents in management. While these measures are often minimal in termsof their legal requirements and powers, they do provide tenants with some rights to informationand consultation (Institute of Housing 1989: xii).These laws and the social conditions on the estates and in council housing have also lead to alarge number of initiatives in terms of resident participation. Here three models are examined:(1) Mutual Housing Associations; (2) The Tenant Participation Advisory Service; and, (3)Consumer Advisory Panels. They were chosen on the basis of providing the most relevantinformation for the Canadian non-profit housing sector. In addition, Britain has seen thepublication of many guides or handbooks on resident participation. Two of these are examinedin the following section.Mutual Housing AssociationsMutual housing associations (MHA) have long been popular in Europe and Great Britain, andrecently have began to be established in the United States. MHAs are similar to co-operatives,but are unique in that corporations, housing specialists and residents work together to developand manage housing (Peterman 1988: 11). The type of housing built can be a mix of cooperatives, conventional rental and resident managed units (Peterman 1987: 11). Usually- 53 -MHAs are created by groups of people or organizations such as churches, labour unions orcommunity based groups. To join, a household must pay a membership fee, which puts themon a waiting list. Once a unit is obtained, the household receives life tenure with the option ofmoving to a larger or smaller unit as required. MHAs are structured to support residentinvolvement, and other membership rights include participation in making policy decisions,setting fee structures and selecting other residents (Peterman 1988: 12).The blend of ‘professionalism’ and resident involvement is the main advantage of this option,in that it should work to “ensure the provision of sound management principles guided byresident control” (ibid.: 12). However, in cases where MHAs have become largebureaucracies, are become indistinguishable from a conventional housing authority, with manyof the same problems (ibid.: 13 and Peterman 1987: 11).The Tenant Participation Advisory ServiceThe Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) was established in 1980 in Scotland as the“first publicly-funded independent organization to try to work with both landlords and tenantswith the aim of encouraging tenant participation in housing decisions” (Edwards 1986: 2).More than half of all Scotland’s housing stock is public sector housing, and TPAS grew out ofthe desire by these tenants to have more say in decisions about their living conditions. In 1980the Tenants Rights Etc. (Scotland) Act was introduced, providing tenants with security oftenure, the right to a written tenancy agreement and new rights in connection with councilhousing allocation policies (ibid.: 3). However, unlike the equivalent English and Welshstatutes, the Scottish Act failed to require local authorities to consult tenants on housingmanagement proposals other than rent increases.- 54 -Therefore in an attempt to promote community housing initiatives as a way of creating a “morereceptive climate of opinion in Scotland”, TPAS was established (ibid.: 4). The purpose ofTPAS was to:act as an intermediary body or to fulfill the function of an honestbroker.. .(and). . .provide an information and advisory service to landlordsand tenants in the publicly-financed housing sector to develop tenantparticipation in housing management and to assist the formation of housingco-operatives (ibid.: 4).It is hard to measure the tangible benefits of TPAS. When it started in 1980 none of theScottish districts had policies on resident participation, and there were only 300 tenants’groups. By its completion in 1986, twenty-two local authorities had policies, nine had hiredcommunity development workers, and there were over 1000 tenant groups (ibid.: 18).While TPAS did manage to put tenant participation on the agenda, it has been criticized forfailing to challenge the fundamental issue of power between tenants and landlords (ibid.: 19).Rather than providing a model of resident participation, TPAS is more useful as a guide onhow to change attitudes, and promote resident involvement.Consumer Advisory PanelsThe concept of a consumer advisory panel comes from the Leicester housing association,which found most current models of resident participation were outmoded for the “presentconsumer age” (Seviour 1993: 34). The Leicester advisory panel was formulated within abroad strategy of informing, consulting and involving residents in the management of theirhousing. The strategy included a customer orientation; a commitment to local management;the production of a tenant’s guide, in both audio tape and minority languages; written policiesand reports; satisfaction surveys; and regular newsletters. It also included association officeson an area basis providing access to members of the housing association; open access toassociation membership; support for tenant associations, if and when they emerged; and, aresource unit working exclusively on tenant involvement (ibid.: 34).-55-In Leicester the consumer advisory panel comprised of 13 tenant representatives, equal to thenumber of representatives on the association’s management committee, with which it met on aregular basis. In order to ensure success, the association provided training sessions for thetenants elected to the advisory panel. The advantage of the consumer advisory panel is that itprovides residents with a chance to influence policy and practice of the housing associationwhich runs their housing in sustainable and realistic ways (ibid.: 35). However, like residentadvisory councils, consumer advisory panels do not provide residents with control over thedecision making, and so their ability to create real change may be limited. In addition, theemphasis on residents as “consumers” in some ways reinforces the idea of housing as acommodity.In addition to these specific models of resident participation, useful guides or handbooks forresident participation have recently been published in Britain. Housing Management: A Guideto Quality and Creativity by Anne Power describes the local approach to housing managementon housing estates. The Guide is based on the lessons learned from the Priority Estates Project(PEP) which sought to reverse the decline of housing estates by establishing services in localareas through small scale, locally controlled housing projects and by discovering andsupporting local leaders. PEP is described by Prince of Wales as having “pioneered a newapproach to housing management and resident involvement” (Power 1991: preface). TheGuide suggests that a key element of local management is to give residents a say in areas wheretraditionally they have had none (ibid.: 4). It emphasizes the need to tailor residentparticipation schemes to the needs of the particular estate or community. Options outlinedinclude tenant associations; estate forums or liaison meetings between tenant representativesand local estate staff; estate sub-committees; estate management boards; and tenantmanagement co-operatives (ibid.: 17).-56-Tenant Participation In Housing Management is a guide put out by the Institute of Housing inconjunction with TPAS. It aims “to help housing practitioners to develop good practice inrelation to tenant participation and to monitor its effectiveness and quality” (Institute ofHousing 1989: back cover). It attempts to define participation and outline the broad range ofways participation can occur from providing tenants with information to establishing tenantcontrol over certain aspects of their housing. It also sets out the legal requirements and powersas related to participation, the roles different participants play and performance standards (ibid.:xiv).3.4.3 Canadian ModelsHousing management has not been a primary focus of housing policy debate in Canada. AsCMHC reported in 1981:Housing management problems have not received much attention in thehousing policy formation process in Canada. A great deal more emphasishas been placed on policies designed to increase of new house building(CMHC 1981: i).However, this does not mean that the topic of resident participation in housing management isnew. As in the United States and Great Britain, quite a bit of interest in this topic was shownin the 1970s. In 1970 the Canadian Welfare Council Housing Committee endorsed “tenantparticipation in housing management as a desirable objective which should be fostered bypublic programs” (Canadian Council on Social Development 1970: 1). In the same year, theMinister of Housing said in a speech in the House of Commons:Another factor that has been under consideration is the whole question oftenant organization and involvement in the management of public housing.We are quite prepared to encourage this sort of thing as a matter of socialjustice, and we think in turn it will encourage a much healthier outlook andclimate all round and remove a major cause of some of the difficulties.Along that line, CMHC has funded a series of seminars on tenantparticipation through the Canadian Welfare Council which will identify theprinciples and problems involved (ibid.: 2).- 57 -One of these seminars, entitled “Who should manage public housing” was held to consider“how and to what to degree public housing projects could be made self-governing”, and wasattended by government officials, managers and residents of public housing (ibid.: 1).However, the interest of the seventies largely disappeared, and by 1982, CMHC reported that“usually tenant participation is restricted to some form of recreation or entertainmentcommittee” (CMHC 1982: 3). An exception to this is co-operative housing which hasfacilitated and fostered strong communities run by residents. However, in public and nonprofit housing, resident participation has been largely in keeping with CMHC’s observation. Ithas not been until recently that a renewed interest in involving residents in their communitieshas been shown. Some observers, like Dreier, believe that because non-profit housing inCanada is community based, it naturally lends itself to participatory management styles (DreierNovember 1993: speech to BCNPHA).Co-operative HousingHousing co-operatives are incorporated, non-profit businesses organized by people who havejoined together to provide their own housing through joint ownership (Co-operative HousingFederation of Canada 1990: 2). Co-ops in Canada are termed ‘non-profit’ because membersdo not individually own their own housing, are not entitled to sell their membership for profit,and so, do not have the chance for capital gain (CMHC 1990:4).Co-operative housing, by its very nature, addresses the larger social needs of a community,while at the same time providing affordable housing. As Klodawsky and Spector have written,the co-op program used “public resources for the effective development of Canada’s socialcapital” (1988: 154). Selby and Wilson see these aspects emerging from two characteristicscommon to all types of consumer co-operatives. First, co-operatives are intended to serve thesocial goals as well as the economic needs of their members, and second, co-operatives are a- 58 -community based response to problems (Selby and Wilson 1988: 1). At the same time, cooperative housing addresses Turner’s thesis of housing, namely that people need control overand responsibility for major decisions concerning the housing process (Turner 1976: 5).Members of a co-operative are their own managers:The co-operative as a whole owns its housing. The resident memberscollectively assume full responsibility for its management throughdemocratic control and volunteer effort (Co-operative Alliance of BC 1992:13).Members are expected to participate in the management and operation of the co-op, fromvacuuming the hallways to recruiting and selecting new residents, and through this system ofself management operating costs are reduced (ibid.: 13). However, in some co-ops the day today maintenance of the building may be done by paid staff or management companies hired anddirected by the membership. While this form of housing requires residents to take onresponsibility, it also provides them with control:Co-ownership of the property gives many people, who would otherwise berenters, the opportunity to have a say in the conditions of their housingenvironment. Self-management requires teamwork and builds a sense ofcommunity among the members (ibid.: 13).As CMHC reported in its evaluation of the Section 56.1 Co-operative Program, “high levels ofoccupant participation in management and decision-making were found especially in cooperatives” (CMHC 1983: 6).However, control and reduced costs are not the only benefits residents can gain from cooperatives, there are also opportunities for personal growth and development which come fromthe:fundamental premise that members work together to help themselves andsolve mutual problems. Through participation in their co-operative,members are able to exercise power and to tailor the co-operative to theirown needs and circumstances (Selby and Wilson 1988: 24).Education is crucial to ensure that participation is effective and informed, “in co-operatives,training is not viewed as a frill, a necessary evil, or even a mere business expense: it is a- 59 -matter of principle (Co-operative Housing Alliance 1992: 13). Co-ops receive continuingeducation and support from co-op federations, resource groups and co-operative managementcompanies (ibid.: 13).Canadian co-operatives have endeavored to build a strong mixed-income communities by usinggovernment funding to subsidize low income members so that they do not pay more than 30per cent of their income on housing (Selby and Wilson 1988: 14). Approximately 15 per centof co-op units house rent supplement recipients (CMHC 1990: 6). Therefore, co-op housingworks to provide homes to those on social assistance, the working poor and those of moderateand middle income who can not afford to buy their own home.Women in Canada also benefited greatly from the Co-operative Housing Program. Accordingto Wekerle, who has written extensively on women and co-ops, “Canada has a larger numberof women’s housing projects than any other industrialized country” (Rooftops Canada 1988:4). In fact, female headed households occupy about 25 per cent of all non-profit co-operativehousing units in Canada (Wekerle and MacKenzie c. 198 Os: 71). Research has found thatdespite some design restrictions, female residents are generally satisfied with co-operativeliving, especially in creating a strong sense of community.While the benefits of the co-operative model and self-management are clear, there are alsodrawbacks. Co-operatives rely on the volunteerism of members which can be burdensome,especially to lone parent families. In a paper on co-operative housing, Selby and Wilson notedthe challenges co-ops face include keeping members involved after the their initial enthusiasmhas waned due the monotony of management and maintenance tasks, as well as resentment andburnout on the part of the more active members (1988: 29). They concluded, “while mostpeople can spare some time to participate in the management of their co-operative, it isunrealistic to expect everyone to make attending co-operative meetings a major hobby” (ibid.:- 60 -29). Selby and Wilson also observed that co-operatives are “highly dependent on the skills oftheir members and extremely vulnerable, therefore, to loss of management expertise as theirmembership turns over” (ibid.: 29).The federal government first started funding co-operative housing in 1973 under its non-profitprogram, and in 1979 introduced a program specifically designed for co-ops. Between 1979and 1985, this program funded the creation of more than 35,000 co-operative units, and from1973 to 1985 housed over 125,000 individuals (CMHC 1986: 1). The Conservativegovernment eliminated the Co-operative Housing Program in the 1992 budget.Co-operative housing provides an effective form of resident control. In order to facilitate thismodel in non-profit housing the structure of ownership would have to change. However, cooperative housing does offer lessons which are useful when examining the principle ofparticipatory management in non-profit housing. The following models of residentparticipation are primarily from non-profit housing in Ontario and were documented in theONPHA Tenant Participation Handbook. Some of these examples have been expanded byreferences to public housing.Tenants as membersTenants who are members of the non-profit housing society which manages their housing havethe same rights and responsibilities of any other member, and sit on the Board and committees(ONPHA 1993: 23). This approach is not very common within non-profit housing. (As willbe discussed later, one of the societies in the case studies attempted this method and had someproblems related to The Residential Tenancy Act). However, the Centretown Citizens OttawaCorporation (CCOC) has been refining this approach since 1974.At CCOC membership is open to anyone who wants to participate, including staff, tenants, andcommunity members. Described as an “open management system”, residents are not-61-distinguished from any other member. Tenants who sit on the Board or committees do notformally represent other tenants, but like any other Board or committee member, vote and makedecisions based on their own judgment and experience. There are no special “tenantscommittees. Rather, conmiittees are set up in accordance to management tasks such as finance,membership or property management. Residents may be active in any committee or may bringtheir concerns to the appropriate committee. The CCOC has never required a fixed number ofresidents to be on the Board, and on average has found that about half of the Board membersare residents. However, recently the CCOC began to consider a by-law change that wouldrequire five of the fourteen Board members to be residents. As the non-profit has grown, ithas become easier to recruit ‘community members’, and CCOC wants to formalize itscommitment to residents. Finally, tenant involvement is optional. Residents are expected andencouraged to become involved, but they are not required to as in co-ops.In order to make this form of resident participation effective there must be a membership basewhich is interested in being involved, and a staff committed to supporting member involvement(ibid.: 27). The CCOC ensures that every committee is served by a staff person so membershave the information they need to make decisions. They also have a full-time Membership andCommunication Co-ordinator, and a part-time Membership and Communication Officer. Thesestaffing requirements may be difficult for smaller non-profits which have a smaller operatingbudget.This approach is attractive because it gives tenants a vote, not just a voice (ibid.: 24). Ratherthan playing solely an advisory role, residents are equal partners in the decision making, andtherefore have real responsibility for their decisions. It also creates links between residents andthe larger community, and broadens the perspective of Board and committee, as well as theresidents. Finally, it allows people to contribute at the level where they feel most comfortable,and will gain skills, experience and confidence.- 62 -However, the approach of residents as members also presents challenges. It does notnecessarily create community among tenants. As the ONPHA reported, “community feeling issecondary. The primary issue is tenant control over the entire Corporation” (ibid.: 26). Inaddition, the complexity of decisions can be overwhelming to both tenant and non-tenantparticipants.Tenants’ AssociationsTenant associations are one of the most common ways residents participate, both in non-profitand public housing. Tenant associations, like tenant councils, are independent, tenant runorganizations (ibid.: 29). They are advisory groups, which can make recommendations to theBoard, but are not part of the actual decision making. The advantage of this approach is that itis well known, understood and is flexible. Tenants can influence Board decisions and provideservices that are beyond the mandate or budget of the society. It also facilitates a sense ofbelonging to the broader community, as well as building ties within the housing community(ibid.: 29 and Prairie Research Associates 1991: 14).In order to be successful, tenant associations need to set up links with the Board and staffthrough regular meetings, a regular a item on the agenda and/or by inviting Board and staffmembers to tenant association meetings (ibid.: 32). Methods of communication between theassociation and all tenants must be established if the association is to be truly representative.Finally it is important for the Board and staff to be supportive, while not setting up falseexpectations (ibid.: 35). Societies must be very clear about the extent of power and support, beit financial, staff or attitudinal, they are willing to give to the tenant associations.Tenant/Management CommitteesTenant/management committees are another common way non-profits involve residents. Inthis model a group of tenant, Board and staff representatives form an advisory group which- 63 -makes recommendations to the Board, but does not have powers of its own (ibid.: 38). Thestrength of this approach is that it ensures the staff and Board hear the perspectives andopinions of residents. It also builds links between all the partners involved in the housing.However, its major weakness, is that tenants have no real control. Therefore the possibilityexists that the committee can be misused to give residents only token involvement (ibid.: 39).In order to provide residents with more control, the majority of committee members must beresidents. It is equally important to provide ample opportunity for involvement.Facilitative ManagementFacilitative management is not a structure, so much as an approach to management that enablestenants to share responsibility for their housing (ibid.: 41). Advocates of this approach believeresident participation is crucial, but must be facilitated. Structures to enable residents toparticipate need to be created. The goals of facilitative management are to give a voice to thosemost affected by decisions about the housing, to build community, and to encourage individualresponsibility (ibid.: 42).While no one form or structure exists to implement facilitative management, the success of thisapproach requires the non-profit to have a way of gathering tenant input, communitydevelopment staff, a tenant involvement process and outside support services (ibid.: 42). Boththe Board and staff must be committed to the idea, and funding is necessary to meet the staffingrequirements. Further challenges include confusion over staff roles, unrealistic expectationsand heavy demands on residents (ibid.: 46).Tenants on the BoardTenant representatives on the Board of Directors of the non-profit housing society is the mostdirect way residents can be involved in management decisions, and can be combined with anyother approach outlined above (ibid.: 51). Board membership allows at least a few tenants to- 64 -have a vote on decisions which affect them, it encourages tenants and non-tenants to worktogether as partners, broadens the Board’s perspective, and give the Board a new group ofcommitted volunteers to draw on (ibid.: 52). Concerns over issues such as conflict of interesttend to arise with this option. However, as the ONPHA points out, tenants on the Board is nodifferent than homeowners being on City Council, and experience has proven that residents donot act in their own narrow self-interest (ibid.: 52).In order for this approach to be successful, the role of tenant directors must be clear toeveryone. The society must think about the obstacles residents may face joining the Board,and structures must be created which allow residents to participate in diverse ways (ibid. 55).In addition, training is crucial so people will have the necessary information to make decisions.The above models provide an idea of the range of ways residents can be involved in theirhousing. The models vary in terms of the ease in which they can be implemented, the amountof control they give residents and the amount of resources required to make them successful.The following chapter presents case studies of two Vancouver non-profit housing societies,both of which have attempted to involve residents in management. The two societies haveattempted to pursue some of the models outlined above, and their experiences provide usefulinformation on the successes and challenges of participatory management.- 65 -4.0 RESIDENT PARTICIPATION IN NON-PROFITHOUSING: TWO VANCOUVER CASE STUDIES4.1 Methodology for the Case Studies4.1.1 Research ApproachA multiple case study was adopted as the primary research method. The intention of thecase studies was to discover lessons from the experiences of Entre Nous Femmes HousingSociety (ENF) and Red Door Housing Society (Red Door) in involving residents inmanagement. The case studies were qualitative, attempting to learn in depth from theresidents, staff and board of these two societies. In addition, the views of people workingin both non-profit and market housing as well as government were sought in order tobroaden the findings. While the total number of people interviewed was only 37, theinterviews provided rich and diverse perspectives on resident participation.It is important to acknowledge that the interpretations of the total interview results weremine. The people interviewed were allowed to speak for themselves, reflecting their ownexperiences and beliefs. The sum total of those individual interviews, however, suggestedcertain patterns which I interpreted. As discussed in Section 1.4, I was careful inrecognizing my own biases as the researcher. Instead of pretending to be completelyobjective, I was up front about those biases and tried to be as explicit about them as Ipossibly could.4.1.2 Which Housing Societies and WhyAs previously discussed, the case studies for this thesis involved two Vancouver non-profithousing societies: Entre Nous Femmes Housing Society and Red Door Housing Society.These groups were chosen for a number of reasons:a) both societies are based in Vancouver.- 66 -b) the societies are comparable: they were formed at about the same time, andhave roughly the same number of communities, which were covered under thesame Programs.c) both groups have attempted to involve residents in the management of theircommunities (although Red Door is not actively pursuing this at present).d) both view housing from a women’s perspective, and focus on housing singleparent families, though, not to the exclusion of other family types.Because of previous work, I am more familiar with ENF than Red Door as I researchedand wrote a history report for ENE in 1992. This allowed me to become familiar with thebackground of the group, its work and the people who work for the society and live in itshousing communities. Since 1992 I have remained involved with ENF, and I am now amember.Initially the study was to be a comparison between three housing societies: one with a“low” level of resident participation; one with a “medium” level; and, one with a “high”level. ENF was intended to serve as the “high” and Red Door as the “medium”, and a thirdhousing society as the “low”. However, as I became more familiar with the organizations Idecided that a distinction on the basis of levels of participation was wrong, as there weredifferent criteria for deciding what was “high”, “medium” or “low” participation. In theend, I decided to simply document Red Door and ENF’s experiences involving residentparticipation, and prepare case studies.- 67 -4.1.3 Data Gathering TechniquesPrior to gathering the data, the research received a Certificate ofApproval by the EthicalReview Committee at U.B .C. The ethical review process looked at all aspects of myresearch project from the purpose and objectives, to the methodology, to how ‘subjects’were being recruited. Through this review process letters of consent and interview guideswere developed (see Appendix 1 for the Certificate ofApproval).The principal research findings of this study come from 37 open-ended interviews and onefocus group discussion. The research method for the case study consisted of five steps:(1) contacting Red Door Housing Society and Entre Nous Femmes HousingSociety to find out whether they would be interested in participating in the casestudies (see Appendix 2 for the “Request To Conduct Research” sent to thesocieties).(2) contacting board members, staff members, residents and people working in thenon-profit housing sector and government to ask if they would be willing totake part in the research by participating in an interview and focus groupdiscussion (see Appendix 3 for the “Letters of Consent” sent to therespondents).(3) conducting interviews and a focus group discussion (see Appendix 4 for the“Interview Guides”).(4) analyzing the findings from the interviews and focus group and using them todiscover lessons and implications, and to develop policy recommendations.(5) sending copies of the completed research to Red Door Housing Society andEntre Nous Femmes Housing Society. Copies of the thesis abstract were sent- 68 -to all participants, and the research was made available to anyone who wantedto make a copy of it.The research took place between June and November 1993. I worked with ENF and RedDoor to determine which four communities would act as the focus for the case studies. Thecommunities were chosen on the advice of both societies and with concern forcomparability. Two of the buildings were built under the Federal 56.1 Non-Profit HousingProgram, and two under the Provincial Non-Profit Housing Program; two are located inVancouver and the other two in Surrey; three of the communities are large with more than40 units, while one is smaller with approximately 20 units. At each building I attempted totalk with the property or site manager and five residents who had varying degrees ofinvolvement. I also attempted to interview three board members and the senior staff fromENF and Red Door. These people were contacted by phone or through directconversation. They were all aware of the research project prior to my contact through awritten description of the project that was sent ahead to the housing societies.I contacted residents in two ways: (1) by asking the property or site manager to give a“Letter of Consent” to selected residents; and (2) by sending letters via other residents.One property manager preferred not to play this role due to concern it might compel someresidents to talk to me when they did not want to. I shared this concern, but generally didnot want to make initial contact by telephone or by slipping letters under people’s doors as Ithought this would be too intrusive. However, in one case I did make contact by phone.As is common in a study like this, I felt that in some cases, I was not able to interview asmany people as I wanted. This was especially true with residents. In only one communitywas I able to interview five residents, in the other communities I spoke with two to fourpeople. The lack of response seemed to be due to lack of time or interest. In a Red Door- 69 -community that was not part of my sample, but in which resident participation had beenfacilitated by a community development worker, I interviewed one resident to find outwhether or not this had been considered a positive experience by the residents. In terms ofthe non-profit housing sector, government and market rental housing, people interviewedwere chosen on the basis of recommendations and my own concern for a balanced crosssection. They were contacted by phone or through direct conversation as I was acquaintedwith most of them. The following Table shows some characteristics of the people whowere interviewed.Table II: Characteristics of the Respondents..- Residents- Board Staff Sector Gov’t Market TotalTotal Number 14 7 6 6 3 1 37ENF 6 3 3 -- ---- 12Red Door 8 4 3 -- -- -- 15Female 13 6 5 5 1-- 30Male 1 1 1 1 2 1 7(Sector=respondents working in the non-profit housing sector and related areas).Of the residents, ten of the fourteen interviewed were single mothers. Three of the peopleinterviewed at ENF were both a Director of the Board and a resident. While both ENF andRed Door focus on the needs of single parent families, the preponderance of womeninterviewed is attributable to the fact that the majority of people living in non-profit familyhousing are single mothers and their children, and the majority of board and staff membersof both ENF and Red Door are women.In addition to the interviews, a focus group discussion was held with staff and boardmembers of ENF and Red Door. The group discussion allowed for an exchange ofexperiences, and was an effective means of gathering and sharing information for both meas the researcher, as well as the participants. A second focus group with residents fromENF and Red Door was planned, but due to conflicting schedules and transportation- 70 -problems it did not occur. The absence of this second focus group was unfortunatebecause the enthusiasm was present. I am sure the chance to share experiences and storieswith a larger group would have been both interesting and valuable as a way of forminglinkages. To facilitate participation in the research, especially by single parents,reimbursement for any monies spent by participants on childcare or transportation wasmade available.In order to maintain confidentiality and the anonymity of participants codes were utilized.The responses of those interviewed were coded according to groups of people: Resident,Board, Staff, Sector, BCHMC or Market, rather than being broken down along ENF orRed Door lines. Individuals within these groups were coded with letters, for exampleResident A or Board D. In contrast, the findings were organized according to issuesarising from the interviews and focus group, not by categories of people. It was hoped thatthis would allow the structure of the chapter to flow from the findings, rather than beenimposed by my analysis. The findings are not presented in quantifiable terms, instead theytake the form of people’s ideas and words, which will hopefully provide insights andguidance for those interested in participatory management.In addition to the interviews and focus group, some of my observations come from myinvolvement with ENF and Lower Mainland Non-Profit Housing Network, attending theinaugural meeting of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, and a public housingresidents’ workshop sponsored by BCHMC.4.2 Introduction to Case Studies4.2.1 Entre Nous Femmes Housing SocietyEntre Nous Femmes Housing Society (ENF) was established in 1984 by a group ofwomen, all single parents, to develop housing geared to the needs of single parent families.-71-These women realized that “safe, secure and affordable housing was a necessary first stepto stability and forward movement in life” (Geary 1992: 1). In the words of the threefounding members:“It came out of a group of single mother’s need to effect change” (AprilEnglish in ibid.: 3).“People were acting out of their own experience, having gone throughtough times and recognizing a way out” (Leslie Stern in ibid.: 3).“We came to it with the idea we could do it, we came from a positive place,moving to make life better for us and others like us” (Mia Stewart in ibid.:3).The purposes of the society, as outlined in its Constitution, are:(i) to acquire and operate one or more non-profit housing accommodations;(ii) to improve and maintain the quality of life for single parents and their children;(iii) to meet the crucial need of single parents for appropriate and affordable housingby:a) promoting, developing and maintaining housing,b) collating and providing housing information;(iv) to facilitate networking and resource sharing among single parent families in thecommunity at large;(v) to encourage greater participation by single parent families in the community atlarge; and(vi) to do all such things as are necessary for attaining the purposes of the society.These purposes while they take housing as their base, also refer to activities which could beconsidered community development. This is further seen in ENF Mission Statementwhich reads:Our primary intent is to provide and manage safe and affordable housingcommunities for female lead single parent families. In recognizing therealities and experiences of female single parents, ENF endeavors topromote its philosophy of creating an environment of opportunity and-72 -empowerment. In meeting these goals, the Society acknowledges that ahealthy community is one that is comprised of a cross section of familystyles.ENF developed its first building in 1986 under the Federal 56.1 program, and since thenENF has completed an additional seven communities through the BCHMC program with atotal of 255 units throughout the Lower Mainland. Approximately 60 to 70 per cent of theunits are occupied by single parents (with 5 per cent single fathers), the balance by twoparent families, singles, couples and seniors (ENF Information Booklet).ENFs Board of Directors is fairly unique within the non-profit housing sector. The Boardincludes people from the community-at-large elected by the members of the Society, as wellas one Tenant Director from every building elected by the residents. The TenantDirectors11 are supposed to “act as a liaison to management and representatives to the ENFBoard” (ibid.). While the Board functions in fairly non-hierarchical ways, the memberselect the standard hierarchical executive of a President, Vice President, Treasurer andSecretary, which is required by the Societies Act. The Board also carries out functionsthrough committees and modules which have board, tenant and staff representatives.In addition to the Tenant Director, each community elects a Tenant Representative who actsas a liaison between the community and the Property Manager and coordinates residentinvolvement. Each community determines its own internal structure and sets up its owncommittees on issues such as membership, maintenance, social activities, gardening andmediation. The Tenant Director and Tenant Representatives are resident volunteers.Within each community there is also a Property Manager who is hired by the Society inAt the Annual ENF Retreat in January 1993, the role of the Tenant Director was discussed. There wasconsensus that this person should sit on the Board like any other Board member and not be directlyaccountable to only the one community. ENF is currently assessing the way residents are involved, andchanges may be made. Residents are part of this process.-73-consultation with the tenant representatives and other management staff (ibid.). All ENFpositions are advertised within the communities to encourage residents to apply. In theSpring of 1994, one of the Property Managers is also a resident. In addition to theProperty Manager the Society has a Society Coordinator, an Office Administrator and apart-time Accountant on staff. The staff works within a non-hierarchical model, with thecoordinator acting in a facilitative role. The structure is described by one board member as“a shallow pyramid. ..with a base ten miles long and a lofty peak approximately one inch inheight” (Harvey Goodman in Geary 1992: 81).Resident participation in ENF and the communities is strictly voluntary. This recognizesthe need, especially by single parents, for people to step back at times and focus on theirown lives:It is ENF philosophy to include Housing Community Residents in theevolution of the Community in which they reside. It is recognized thatparticipation of residents, while necessary for a sense of true community,may at periods of time be impossible for certain individuals. Unduepressure to participate must not be expected of individuals (ENFInformation Booklet).ENF has evolved over the years, there have been times when crisis management has takenover due to fast growth, and at the 1993 Retreat the Board decided to take a hiatus fromdevelopment to focus on the Society’s own organizational structure. While ENF has a highlevel of resident involvement, especially when compared to most housing societies, thereare communities where some residents do not feel really part of the decision makingprocess. Recently ENF embarked on a reassessment of resident involvement. Theintention is to be clear and honest about what resident involvement means. Despitechallenges, ENF remains an organization committed to participatory management.- 74 -4.2.2 Red Door Housing SocietyRed Door Housing Society (Red Door) was founded in 1984 by members of the Red DoorRental Aid Society (RDRAS). RDRAS provided assistance to people in search ofaffordable rental housing, similar to the YWCA Housing Registry which presently operatesin Vancouver. As a rental aid service, RDRAS realized the extreme need for housing thatmany renters face, and the difficulties and stigmas they encounter in the private rentalmarket. Therefore, when funding for RDRAS ran out, they pursued the idea of buildingand managing non-profit housing themselves.With the assistance of Terra Housing Consultants, a non-profit housing resource groupwhich guides sponsor organizations through the allocation and development phases of theNon-Profit Housing Program, Red Door completed its first housing community in 1986,the same year as ENF. As with ENF, this housing was built under the Federal 56.1 NonProfit Housing Program. Since then, Red Door has completed an additional sevencommunities through the Provincial Non-Profit Housing program and has a total of 330housing units throughout the Lower Mainland.Red Door Housing Society was incorporated in July 1985. The purposes of the Society,as outlined in the Constitution, are:(a) To acquire lands or buildings by purchase, gift, transfer, lease or otherwiseand to maintain and operate such lands or buildings on a non-profit basis forthe purpose of providing low cost housing to persons in need in BritishColumbia.(b) To educate its members and the public with respect to the housing needs oflow income persons and families.(c) To educate members and tenants regarding self-management and tenantcontrol.(d) To participate in other housing related issues (Red Door Housing SocietyConstitution).- 75 -Red Door also has a list of 18 principles, established in 1988, which they call their “Basisof Unity”:(1) Housing is a right for everyone.(2) All housing should be non-profit.(3) Everyone should have a place to live that is:• affordable• safe• clean• free of pests• accessible• healthy• spacious• close to shopping and public transportation.(4) Everyone should have a place to live in the community of their choice.(5) Everyone should have a say over their housing conditions.(6) People’s community should be supportive of their needs, i.e. daycare,recreation, meeting areas, support groups.(7) People need spaces to foster community.(8) Children need indoor and outdoor play areas on site.(9) Older people need places to sit, garden, have hobbies.(10) All housing units should be wheelchair accessible.(11) Housing design should foster neighbourliness.(12) Housing should be designed to accommodate all disabilities.(13) Social housing will foster a positive community image.(14) We will promote housing to fill existing gaps, i.e. women 40-55, low incomesingles under 40.(15) Housing will blend with existing environment or improve upon it.(16) Pets can be an important asset to homelife.(17) Educating tenants is important to developing a safe, friendly supportivecommunity.(18) The existing community has a responsibility to help foster social housing as agreat place to live (Red Door Housing Society Basis of Unity, April 11,1988).Like ENFs Mission Statement, Red Door’s Basis of Unity has a definite communitydevelopment tone to it, recognizing that housing is more than simply four walls or a roofover people’s heads (Board A).Red Door Housing Society’s organizational structure is fairly conventional. The membersof the Society elect a Board which can have no fewer than five Directors. The Bylaws ofRed Door state that “the management and administration of the affairs of the Society shallbe undertaken by a Board of Directors” (Red Door Housing Society Bylaws). Althoughthere is no clause in the Bylaws excluding tenants from being members or sitting on the- 76 -Board, these positions have always been held by people from the larger community, and,indeed some board members have reservations about tenants serving on the board.Staff at Red Door include the Executive Director, an Accountant, two part-time maintenancestaff and six part-time Site Managers. The title and job description of the Site Manager haschanged over the years. Originally the position was called “Housing Community Manager!lwhose source of authority came from being hired by the Board. The job description of aHousing Community Manager included tasks such as rent collection, rent arrears follow-up, processing move-ins and move-outs, maintaining tenant files, handling tenantcomplaints, promoting good relations, overseeing on-going maintenance, incomeverifications, office/clerical duties and reporting to the Executive Director of Red Door. Inaddition, the job description stated:Red Door Housing Society would like to think of our managers more ascommunity organizers. A great part of your duties will involve organizingthe tenants and assisting them with tenant councils, parent participationdaycare, ad hoc committees and small fundraising ventures (Red DoorHousing Society Housing Community Manager Job Description).Tenant Councils organized community events, developed community rules and publishednewsletters. Tenants were also expected to contribute to the community by doing somemaintenance.Red Door has undergone a restructuring over the last few years, mostly in response to acrisis in the maintenance and repair of their buildings. Red Door grew very fast receivingthree project allocations within two years, and as one board member commented, “weweren’t ready” (Board D). These problems, compounded by the lack of money formaintenance and support for running the buildings, resulted in BCHMC demandingchanges in the property management style. The organizational changes lead to a differentjob description and title of the community managers. Now called ‘Site Managers’, they do-77 -not have responsibility for community organizing, and focus more on the financial,administrative and maintenance tasks of their job.In addition, the decision making structures have changed. Red Door no longer organizesTenant Councils. It is now up to tenants if they want to organize them, and in only onecommunity, where community development took place, is a Tenant Council functioning.Therefore, for the most part, residents are not presently involved in the management anddecision making in their communities. It is recognized that Red Door needed to focus onits organizational structure and management style, and although resident participationsuffered, most of the residents, staff and board members interviewed felt things wereimproving. Despite the problems and changes Red Door has faced, the philosophy of theSociety is still pro-resident involvement.4.3 Principal Research Findings4.3.1 Management IssuesNon-Profit Housing ManagementFrom the interviews it became clear that management style varies from housing society tohousing society, depending on their priorities, goals and organizational structure.However, the management styles of ENF and Red Door are quite similar, differentiatedmost by structures of resident participation.When asked what the tasks are that make up management, the board members and staff ofRed Door and ENF identified aspects referred to in the literature. These included financeand administration such as rent collection, inspections, reporting to CMHC or BCHMC;maintenance such as janitorial work and day to day upkeep; and tenant relations such asfilling vacant units and maintaining a good relationship with the residents. It is interestingto note that tenant relations was almost always listed last by the respondents.- 78 -Residents, when asked what they considered important aspects of management, also talkedof maintenance, administration and finances. However, the emphasis focused more onissues of tenant relations such as responding quickly to resident’s requests, maintainingongoing contact and good relations with residents, helping to create and maintain a positiverelationship between residents, being available and accessible, and enforcing rules. Oneissue referred to continuously was the importance of management taking resident concernsseriously:The system has been to fill out a work order to get maintenance done, somethings still haven’t been done.. .it sometimes seems things are not treatedseriously, or when they are promised they don’t happen.. .it can be verydemoralizing (Resident L).The property manager has to make decisions and prioritize.. .to her acomplaint is something on paper, but we have to live with it all the time(Resident I).The biggest difference between ENF and Red Door’s management style, is ENF’sphilosophy on resident participation. It is not always easy for property managers to enactENF’s philosophy. As one staff person said, “the priority with BCHMC, as funders, is tolook after the buildings, and with ENF it is to care about the people who live there” (StaffE). These priorities are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but can be in conflict and whenthis happens, staff members tend to find themselves in the middle of that conflict. Whilethe philosophy encourages resident participation, this is not always what happens in reality.In some of ENF’s communities there are no tenant directors, tenant representatives norcommittees, because no one wants to spend the time on these activities. In othercommunities, participation peaks and wanes, and yet these communities do not necessarilyfunction any better or worse than those with high levels of participation. Therefore, thestaff sometimes ask “is participation the residents’ agenda or are we imposing it on them?”(Staff A and Staff E).- 79 -While Red Door’s staff used to facilitate some community development, it has not done sosince BCHMC told the housing society to focus on the maintenance, financial andadministrative aspects of management, in other words, to be a landlord in the conventionalsense (Board A). From the interviews with tenants of the Red Door communities it becameclear this aspect of management and the opportunity to participate in decision making wasmissed. As one resident observed, “management is not just about collecting rent, it isabout facilitating workshops and helping people build skills” (Resident L).Table Ill, on the following page, lists the specific tasks of housing management andprovides an idea of who is responsible for what within ENF and Red Door. The issue isnot necessarily who carries out the task, but more who decides. From this Table it isapparent the financial and administrative aspects of management are dealt with exclusivelyby staff members and the board. The difference between the two housing societies is thatresidents sit on the board of directors of ENF so they are involved in financial andadministrative decision making.Resident involvement seems more likely to occur under the Maintenance or TenantRelations categories of management. Some of this may be paid employment, such ascleaning a unit after a move-out or being hired on contract to do the grounds keeping. Insome of ENF’s communities tenant committees may be involved in tenant selection and thedevelopment of community rules such as courtyard curfews. In Red Door communitiesresidents also have the power to set community rules. In the past these decisions weremade through Tenant Councils, but currently only one community has a functioningCouncil, although community meetings still occur. Residents are not involved in tenantselection at Red Door, although recently there was resident involvement in a staff hiring.Issues of resident involvement will be explored further in Section 4.3.2.- 80 -Table III: Non-Profit Housing ManagementManagement Task ENF Red DoorFINANCIAL/ADMINISTRATIVE• rent collection/arrears PM* SM**• Occupancy Agreement PMJBoard (tenants) SIvL/Board• NHA/Societies Act/Operating Agreement PMfBoard (tenants) SMJBoard• income verification/subsidy PM/BCHMC/CMHC SM (same)• files/records PM/Accountant SM/Accountant• banking/bookkeeping/payments PM/Accountant SM/Accountant• managing budget/replacement reserve PM/Accountant SM/AccountantMAINTENANCE• day to day upkeep/cleaning PM/tenants (pd.&volunteer) SM/tenants(pd&vol)/maintenance staff (repairs only)• grounds keeping PM/tenants (pd&volunteer in SMltenants(pd&vol)their private areas)/contracts• general maintenance PM/tenants (pd)I SM/tenants (pd)Itrades maintenance staff• major repairs contractors contractorsTENANT RELATIONS• tenant recruitment PM (waitlist & advertising SM/BCHMCfor market renters in 56. l)/ (same as ENF)BCHMC (waitlist)• tenant selection PM & tenant committee SM (some tenant involvement)• communication (PM!BD-tenant) PM/tenants (tenant director! SM (tenant council if present)tenant representative)• tenant requests• maintenance PM SM• community PM/TD/TRlcommittees SM (tenant council if present)• community rules tenants/Bd.IPM SMJBd (tenant council if pres.)• tenants’ rights PM/tenants/Advocacy groups SM/tenants (tenant councils ifpresent, community meetings)• resource PM/TD/TRJRental Tenancy SMIRTB/AdvocacyBranch/Advocacy groups groups*property Manager **Site Manager-81 -The skills needed to be a property manager reflect the complex nature of the job. Whenasked what these skills were, one staff person listed good communication and listeningskills, acceptance of diverse family types and lifestyles, the ability to disengage while stillbeing compassionate, and finally, office and organizational skills (Staff E). Residentslisted skills such as having empathy and not being judgmental, listening and being a goodcommunicator.Of the six ENF and Red Door staff interviewed, only one had previous experience inhousing management. More often they had experience working in collectives andcooperatives, in community development or social work. Part of the reason for this is thebelief that management skills can be learned, while the necessary “people” skills come morewith experience (Board C, Staff C and Staff E). As one board member commented, “ENFdoesn’t always hire property managers with management experience because this is easy tolearn” (Board C). This Board member, who also lives in an ENF community, believestenants prefer property managers with a solid community background and who willempathize with the realities of residents.As a tenant there is a big difference between property managers who haveno kids and business background, and those who have lived in non-profithousing and have kids (ibid.).Of the six staff interviewed, two have lived in non-profit housing.The more technical aspects of housing management may be easier to learn, but some of theproperty or site managers interviewed thought it would be helpful for them to have sometraining around property management and maintenance (Staff F). While CMHC apparentlyallows money to be allocated from the budget for staff training, BCHMC does not providethis kind of support (Staff E and Staff F). One property manager who wanted to take acourse on property management with the Co-operative Housing Federation had to pay for itherself because BCHMC refused to provide the necessary funding (Staff D). It is- 82 -interesting to note that BCHMC does provide funding for training its’ own propertymanagement personnel in public housing.Availability of funding also determines the amount of time property or site managers spendat the housing communities. Of the four property managers from ENF and Red Doorinterviewed, two were close to being on site full time. One worked 32 hours a week at asite with 41 units, the second 28 hours with 46 units. The other two worked part-time, 15hours a week with 22 units and 17.5 hours a week with 46 units. A lack of funding meansstaff must focus on the property management and maintenance aspects of their jobs, andrarely have time to do more community development activities, especially as there is no lineitem in the budget to pay for this type of activity (Board A, Board C and Board E).From the interviews there sometimes emerged a discrepancy between what the propertymanagers saw as their job and residents’ expectations. This usually revolved around ruleenforcement. The interviews revealed that different residents have different ideas aboutrules, some want very clear, black and white rules, while others want more flexibility.Some residents are seen to rely on the property manager as the problem solver, rather thansolving their own problems (Resident L and Staff E). They believe the society andproperty manager have the responsibility to enforce what they see as basic rules. Otherresidents do not want the housing society or property manger to be involved in their livesor inter-personal relations with their neighbours. As one resident stated:If Red Door comes in and solves all of my problems, they are stunting mygrowth. I need to grow and learn, not to be told I’m the victim and willcontinue to be one (Resident C).This puts the property manager in a difficult position, and it can be extremely exhausting.Therefore staff members felt it was very important to have policies and procedures writtendown to help guide them in these situations.- 83 -There are other challenges related to managing non-profit housing. While attempting not tostereotype the communities and the people who live in them, some people described theProvincial Non-Profit Program as creating “ghettos of low income people” (Board D). Thelack of diversity in incomes in some of these communities can lead to related social problems.The intention of the Federal 56.1 Non-Profit Housing Program was to mix income groups inthe hope of creating healthy communities. Therefore they have the market rental units’2.However, this too can create problems. In some Federal 56.1 buildings there is a lack of“market” renters which has lead to the perception among some residents that these units getmaintained better in order to attract tenants willing to pay “market” rent, and that these peoplecan move in, without having to go through the regular screening process (Resident H).Non-Profit Housing Management versus Market Rental Housing ManagementThe people interviewed generally believed there are differences between non-profit andprivate market rental housing. The biggest difference identified was the not for profitaspect, “hopefully our decisions are made without money and profit as the bottom line”(Board E). The not for profit aspect was also referred to in more social terms. One staffperson described non-profit housing as being:organized along a different paradigm, with more principles of give and takeand working with tenants.. .the market sector is more a “fear of” model--fear of eviction, rent hikes. ..it is based on property ownership (Staff B).The flexibility of this paradigm comes, in part, from the realities of the communitiesthemselves. As one board member explained, “in non-profit housing there are extenuatingsocial issues which can not be ignored” (Board B). Another described non-profit housingas being “willing to consider all sorts of needs” generated by different ethnicities, familytypes and socio-economic situations (Staff C). For example, for those residents on social12 Although referred to as ‘market rental units” these units still rent for less than they would on the privatemarket because their rent is set at the “Lower End of Market” (LEM).- 84 -assistance and who tend to be at home a lot, the housing community can become theirworld (Staff D). They may have very different needs and perceptions of the communitythan a resident who is rarely at home. Effective management must recognize and beflexible enough to deal with these needs.It is actually this personal element which many of the staff interviewed felt was the mostimportant part of their job, “it is important to interact as human beings, not just themanagement” (Staff E).Non-profit housing societies are more aware of the problems that singleparent and low income tenants face, whereas in the private market theycouldn’t care less if people are taking money from food to pay their rent. ..Iwould like to think non-profit housing societies direct tenants to resourcesto help themselves (Board E).“Red Door is interested in the people, not just the money.. .they are concerned with thehuman factor, whereas privately owned apartment managers seem more concerned withmoney” (Resident F). This concern for the people who live in the housing, can also bemore intrusive for residents than living in private rental housing, but it is generally“intrusive in a positive way” (Resident I).For the residents, one of the most important differences between non-profit and market rentalhousing was the opportunity to participate in management. Generally, residents do not havea say in private rental housing (Board C and Market A). However, in non-profit housing, ifthe opportunity to be involved exists, it can have a substantial impact on the attitude residentshave about their living environment. One Red Door resident felt the management of hercommunity was very different when there were chances to participate in the decision makingand the property management staff organized activities for the children. However, once theTenant Council stopped functioning, she believes her community became much like any inthe private market (Resident A). Resident participation can also contribute to a greaterfeeling of community. “In privately owned places you are by yourself.. .the relationship with- 85 -the manager is primarily business and there is no interaction between tenant&’ (Resident G).However, in non-profit housing “people pitch in more, and there is more community feeling”(Resident E).While resident participation was seen as an important aspect in differentiating non-profitfrom market rental housing, there were some reservations. Rather than feeling like theycould participate if they wanted to, some residents expressed the opinion that they, andother residents “should’participate in activities and tasks around the community (ResidentJ and Resident K). Another resident commented that helping out around the communitywas often due to a lack of funding for maintenance (Resident E). Thus, for some,participation may become an unwelcome burden. Further, not all residents consideredresident participation structures the best option. After experiencing both a residentcommittee structure and a structure which is more reliant on the property management, oneresident believed the latter was a better model (Resident H).Finally, while there are clearly differences between non-profit and market rental housing,some respondents warned that the management may not differ very much (Staff A, Staff Eand Resident D). Whether or not it does depends largely on the organizational culturewhich has developed within individual housing societies. Therefore, it is important toassess each non-profit housing society and community individually, and not make anybroad based generalizations regarding non-profit housing management.4.3.2 Resident Participation IssuesDefinitions of Resident Participation in ManagementAs in the literature, the interviews revealed many different ideas about what residentparticipation means. The spectrum of definitions or understandings ranged from residents- 86 -participating in the maintenance of the building to having complete control over decisionsaffecting their communities.Resident participation could be anything.. .if all you want to be involved inis the maintenance of your unit, that’s fine.. .but it can also mean social,organizational and maintenance involvement (Sector A).“Resident participation can mean a whole range of possibilities” (Sector C). This personwho works in the non-profit sector, observed that it most commonly means residentsorganizing social events for the community, organizing programs and services forthemselves independently of the non-profit society, and being involved in maintenancefrom keeping their unit neat and tidy, to keeping the entire development clean, to beinginvolved in maintenance decision making and being hired to do maintenance (ibid.). Lesscommonly she has seen residents involved in all aspects of the day to day management andrunning of their communities through management committees, sitting as members of theBoard of Directors of the non-profit housing society, and making up the majority of Boardmembers (ibid.).Another person described resident involvement in terms of levels of participation. Levelone is a general awareness of the community and knowing what goes on in thatcommunity. Level two is participating neighbour to neighbour, in informal ways. Levelthree is a more formal way of participating by attending meetings and being part of anorganization, but it can also be ad hoc and geared to specific events (Board F).Others gave responses which represented two main forms of participation. The first seesresidents involved in the community in a hands on, physical way. Maintenance is anobvious part of this, “residents helping out around their communities in maintenance, beingresponsible for their units, looking out for the place, taking pride” (Staff B). Another staffperson commented that “resident participation should mean tenants being responsible for- 87 -their space, kids and themselves and respect others. ..(to) make it a cleaner community”(Staff D). While it may be beneficial for both the community and individuals to haveresidents involved in maintenance, it can not be stipulated as a term of tenancy under theResidential Tenancy Act. In addition to maintenance, this form of participation includesaspects of community relations, “maintenance is an obvious part of it (residentparticipation) ...but it is also organizing activities for the community” (Staff C). Exampleswould include community potlucks, gardening and the sharing of childcare (Resident J,Resident E, Resident C and Resident K).The second form of participation has residents playing more of a decision making role intheir communities, and includes aspects of “choice and control” (Board E). Residents canbe involved in developing community rules, or sitting on the Board or forming committees(Resident E, Staff A and Staff F). It means “decision making, having power andresponsibility” (Sector F).Resident participation means actual input into the decision making ofmanagement policies.. .it means if you are participating in the decisionmaking, and you are participating in the actual upkeep of the building(Board C).Residents can participate in design policy, management policy, in allaspects.. .it is fundamental to a sense of ownership.. .this permeates into theway the projects are lived in which affects the management.. .where there isa sense of ownership there are less problems (Board B).Resident participation means everyone putting in the time andinvolvement.. .doing for ourselves without calling in authorities, notneeding to relay on others to solve our problems (Resident M).However, while this form of participation gives residents a degree of power, there arelimits which were identified. Resident participation means “allowing people a say in therunning of the property for the benefit of the community and the housing society, but wecan’t be under allusion that you have complete say in management.. .the Property Manager- 88 -has the ultimate authority” (Resident G). In addition, it is important to acknowledge thedifference between non-profit and co-operative housing, “residents should have someinfluence over property management and community decision making. ..(but) not control,that’s a co-operative, maybe we need a hybrid between conventional ownership structuresand co-op management” (Sector B). While one person who works within the non-profithousing sector believed resident participation should mean “management control”, sheexplained:this doesn’t mean co-ops. . .in co-ops the assumption is there that everyonehas the responsibility to participate. In a resident controlled non-profithousing, residents have the ability to participate (Sector C).Neither of the above forms of participation is mutually exclusive, residents could beinvolved in aspects of one or both, “joining committees, caring for units, policy making,interpersonal relations, membership, social activities and fundraising” (Staff F). However,both of the above forms of resident participation imply organization and facilitation by nonprofit housing societies. As hinted at under the aspect of community relations, some of themost important forms of participation in terms of building community and providing mutualsupport are those activities which neighbours simply do for each other (Resident H andResident C). They are the “supportive things that happen in a community” (Board F).These activities include sharing childcare, trading children’s clothes and having acommunity party:Resident participation does not necessarily mean showing up at meetings orraising money...it can be the little voluntary things we do like maintainingsecurity and looking out for each other.. .the things people do withoutrecognition. The little neighbourhood things we do are really important,they are the greatest things which enhance my life here. They happen andhave nothing to do with the Board (Resident I).There are things people do that are not quantifiable or measurable, but theyare ways of participating.. .it is all looked at from the property managementlevel, which is not a realistic point of view (Board D).- 89 -While these activities may help build community they do not really give residents anycontrol over that community. This in part explains why the activities included in the firstform of resident participation are probably easier to envision and implement than those ofthe second form, especially if they are considered within the framework and parameters ofthe current non-profit program (Staff B).All of our housing programs and forms of resident participation are limitedby the basic assumptions of our society. Therefore what it (residentparticipation) can mean has never been allowed to happen nor has it beenenvisioned (Sector C).ENF and Red Door, at least before the changes, may be two exceptions to the general lackof visioning around resident participation within the non-profit sector. From conversationsand observations it is clear that ENF is perceived within the sector as a society which hasreally tried to involve residents. It is also apparent that resident participation is consideredby many as a radical concept. This has meant that ENF and Red Door have had to struggleto implement their visions and philosophies. As one ENF Board member put it “we aretrying to be a circle in a triangle world and it is very hard” (Board C).The importance of Resident ParticipationEveryone interviewed agreed resident participation in non-profit housing management isvery important, not only for the residents and the community, but also for the housingsociety and staff. For the housing society it provides valuable input, and ensuresmovement and growth (Board E). For the residents it gives them some perception ofcontrol over their environment, and provides the opportunity to learn skills which aretransferable to other areas of their lives (ibid.). One person who works within the nonprofit housing sector stated that resident participation had proven benefits she had readabout, and experienced first hand. They included decreased maintenance, workloads andcosts; greater satisfaction for the management staff; continual learning opportunities forthe housing society; increased safety and security; personal satisfaction for directors and- 90-tenants; housing developments which are not “social housing” but are an integrated part ofthe community; children functioning better together; spaces and amenities being used to agreater degree; personal growth and advancement by all people involved; and if not agreater level of health, a greater ability to deal with “dishealth” (Sector C). However, thebenefits mentioned most by those interviewed fall into three main categories, all of whichhad resulting positive affects. The categories were: (1) better decision making, (2)increased control for residents, and (3) heightened quality of life.The most frequently cited benefit of resident participation was the opportunity formanagement to learn from the perspectives of residents:The people involved in management have to understand and hear theproblems of the tenants.. .we don’t live there, we can’t possibly understandwhat it is like to live there (Board B).I strongly believe in resident participation.. .tenants can bring theirexperiences and perspectives, only they know that and only they can bringit.. .management can learn from it, if you want to know what the needs ofthe tenants are, ask them (Board C).Management needs to listen to the tenant voice (Resident C).It was acknowledged that residents, through their experience of living in the housing,possess information and knowledge which are not only valid, but also extremely valuable.By involving residents in decision making, the decision makers understand better the needsof residents, and the decisions which are made better meet the needs of the community(Resident E).If you want to build communities that work you have to listen to thegrassroots voice and involve them (Board C).The “tenant voice” is important because “otherwise you end up with a bunch of peopletalking about something they don’t know about” (Staff B). As one person, who works fora non-profit society which builds and runs housing for people with mental illnessobserved, the ability to participate “allows consumers to feel they have a voice” (Sector E).-91-It is a reality check for me, I get a different perspective as anadministrator.. .it reminds why I am doing this job.. .it probably benefits mein the long run more than the tenants (ibid.).The second benefit of resident participation frequently cited was the increased controlresidents gain over their living environment. An important part of creating a healthycommunity comes from involving those most affected by the decisions, “if you areaffected, you have to be involved” (Board F). Participatory management provides theopportunity for residents to affect their environment, contributing to a sense of control andownership, which are fundamental to any community. In this sense, resident participationis not only valuable, but necessary as “it allows people to take pride and ownership, somepower in the relationship or process” (Board G). “Tenants having the ability to participateis how it should be, you should have control over your environment” (Sector D).In non-profit housing this control may be even more important than in private market rentalhousing (Board F). As one person who works in the area of tenant’s rights said, “it is notjust a question of resident participation, people (living in non-profit housing) are forced tolive in the community, therefore involvement is fundamental” (Sector B). However, it wasemphasized that resident involvement must be supported. “It is irresponsible to allowfamilies to live in the community, but not have structures for people who live there to beinvolved” (Resident L). In non-profit housing, the densities are often high, there are oftenlots of children, at least in family housing, and amenities and space must be shared.Therefore, it is necessary to develop community rules, and beneficial to encourage ways soresidents can live together in a supportive community. Resident participation inmanagement is an important element of both:It is necessary for this type of place, we share space, therefore it isnecessary to come to consensus on rules, how we are going to share thesespaces. It is desirable to develop a sense of community and organize socialevents (Resident I).-92 -The third benefit identified relates to an increased quality of life which can result fromresident participation, both for the community in general and for individual residents inparticular. Resident participation is “critical to making it a neat place to live and keeping it agood place.. .it shouldn’t just fall to management to be the eyes and ears, therefore theparticipation of residents is needed” (Staff C). The approach which has the PropertyManager as the “eyes and ears” of the community is a very “top down, hierarchical andpatriarchal view” (Staff C). By allowing residents to take some control and responsibility,they are better able to solve their own problems.If residents are involved in management people can solve problems togetherrather than individuals just screaming at each other and moving out(Resident A).Good communication is crucial to the functioning of any community. Residentparticipation helps the flow of communication between tenants and property managementstaff, as well as amongst themselves, leading to better relations all round (Resident J).For residents, the opportunity to participate can have far reaching and inter-connectedresults. “Resident participation, if looked at in terms of concentric circles, is a way to learnskills and move into new spheres.. .it increases choices and options for movement” (SectorC). These concentric circles also extend to a heightened feeling of commitment to thecommunity which comes from a sense of control and responsibility.Resident participation is valuable because tenants feel more committed to thecommunity if they are involved.. .people who chose to become involved feelbetter about themselves--they learn, use their time constructively and growpersonally (Staff A).When people are made to feel they are a part of and are able to contribute to something,they are more likely to care about it (Resident F). Participatory management facilitates this,“it gets people involved and lets them take pride in their community, it helps raise people’sself esteem and makes them feel needed” (Resident M). For some residents participating intheir community is a way of contributing to society. While there are many different and- 93 -valid ways of contributing, it is interesting to note that for some the opportunity toparticipate in their housing communities had positive effects in terms of self-esteem:It felt good because I was trying to do something for the community and thechildren. It felt good to see positive results (Resident K).It is a privilege to live here, participating is a way to give back...it is veryrewarding (Resident L).Finally, the benefits of resident participation ultimately come down to attempting to createbetter living environments. The benefits cited above are probably best summarized in thefollowing comment:Being involved makes it feel more like this is my home, not their homewhich they just lent to me (Resident E).Issues of power and controlWhat is apparent from the interviews is the view that no one can really ‘give’ power toanother person. This type of scenario sets up a power dynamic of ‘us’ and ‘them’ and iscondescending to those who are being ‘given’ the power. What is possible, and moreempowering, is the creation of opportunities where people can take some degree of controlover the decisions which affect their lives. As already indicated, issues of power andcontrol were frequently discussed in the literature on resident participation. These issuesalso arose in the interviews. While it is relatively easy to agree that residents should havepower and control over their living environments, the key is “how much and about whatissues?”. Related to this are issues of training and community development, issues ofclarity in terms of decision making and the realities imposed by the Program and otherpieces of legislation such as the Residential Tenancy Act.There was broad consensus that residents should be involved in management anddevelopment tasks. Specific areas of involvement mentioned in the interviews included:• tenant selection- 94 -• the hiring of staff• design and development of the housing complex and units• community decisions and guidelines• maintenance and gardening• organizing social gatherings and maintaining community security• conflict resolution within the community• tenants’ rights• organizing training programsTenant selection was one of the most frequently cited areas where residents should beinvolved, “tenants should have a say about who lives in their community” (Staff D).However, most people felt there should also be Board and staff representation on theselection committee. Tenant selection does not occur within a policy vacuum subject onlyto the opinions of those on the selection committee. Regulations and pieces of legislationsuch as the Human Rights Act set out clear criteria for selection and prohibit discrimination.Further, 25 per cent of all Provincial built non-profit housing units are housed directly byBCHMC, and while the housing society can make suggestions as to community needs,neither they, nor the tenants have control over these selections (Staff A). Concern wasraised about the lack of screening of these applicants.For residents it was very important to have a say in the rules and guidelines of thecommunity. Some felt there is an over abundance of rules in their communities, whileothers felt the rules were not enforced consistently enough “there are lots of rules and theyseem to change arbitrarily, with whoever is in charge” (Resident E). In the communitieswhere residents did not feel they had a great deal of say in the ‘rule-making’ there appearedto be more resentment and mistrust than in those communities where residents feel they areinvolved. However, while there was a desire to be involved, most of the residents- 95 -interviewed stressed participation in their community was not the only, nor the mostimportant facet of their lives. They also spoke of the need for privacy, “I don’t want to getto the point where I see my neighbours everyday” (Resident B). Therefore in developingresident participation schemes, different needs, for example privacy and control, must bebalanced.The question of how much control residents should have is very complex. Different levelsand degrees of power exist, and these have direct bearing on the types of relationshipsestablished within the society and the housing community. In addition, there are externalforces which will have an effect, not only on the degree of power residents can take on, butalso the form of relationships established. As examples, respondents were asked ifresidents should have input, be consulted, be part of a partnership or have control. Whenasked “how much control should residents have”, the majority said residents should haveas much control as is possible, but they were also careful to place their answers within thecontext of the existing housing programs and societal norms.The issue of control, rather than being considered in the sense of ‘should’ or ‘should not’,seemed to be more a matter of what people felt comfortable with or thought was realistic.Some of those interviewed believed residents should have control over their livingenvironments, “who else should have control if not the residents?” (Sector D).There shouldn’t be a limit to areas where tenants have input, participationand control.. .there are situations, for example accounting where theAccountant has expertise, but tenants should have input and make decisions(Resident N).Resident control was discussed primarily in terms of residents taking part in the decisionmaking process. While it was pointed out that ENF is essentially tenant managed becausethe majority of board members are tenants (Sector C), the board is not made up of residentsalone, therefore the residents do not have total control. Some people did not have any- 96 -problems with the idea of residents having complete control, ‘why not have a completetenant board?” (Sector C).Personally I would feel fine if the Board of ENF was solely tenants, and allthe managers were tenants. If ENF was completely tenant run, it would bea form of self government (Board C).However, for most the idea of residents having total control was not necessarily desirablenor realistic. The reasons for this varied. For some it was based on the need to keep theperspective of the board broad and diverse, “Communities can become very insular,outside members bring a bigger picture, but it should not be the charity model of working“for” someone” (Sector A). For others, it was based on the concern that residents may nothave the necessary skills or interest to manage their own housing.Not control because if some tenants were in control, the place would godown bill.. .partnership is a must and input is important (Resident M).Residents need to identify their own issues and take control over thecommunity, but it comes down to whether they have the skills.. .1 wouldlove to see tenants call only once a month for guidance (Board D).Part of this was also the acknowledgment that people are at different levels of personaldevelopment when they move into non-profit housing, “Red Door complexes weresupposed to be self-managed but many people are in crisis when they move in, so theycan’t take over the management.. .people are at different stages and have differentexpectations and interests” (Resident D).However, rather than turning these concerns into reasons for not involving residents in anyof the decision making, most people thought commitment by the society and training for allof those involved was important. “It would be interesting to have a commitment to movetoward control and provide skill development opportunities” (Resident L). “A forum forinput is needed.. .control, partnership and consultation are possible, but other work isnecessary first so the group grows and moves together” (Board G). In order to make gooddecisions, people need information, and it was considered unfair to ask people to make-97 -decisions without the necessary information. “Resident participation should go as far aslegally possible, but we should be prepared to set up processes in a way that people makingthe decisions are informed” (Staff E).Input from tenants would be a start, partnership would be ideal.. .but itmeans more than just inviting them to be on the Board...need communitydevelopment workshops, otherwise it is token involvement because they areparticipating without a full understanding of the problems and issues at hand(Board B).In addition, it was emphasized that with power comes responsibility, both on the side ofthe housing society and staff, and the residents. If the housing society is going to askresidents for their opinions, they must listen and take those opinions into account whenmaking decisions, “input is good, but people on the other side must listen and act” (StaffB). On the other hand residents must be made aware of the responsibilities which are partof making decisions, “if the community gives power over to tenants, then tenants mustaccept certain responsibilities and obligations, otherwise they are making decisions in avacuum” (Staff A). There was some agreement that the degree of responsibility residentsshould be expected to take on be at par with the amount of control they have (Staff A andResident G). The residents interviewed were aware of these responsibilities and willing totake on some, within certain limits.I am willing to take on responsibilities from maintenance to office stuff tocoordinating tenant stuff, but it is limited because I have three small kidsand want some private time (Resident B).In family housing, the reality of single parenthood must be considered in any residentparticipation schemes (Resident D).While not undermining the importance and benefits of resident participation, some peopleinterviewed pointed out that any participatory management scheme has to function withinthe present reality. “The landlord-tenant relationship exists, but there is room for more”(Board G). Participatory management may provide a sense of ownership and an-98 -accompanying sense of responsibility to the residents; however, the real ownership stilllies with the society. “It is a feudal landlord situation.. .it is not their place and ultimatelythey do not have a say, and therefore setting up unrealistic expectations is unfair.. .it is avery hierarchical situation” (Staff B). This ‘reality’ places certain restrictions on theamount of control residents can have:It can’t be a partnership because of the economic reality of PropertyManagement.. .control yes, but not control in the real sense. It is influenceand participation in the decision making. If you are going to do somethingyou must consult first, and if you aren’t going to listen to tenants then youmust explain why, whether it is City Bylaws, money matters etc. (ResidentG).The real question behind all of this is “who owns this building?”. The answer, especially ifresidents take control in ways the housing society does not agree with, is often “we (thehousing society) own this building and you can’t mess it up with your pets” (Board E).The bottom line is that Red Door Housing Society is the management,tenants can be involved in changing the rules, but the rules have to be there(Board D).I can influence the decisions and put up front grievances, but residents can’tmake the decisions. We can go as far as paying the rent allows. You mustbe realistic and know your limit.. .the property is not ours, but we live hereand pay rent (Resident G).Consultation and input are important, control should be shared.. .partnershipis not attainable at present. It is not possible to share certain things becauseof the Operating Agreement which sets up expectations and clear cut lines ofauthority and responsibility (Staff C).Therefore, the amount of control residents can have is limited by the fact they do not ownthe building, “the bottom line is they do not make the final decision” (Sector E). Not onlyare there legal and program restrictions, but financial and liability issues also exist, “whatnon-profit housing is going to be responsible for a building, but hand over control to thetenants?” (Sector B). However while these ‘bottom lines’ exist, there is room for a sharingof control, “there is a financial bottom line, the Board has to take some responsibility, but- 99 -these decisions and processes should be open to the community, flexibility is essential(Sector A).Some board members expressed concerns about tenants being members of the board.“Personally in my heart I say yes to control and tenants on the Board, but in reality thereare problems involved” (Board A). These concerns focused on issues of impartiality,privacy, and conflict of interest.I would support tenants on the Board, but there are issues that should bedealt with on another level (Board D).It is asking a lot to have all tenants privy to all information, maybe it wouldbe better to have a couple of representatives (Board G).However, there were also concerns which related directly to power. For instance, thepossibility of tenants taking over the society was raised, and it was suggested that twoBoards, one for the society and the other for the tenants, might circumvent this situation.Another possibility voiced was that of tenants wielding their power to evict someone theydid not like, “sometimes the wrong people end up involved in the decision making.. .it canbe used to get rid of the ‘undesirable’ tenant” (Sector B).Others, while they understood concerns regarding conflict of interest or self service exist,did not feel these concerns were necessarily valid. One person asked why it was assumednon-resident board members did not have the same bias problems as residents and whypeople should be expected to be unbiased about issues relating to their housing (Sector C).However, this person also emphasized the importance for every board member, resident ornon-resident, “to know that they are making decisions for the whole community not justthemselves” (Sector C). As a board member pointed out, “all directors carry the sameresponsibilities and duties, whether they are tenants or outside community people” (BoardC). At ENF, one board member stated that “Tenant Directors are asked to leave theirtenancy at the door” and this has positive effects, “tenants gain greater understanding of-100-issues the Board and staff deal with, rather than seeing Board as ‘them’, only out to get‘us” (Board E). While residents gain a broader understanding by being involved with theBoard, rather than asking them to leave their tenancy at the door, which may or not beactually possible, it may be better for the housing society to realize and accept that residentparticipation could mean they lose some of their power (Sector E).It is important not to ignore the power dynamics which exist between the property or sitemanager and the residents. The property management staff has very intimate knowledge ofresidents’ lives and has the ability to evict people. This gives them power, which exceedsthat of any one resident (Resident N).There is a place where I want to be equal with them, but it is schizophrenicbecause at another level I have immense power and they know this (StaffE).Most tenants see the manager as the one who calls the shots and makes thefinal decisions over tenant’s lives (Resident B).This power can result in imbalances and “us”-”them” tendencies, even if the property orsite manager tries not to use it in this way (Resident J). Therefore, the power that theproperty management staff has must be kept in constant focus.Concerns were also expressed about the potential for small groups of active residents totake control and make decisions for and affecting the whole housing community. There aretwo separate issues at the heart of these concerns. The first is “how do we know thetenants involved are representative?” (Sector A). One staff person commented that oftenthe people who rise to the occasion are people who fit into the present system, but are notnecessarily the most progressive (Staff C). In addition, it was acknowledged that manytenants may only be seeking affordable and secure housing, not participation inmanagement. In these cases it can be easy to end up with a small group running thecommunity (Staff A). The second issue is almost the converse of the first, burn-out of the- 101 -few people who do all the work. This problem had been experienced first hand by many ofthe residents interviewed:When lots of people didn’t show up at meetings, it made a small group feellike they were doing everything. ..meetings became “complaint” sessions,and felt like a waste of time (Resident A)While small group control and burn-out are very real problems, they are common tovolunteer organizations. Therefore rather than letting them become barriers to residentparticipation, models of participation need to be based on real democratic structures andprocesses must be established to ensure these structures are accessible to all residents of thecommunity (Board E and Staff A). Participatory processes are not necessarily easy. Theytake a lot of time, energy and commitment, “if we are to allow the process to function,things could move very slowly.. .we have to get beyond personal agendas and havecommitment to community” (Resident L).Barriers to Resident ParticipationThe greatest barrier to resident participation is the lack of opportunity to be involved. Thisis the case with most housing societies in British Columbia. However, in the case studiesof ENF and Red Door issues of accessibility, questions of responsibility and accountabilityand the existence of certain attitudes were identified as additional barriers.1) Lack of Access to Processes/Structures of ParticipationThe first barrier identified was the lack of access to the processes and structures ofparticipation. As one person warned, “you have to be careful not to disenfranchise peoplewho can’t get involved” (Sector B). One reason residents may not be able to get involvedis a lack of the necessary knowledge, skills and information (Staff A, Staff B and BoardD). Residents may not be aware of the possibilities within the housing society’sphilosophy and expectations (Resident H, Resident J and Resident L). In fact, many- 102 -residents from both ENF and Red Door described an absence of direct contact andcommunication with the Board. Residents may also lack information on what is happeningin the community, and therefore not feel a part of the decision making (Resident K). Nothaving the necessary skills and training can also result in a lack of confidence, and feelings,on the residents part, that they can not perform functions like chairing a meeting (ResidentM). Related to this is the acknowledgment that many residents of non-profit housing arecoming through a crisis in their life, and may not have high levels of self-esteem andconfidence (Resident D and Resident E).While a lack of information does not foster participatory management, misinformation andmisunderstandings can result in feelings of discouragement and resentment amongresidents. For example, one resident, described how, on moving in, she was under theimpression that participation was a required part of the tenancy. Therefore when she sawothers not volunteering to do anything she began to feel the resentment of Bbrokenpromises’t(Resident K). Discouragement has also occurred when someone hasvolunteered to do something, and that offer has been ignored, leading to a feeling of ‘whybother’ (ibid.).Another issue related to accessibility is a lack of time on the residents’ part (Staff E, BoardE, Board F, Resident C and Resident D). Part of this is attributable to the reality of singleparenthood (Resident C). As referred to in the section above, resentment and burnout of asmall number of involved residents is also a problem. Further, the refusal by some tenantsto recognize their own responsibility, can lead to disharmony in the community and make itdifficult for the property or site managers who are not hired nor trained as social workers(Staff E). The issues of lack of time and burnout also affect the board and what it is able totake on (Board A). This is heightened if the society is in a state of crisis management. Ifthe society is busy trying to keep the basics together, it is hard to do any ‘extras’ such as- 103 -facilitating resident involvement (Board B). In order to help get over these barriers,systems of support and motivation, as well as skill development are necessary (Resident Mand Sector A). However, the time and resources are simply not available in most cases.1B) Processes Which DisenfranchiseIn addition to a lack of skills and information, organizational structures meant to facilitateparticipation may actually disenfranchise people. For example, one person questionedwhether shoving a letter, written in English, under a resident’s door was an effective formof communication (Resident L). Another example is meetings-- board meetings, committeemeetings and tenant meetings. Many of the respondents questioned whether meetings wereaccessible to all residents (Sector B, Resident N and Resident H). Meetings can beintimidating and boring, especially if there is a reliance on Robert’s Rules of Order, whichsome people may not be familiar nor comfortable with. The way decisions are made, be itin a hierarchical or consenual manner, whether people can bring issues forward in an easyway, and the language used can all affect whether or not residents feel welcome and able totake part in the decision making (Sector D). The provision of childcare at meetings wasconsidered essential to facilitating participation, especially in family housing where themajority of residents are single parent families (Board D and Resident D). As one personpointed out, the issue of accessibility is linked to the need for the ‘professionals’ to rethinkhow they do things, from childcare and more community oriented meetings, to developinga different set of expectations in terms of what results should come from those meetings(Sector E).2) Issues of Liability, Responsibility and LegalityThe second set of identified barriers related to issues of liability, responsibility and legality.As already discussed above, questions of liability, in terms of finances and confidentiality,arose (Staff A). In addition, some staff members brought up the issue of insurance-104-coverage if a resident is hurt while helping out around the community (Staff D and Staff F).The issues of responsibility, as related to ownership, were discussed in the previoussection. Similarly, it was pointed out that ultimately the Property Manager is responsiblefor the building (Staff E). The obvious, and understandable, response to this is for theproperty manager to take total control over decisions affecting not only the building, butalso the community, thereby deterring resident participation. In addition, there are theexpectations of the funding bodies which want to ensure that the housing society, not thetenants, are in charge (Staff A).These issues are related to social attitudes. While it is important to ensure residents are wellinformed, it is equally crucial to have an informed board, staff and funding body. In termsof participatory management, part of the information necessary deals with whatparticipation is and how it involves power (Staff C). It is necessary to have funding thebodies on side (Board G), and therefore the attitudes of BCHMC and CMHC towardresident participation are important. However, many people interviewed did not feel thateither, but especially BCHMC, were very supportive of the idea. While both fundingbodies have power over housing societies, BCHMC is more directly involved in thehousing because the subsidy is based on a suite to suite formula, whereas CMHC providesa subsidy covering the entire community, and so is less directly involved (Board C). Theperception of some is that resident participation on a formalized level is not supposed tohappen according to BCHMC (Staff B and Board A). ENF has been successful inachieving one position for every community on its’ board. However, if they had not setthis precedent with their first building which was built under a CMHC run Program, somequestion if they would have been able to continue the practice in BCHMC buildings (BoardC). While it was acknowledged the attitude at BCHMC is changing in terms of residentparticipation, one board member believed they are primarily interested in promoting TenantAssociations which are separate from decision making (Board C). This person also- 105 -questioned what the reaction from BCHMC would be if the Tenant Associations started“making waves” (Board C).The Societies Act, Operating Agreement and Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) do not placeany actual restrictions on resident involvement (Staff A, Staff E and Board C). However,they are written in a language based on power and submission which is difficult to decipher(Sector A), they prescribe fairly hierarchical and conventional methods of organization(Board C), and can act as barriers depending on the way they are read and interpreted. Thegreatest confusion seems to be around the application of the RTA. The RTA states that itdoes not apply to:residential premises in the respect of which a non-profit cooperative orsociety, as defined in the regulations, is the landlord and a member of thecooperative or society is the tenant (Residential Tenancy Act: 4).The concern here focuses around tenants as members of the society and whether, if they aremembers, they are still covered and protected by the RTA. If they are not, housingsocieties lose their ability to deal with residents in the terms set out in the RTA, andresidents lose the protection of the RTA. “Tenant rights should not waived as a result ofbeing involved” (Board B). One potential way of getting around this dilemma is for thesociety and tenant member to sign an agreement stating the tenant is in good standing andthe society will treat them as any other tenant under the RTA (Sector A). However, in thelong run the RTA probably needs to be amended.3) Disempowerment Within the CommunitiesIn addition to the institutional barriers, there are levels of disempowerment within thecommunities which hinder participation. This is partly due to stereotypes relating togender, low income, and the landlord-tenant relationship (Board F). Another is theperception of social housing, “when I moved in here I realized I had an attitude aboutsocialised housing, I pictured ghettos of New York” (Resident L). Related to these-106-stereotypes is fear at the community level. From the interviews it became clear that someresidents are afraid of making requests or voicing complaints for fear they will be evicted,while others are afraid of doing something wrong and having their children apprehended(Board A, Resident C and Resident L). This fear stems, in part, from a lack of informationand support regarding tenant rights (Resident D and Resident N). As one resident stated,“residents won’t express their voice unless they have power and unless they feel theirhousing won’t be affected by what they say” (Resident N).The style of management can also shape whether or not residents are able or want toparticipate. If the management is restrictive, if there are lots of rules about what residentscan and can not do, and if the rules are not reasonable, residents begin to feel they can notdo anything (Resident D and Resident E). The Property Manager can also have an affect,depending on whether they are consultative or controlling (Resident I). People do not wantto participate if they feel they are being controlled, “committees formed and then controlledby the Property Manger do not lead to empowerment and do not encourage people toparticipate” (Resident N). In contrast, many tenants are used to having management dothings for them (Resident E), and so they may be reluctant to become involved and begindoing things for themselves and their neighbours. Some of the residents are youngersingle mothers who have come from very dominated backgrounds, and are not used tomaking decisions for themselves (Staff D). One person interviewed who works in the cooperative sector observed that this response is also true in new co-operatives where peopletry to make the chair into the landlord (Sector F).- 107 -4.3.3 Effective Participatory ManagementMaking Resident Participation EffectiveWhile barriers to resident participation in non-profit housing exist, the interviews alsoidentified many ways of making resident participation effective. Perhaps the mostimportant message to emerge from the interviews was the need to create a diversity of waysof participating. This allows residents to choose how they will participate, and to becomeinvolved in things in which they are interested, feel comfortable and from which they canlearn (Board E). What works for one community is not necessarily going to work forothers, and constant review of participatory processes to ensure they are functioning in theway they were intended is necessary (Board F). However, the main areas of response, inanswer to the question “what would make resident participation effective and feasible?”related to: education and training; resources for community development; the need toquestion assumptions and develop structures of accountability; institutional changes;design; benefits for residents; and, ensuring resident participation is part of the residents’agenda and gives them real decision making power.1) Education and skill developmentEducation and skill development were identified by almost all of those interviewed as beinga crucial part of making resident participation effective. It was suggested that ideallyresident involvement would occur on its own, but in reality there needed to beencouragement through skill development and education (Sector A, Sector E, Staff D, StaffE, Board B, Board D and Resident M). Educational workshops and guidelines arounddecision making, such as how to run a meeting or use consensus, were consideredimportant in terms of creating an informed decision making process which involvesresidents (Staff E, Resident J and Resident L). The formation of Tenant Associations wasseen by one board member as a vehicle through which residents could develop skills(Board D). However, one resident who had been involved in a Tenant Council, believed- 108 -training was necessary first so personal issues would not dominate the agenda (ResidentD).The desire for training has to come from the community. While training opportunitiesshould be available, residents should not be pushed into them (Board F). It is also crucialto acknowledge and respect the skill and expertise which already exists within thecommunities and the housing societies (Resident D and Board E). It should not beassumed that residents of non-profit housing do not have the skills to organize theircommunity.Low income people, especially women, develop a lot of organizationalskills and these are transferable to housing, but too often these women donot recognize the skills they have (Board E).Therefore it is also important to allow people to use those skills. As one staff personcommented, “it is an oxymoron for the Property Manager to run tenant meetings, let theTenant Representative or Director organize them, let people develop their own skills” (StaffC). Support groups for residents to share experiences and stories of what they can achievemay also be a way of encouraging residents who do get involved (Staff C and Resident E).While it is important that residents acknowledge their own skills, it is equally important forthe housing society to believe in and trust those skills (Resident D).While the need for providing education and training for residents was raised, there wasagreement this training was also needed for board and staff members (Sector C and StaffA). As one person commented, “why do we expect these people to make decisions withoutthe necessary skills?” (Staff A). Board members not only make decisions which affectpeople’s lives, they are also liable for their decisions, and so must be informed as to theirrights and responsibilities. Both Red Door and ENF have held orientation workshops inthe past for new board members, but neither society has done so on a consistent basis. Theidea of a ‘buddy system’, where an experienced board member acts as a mentor for a new-109-board member was suggested as another way of providing board members with theknowledge they need to make informed decisions (Staff A). Support and training are alsoneeded for Property Managers. Clear guidelines and regulations, as well as trainingsessions are helpful, but organizational structures such as regular staff meetings are alsoimportant, both for the opportunity they offer to share information and to provide mutualsupport (Staff E).2) Access to information and clear lines of decision makingA related issue which arose from the interviews was access to information. In order forresident participation to be effective, the society and staff must provide information totenants on resident participation, what is and is not possible, as well as the philosophy andexpectations of the housing society (Staff C, Board D, Board F and Resident H). Freelyavailable information not only helps avoid misunderstandings between residents and thestaff and society (Resident F and Resident G), but also leads to an informed tenant voice,realistic decisions and a sense of ownership (Sector B, Board C, Staff E, Staff F andResident G). While residents need to know where to go if they have a problem, this flowof information should be two-way, and their concerns should not be filtered before gettingto the board (Resident G).Further, there is a necessity for providing information on “power imbalances”, such asclass, poverty and race, which exist in communities, thereby addressing the invisibletensions which arise as a result of societal bias (Sector D and Board G). This informationand the need to recognize power and influence are also important at the staff and boardlevel. Education around democratic decision making processes (Board E) and the need forinformation on tenant’s rights so people are not afraid to speak out (Resident D) were alsosuggested. Both ENF and Red Door have attempted to provide information to tenantsthrough newsletters, posting the minutes of board meetings and any other information-110-which is pertinent to the communities. In addition, the property or site managers haveregular office hours. However, from the interviews with residents, there appears to be theneed to provide more information about major changes, what is happening and why, inorder to avoid misinformation from getting around.The interviews also revealed that clear lines and boundaries of decision making help tomake resident participation effective. It is absolutely crucial to be honest about what is andis not possible around resident participation, otherwise false expectations are created (StaffE, Board C and Board E). Philosophically housing societies such as Red Door and ENFwant to say to their tenants “this is your home, make it your home”. However, as referredto the section of Power and Control, there is a larger context at work which may sometimesrequire that ideals be set aside in order to ask “what is possible?” (Staff C). In addition,there is the element of power. Housing societies, including ENF and Red Door, may tellresidents they can take control, but when residents do so in ways with which the societiesdo not agree it is easy to take back that control.Tenants are getting really frustrated with us (ENF) because we send themessage that tenants can have choice and control, whereas in everyday lifewe are saying “no” you can not do that (Board E).As one staff person commented, problems occur when residents are told they can have thepower to do everything and anything, and then they have the rug pulled out from underthem (Staff F). The following statement sums up the experiences and feelings of many ofthe residents who were interviewed:When we moved in they gave us the impression that this was a safe, secureenvironment and they would take care of all the problems. They did not saythey didn’t have the time. They should have said “this is what you make ofit”...don’t make false promises, or if a situation changes, explain it to theresidents and find a common solution (Resident C).Therefore it is important to be clear about the process of decision making and everyone’srole within that process, “resident participation is desirable as long as the lines of decisionmaking are clearly defmed for everybody, and a realistic approach is taken” (Staff A).— ill —An important part of making the boundaries clear is for the housing society to establishpolicies and procedures which can be translated into guidelines regarding residentparticipation (Staff D and Staff E). These guidelines must be reasonable if they are to berespected by the residents, “management shouldn’t tell us how we should live our lives”(Resident C). Rules which appear to usurp parental responsibility, such as banningchildren’s wading poois, have lead to feelings of resentment in some communities(Resident D). If there are reasons for such rules, i.e. insurance concerns, then theseshould be explained. The guidelines should not be so strict as to discourage innovation,and they must also be flexible enough to respond to changes in the communities and thehousing society (Board F). One resident suggested that BCHMC should have clearguidelines regarding the housing society’s management responsibilities and obligations tothe residents (Resident L).3) Community DevelopmentEducation, training and even access to information can be seen as part of a largercommunity development goal within non-profit housing. The interviews revealed thatcommunity development and the resources needed to support it were considered vital tocreating healthy communities and encouraging resident participation in non-profit housing.By community development, most of the respondents seemed to be referring to activitieswhich in Peter Dreier’s words create communities where people have choices and feel theyhave a stake-- places where people want to live (Dreier, November 1993: speech to theBCNPHA).While providing the opportunity is obviously fundamental to resident participation, it is notenough (Sector C). Tenant involvement should be tenant controlled (Resident N), but itmay need to be facilitated. Therefore, a recognition of the need for communitydevelopment is required (Board D, Sector B and Sector C). Collective resident- 112-organization through community development may lead to the discovery of a strong tenantvoice within non-profit housing communities (Resident B and Sector B). Communitydevelopment should originate from the community and be meaningful to the community; itis not about laying out a map for the community to follow (Board B).Many of the people interviewed felt that within non-profit housing communities fundingwas needed to hire staff to focus on community development. As a consultative process,community development requires facilitators. However, there was concern about aperceived shift from seeing residents and non-profit housing societies as able to solve theirown problems, and as having skills which they share in order to do that, to a point whereoutside “experts” were needed as problem solvers (Board E). It was also emphasized thatcommunity development workers should not be social workers, as many low incomepeople are “social worked to death and do not need housing societies doing it too” (BoardD). As ENF members and staff often state, “we are not a social service agency” (Staff C).Instead, the role of a community development staff person would be to work as a facilitatorwithin the housing community, bringing the residents and other “stakeholders” together tohelp them vision about they want, and to provide support until it functions on its own(Sector C). However, success depends on how this is done, as one resident commented,we want to create interest, but avoid social engineering.. .we need to askpeople what they want, but there will be differences of opinion, so we haveto find common ground as a basis (Resident G).The community development staff person who worked at one of Red Door’s communities,helped tenants run committees and meetings, develop their skills, discover skills they neverrealized they had, and provided motivation (Resident M). Rather than working for thecommunity, community development people work with the community, encouragingresidents to become involved, acknowledging the skills which are present and providing,but also cultivating, leadership (Board E, Resident K and Sector B).- 113 -The community development worker must also be answerable to the residents. Tenantsupport is fundamental if community development is to work (Sector B). Whether or notthis person is a tenant, they need to have the proper skills, take time to get to know thecommunity, establish a sense of trust, come from the tenant perspective, work with andrepresent tenants, and ultimately empower people to represent themselves (Resident N).There was some concern that community development could be perceived as patronizing bythe residents. One resident felt it was not necessary because residents already facilitatedthis kind of process themselves by making and enforcing rules (Resident I). However, itwas pointed out that every community needs community development (Sector B), and if asense of community was not present then it was incumbent on management to look at whatcould be done to build it (Resident L). As one resident stated, “we need to learn to be acommunity, and we need help doing this” (Resident H). However, while communitydevelopment was seen as a way of encouraging resident participation, it was pointed outthat people will still not become involved if they do not want to (Resident 3).Broad consensus emerged from the interviews that the roles of the property or site managerand community development worker need to be separated. At ENF, the property manageris expected to play some kind of community development role. However, often the staffdo not have time to facilitate resident involvement, and there is some questioning aboutwhether or not this is a role they should be expected to play (Staff A and Staff B). Theroles of the property or site manager can be hard to reconcile with community development,(Board D and Resident L), especially as many of the issues relate to power and control(Board G). It was felt that someone doing community development could not also be in theposition of evictor, as this person needs to establish trust (Staff A, Staff C, Sector C andBoard E). As already indicated the role that the property manager plays in terms of evictionis powerful and difficult to reconcile with community development. The communitydevelopment worker would work closely with the residents, housing society and property- 114-manager to create a consultative processes within the community, “we almost need twopeople around, one to deal with tenants and another for the technical stuff’ (Resident H).One resident suggested a “tenant coordinator” was needed (Resident N).Recently, at. a grassroots women’s conference in the United States, some ENF membersheard about the National Congress of Neighbourhood Women which has separatedmanagement into two positions: rent collector and community development worker. Thetwo positions operate as a team, but fill different roles. The community developmentworker helps the community achieve whatever goals they set, as well as acting as liaisonbetween the community and “officials”, while the rent collector does more of the “technicalstuff” (Board C). The key to separating the two jobs is having them operate as a team.Otherwise it could become a “good cop, bad cop scenario”, where everyone would go tothe person who was more accessible (Resident J), exacerbating the “us” and “them”feelings which already exist in many communities (Resident I).Community development activities, whether in the form of workshops or workers, requiremoney. Currently, operating budgets do not provide a line item for communitydevelopment (Staff A). It was agreed by the respondents in order to make residentparticipation effective, funding and support is needed for community development, and itshould be considered an investment in our society and the future (Staff A, Staff D, Staff E,Board B, Board F, Board G and Resident L). Community development activities shouldbe valued and paid for, and not be dependent on volunteers, especially single mothers andthose least able to volunteer (Board D and Sector B). Further, it was suggested thatcommunity development should start before the community is built in order to allow thepeople who will be living there time to discuss how they will live together (Board G).ENF was actually able to do this with their first project because the Federal 56.1 Programprovided start up funds, something the Provincial Program fails to provide. Funding is- 115 -also required to support resident activities and community needs such as conflict resolution,mediation, childcare and translation for meetings (Board B, Board D, Board G, Sector C,Resident A and Resident L). Presently, there is a small amount in the BCHMC budget tosupport such activities (BCHMC C). It was also felt by some that this money should becontrolled by the community.In terms of funding specifically for the position of a community development worker, oneidea was to have BCHMC or Social Services provide money for a certain number ofworkers for housing communities throughout the Lower Mainland. The program would berun by a committee of housing societies and regulated by government (Staff A). At thestaff and board discussion group there was debate about whether this funding should comefrom the Ministry of Housing, Social Services or Health.4) Question the assumptions about non-profit housingFunding for some of the above activities is an important part of making residentparticipation feasible and effective. However, equally fundamental to its success is theneed for a change in attitudes and the creation of structures which will provide ongoingsupport. Resident participation schemes demand that we question the assumptions aboutnon-profit housing and how it is run. Assumptions such as efficiency need to be examinedbecause participatory processes take both a lot of time and energy (Sector C and Board B).An important part of this is related to the need “to go out and find out what residents wantrather than giving them what we think they want” (Board D). In order to do that,expectations need to change. Housing societies and funding bodies must allow theresidents of non-profit housing communities “to create their own visions rather thaninsisting they live our visions” (Board E). The conventional idea of housing as serviceprovision, as “US” knowing what is best for “them” needs to be challenged (Sector C).-116-Even the language, “we” helping “them” is condescending and implies a power dynamicwhich must change if residents are to participate on an equal footing (Staff F and Sector A).5) DesignDesign was also identified as an important element in terms of encouraging residentparticipation, and the assumptions made in this field must also be questioned. Designimpacts on the morale and pride of a community, which in turn effects whether or notpeople want to be involved in that community. The most often mentioned concernregarding design was that it reflect the realities of the people who live there, “somethinggeared to more than just putting a roof over one’s head would make the morale better”(Staff D). Lack of private space and outdoor areas, a disregard for the needs of childrenand safety issues, and the lack of acknowledgment that a large number of people, includingsmall children and teenagers, will be living in a small space are common design issueswhich impact on how residents feel about their housing (Sector B, Resident B, Resident Cand Resident D). Consulting residents on what does and does not work in the design oftheir communities was seen as a way of improving future housing (Resident C), and issomething both Red Door and ENF have done in the past.6) Institutional changes to government funding bodiesInstitutional changes to government funding bodies, and in particular BCHMC, are alsorequired in order to make resident participation effective. The attitude of government, atleast in B.C., has recently become much more conducive to resident participation andempowerment. However, there is still a feeling a change in direction is needed fromBCHMC in terms of supporting and valuing initiatives such as community development(Staff B, Staff C, Staff E and Board A). A supportive and open-minded bureaucracy iscritical to the success of any program or policy (Sector C). Therefore, a real belief andcommitment to the principle that “housing is a right” is required not only by politicians, but- 117 -also bureaucrats (Board F). This belief, or lack of it, will impact on programs and whetheror not they encourage or facilitate measures such as resident involvement. For example,one person asked why residents would bother getting involved if the housing is presentedas short term and they are expected to move (Sector C). If it is not your home, it limitsyour commitment to the community. Another person questioned the reliance on volunteerlabour as a way of developing non-profit housing (Board F). However, while it is easy tocriticize government and its bureaucracies, it is also important to acknowledge BCHMC isnot a monolithic structure, it is actually a process facilitated by individuals with their ownvalues and biases (Staff C). It is also important to recognize the changes taking place atBCI-IIVIC in terms of organizational structure. Recently, a store front community relationsoffice was opened at the Burnaby main office, and from the interviews there appears to bean interest in and commitment to the idea of resident participation (BCHMC A, BCHMC Band BCHMC C).7) Grassroots commitment by residentsMany of the respondents, particularly those with ENF, stressed the need to ensure thedesire for participation comes from the residents and is part of the residents’ agenda, notsolely the philosophical belief of the housing society (Sector A, Staff A, Staff B and StaffC). Expectations and visions related to resident involvement may not be those of theresidents, and should not be imposed (Staff A and Staff C). Ways of assessing whether ornot residents want to be involved, such as door to door surveys, may be useful to ensurethere is grassroots commitment to participatory management (Staff A).We have to remember where the tenants come from, not the ones who havebeen on the Board for three years.. .what are their perspectives, ideas,problems? (Staff E).- 118 -8) Real benefits to residents for their participationFurther, resident involvement must be worth while, or residents will not participate.Resident participation has to be a pleasant and positive experience and must result inbenefits (Staff B, Sector F and Board E). As one board member suggested, means ofparticipation need to be created where residents are involved because they want to be, notbecause they are forced to be (Board G). Opportunities for skill development, increasedself-esteem and a better living environment are potential benefits of involvement (Staff F).However, benefits such as paid employment, access to community amenities and perhapsto equity housing are also important (Board C, Sector A and Sector F).9) Structures of accountabilityAs talked about in the Barriers section above, with power comes responsibility (Staff C andBoard C), and therefore structures of accountability are required if resident participation isto be effective. In order to create structures of accountability, there needs to be arecognition that no one is completely powerless, and everyone uses their power in waysthat benefit them (Staff C). One long term resident commented that she was tired of ideasabout which people suddenly become impassioned, but did not want to take responsibilityfor (Resident H). The staff were also clear that if residents take on responsibility fordefining policy in their communities, they must also take on responsibility of followingthrough with those policies.There are always ramifications of policy decisions, but it always seems toend up being the property manager who has to deal with thoseramifications. This is not a very empowering situation. Empowerment isabout taking on all responsibility, not part of it (Staff A).However, there is also the need to remember that the residents live in the communities andwould have a hard time doing the “dirty work” such as evictions and conflict resolution(Staff A, Staff C and Staff F). Resident participation in decision making requires residentsto make a commitment, and take the time and energy necessary to make informed decisions(Staff A). There was also the feeling that if someone did not attend a meeting on a certain-119-issue, they should not complain about the decision made at that meeting (Resident G andBoard C).As already stated, the residents interviewed were aware of the responsibility that goes alongwith decision making and were willing to accept it. However, structures need to be set upwhich recognize their realities. One idea was to set up committees so that more than oneperson is responsible (Resident C and Sector C). In some co-operatives an ethic ofbehaviour which is preferably explicit, and exhibits tolerance and respect, is drafted by thecommunity, so people can be called on their behaviour (Sector F). As one person whoworks in the co-operative housing sector stated:Resident participation is all about decision making and having power andresponsibility. There can be other ways residents participate wheremanagement gives up part of its responsibility, for example permission tohave a garden or use a common room, but this is not really participation, itis more permission to use resources of the community. If residents wereallowed to control some of these things they could lead to participation, andwith that comes responsibility and accountability (ibid.).10) Real, not token, decision making powerFinally, in order for participatory management policies to be effective, residents must havereal, not token, decision making power (Board C). If given the chance, people who live innon-profit housing can be part of proactive solutions to community problems and be thedriving force behind community building (Resident C). However, in order to want do so,residents must feel sincere commitment from management, and know their input is reallywanted and respected (Resident L). They also need to know the staff is supportive andopen to input (Resident H). People need to feel useful and listened to (Sector B). Theybecome disappointed and upset if given the chance to become involved, but not to make adifference (Sector F, Resident D, Resident J and Resident K). Therefore, if the housingsociety encourages the creation of a Tenant Council they must listen to it, even if it issaying things they do not agree with, otherwise the result is bitterness and distrust among- 120 -the residents (Resident C and Resident D). The need to listen and follow through is notonly true for housing societies, but also for resident leaders who represent theircommunities.What this all comes down to is creating a sense of ownership which comes from havingsome control over one’s living environment. As one staff person commented,People need to feel a sense of ownership of their community, whether it bein neighbourhoods or in non-profit housing.. .people feel so disempowered,they need to feel power at the community level (Staff A).Building up a sense of ownership comes in part through the ability to participate incommunity decisions. However, if residents are able to see the differences they make totheir community, then it can also encourage participation (Staff F). Developing a sense ofownership in any community does not occur over night, it takes time for people to feel theyare a part of something and to build up feelings of trust that are needed on all sides (BoardB). However, as the above sections demonstrate, it is worth all the time and effort if ahealthier community is the end result.Involving ResidentsResident participation is only effective if residents are willing and able to participate.However, one of the issues which arose frequently during the interviews was the problemof getting people involved, even when the opportunity existed.Fundamental to encouraging participation is making the commitment to include everyone(Staff E). This means questioning assumptions about participation. “Non-participationdoes not equal lack of interest” (Staff A). “It is not a failure if everyone does notparticipate” (Board C). Participatory success does not correspond to whether or not thegarbage is being picked up. This may understandably be an issue for the staff, but itshould not be a measuring stick (ibid.). In a democracy, people must have the opportunity- 121 -to express their views; however, if they chose not to participate, it is their decision(Resident G).Related to this is the need to ask residents who are not involved why they are not and whatwould help get them involved (Sector C and Board D) As already stated, it is not enoughto provide the opportunity, ways of participating must recognize the needs of the residents.It is too easy to blame apathy in the communities as a reason for not involving residents,“when tenants don’t take it up or they do it badly, it becomes a reason not to do it” (SectorC). Participatory management must also be accessible. People need to be informed aheadof time of meetings, and need other ways of providing input, like a suggestion box(Resident K). People’s interest must also be peaked, and often, unless they are directlyeffected, it is difficult to get people involved (Resident F and Resident I). Mostimportantly, participation has to be fun and trust needs be built, and everyone mustrecognize this takes time (Resident C).Keeping Participation VoluntaryBoth ENF and Red Door work on systems of voluntary involvement, unlike co-operativeswhere participation is mandatory, and the majority of respondents thought this was the wayit should be. In this model, it is the responsibility of the society to provide the opportunity,not to force people to participate (Board C, Resident D and Resident L). As one Red Doorboard member put it, “we wanted to make participation a possibility in order to provide amore secure environment and allow people to get to know each other, not make itmandatory like a co-op” (Board A). Voluntary involvement recognizes people’s need tohave some control, as well as personal space (Staff F). “It feels good to have some controlin your living environment, but there is also the need to just live there sometimes” (ibid.).- 122 -Concern was expressed that because the rent is subsidized, people might feel they have toparticipate more in maintenance, which could lead to exploitation (Staff B and Staff C).“We shouldn’t start mandating or requiring clean up as part of tenancy agreements, in theprivate sector, people do not pick trash.. .people in non-profit housing should not havefewer rights than private” (Sector B). While both Societies ask prospective residentswhether or not they would be willing to participate in the community, there is no way ofenforcing this once people move in. Some residents resented this, and believed thehousing society should make participation mandatory if they asked for it in the tenantselection interview (Resident K).However, the consensus was that residents will not always be willing or able to participate,and different communities will have different histories and ideas about how they shoulddevelop. Some people genuinely want privacy, they do not want to get involved, they justwant a place to live. As one resident said:I was attracted to the ability but not the obligation to participate.. .when Ifirst moved in I needed time on my own.. .1 want to feel as if I amparticipating because I choose to participate, not because I am forced into it(Resident N).4.3.4 Women and Participatory Housing ManagementAs with co-operative housing, non-profit housing offers women, especially single parentsin family housing, advantages not available in the private market. Safety, security oftenure, affordability and decent standards are a few examples. “The majority of singlemothers and their children live in poverty, therefore non-profit housing is a huge issue”(Sector D). Equally important is the opportunity to be part of a supportive community andto take some control over your living environment. Resident participation is a vitalcomponent of this, and while the findings from the interviews clearly indicate that- 123 -participatory housing management is valid for everyone, it has particular benefits forwomen.One benefit of resident participation is the strengthening of the community and thedecreased isolation which can result.Participation could be a very positive experience for women, especiallywomen who are at home with their kids. It is a way of achieving a sense ofempowerment, a sense of contribution, and a chance to spend time awayfrom the kids. It could lead to greater community involvement (ResidentL).For some women the opportunity to participate is important to growth, “it allows them tocome out of themselves. ..women are the ones who come to tenant meetings--often forsocial reasons” (Board C). However, even if they do not attend tenant meetings orparticipate in tenant groups,it is still important for the opportunity to exist.. .society’s norm of thenuclear family is psychopathic, if it breaks down it is a “brokenfamily”.. .these groups offer alternative groupings, new forms ofrelationship (Staff C).While formal methods of participating are important in building community, equally orperhaps more important are the informal (see above) ways people, often women, supporteach other.Another benefit women gain from participating in their housing communities is skilldevelopment which results in increased confidence, and can be beneficial in the workplace(Resident N).Women usually end up with the kids, many have come from abusivesituations, therefore they need to build up confidence and skills, becausethey have had men rule their lives (Resident D).It does allow skill development and networking opportunities. Womenencourage and facilitate each other’s aspirations better (Resident I).-124-Finally there is the issue of control. Women’s inequality is a “societal issue whichbecomes a microcosm in these communities.. .women do not speak up, and many of themare powerful, they are survivors, but too often men take control” (Board G). However,resident participation opportunities can begin to break this cycle. When women participatein the decision making of their communities, they do so as a member of a group, allowingthem to see other “strong and beautiful women” who act as role models (Sector D).Participating in housing gives women a voice they didn’t have before with atraditional landlord relationship...a collective voice (Staff B).Women have a lot less power in society, 62 per cent of single parent womenlive in poverty. Participation gives them power, it allows them to makedecisions (Resident N).It is important to acknowledge that both Red Door and ENF are fairly unique in their focuson women, they are both essentially “organizations run by, for and with women”. Whenasked whether there was a feminist basis to Red Door, one staff member said “Red Door isunique, it is a woman run organization” (Staff B).Until recently all the staff were female and there was only one man on theBoard.. .the perspective of women was sought, especially that of singlemothers...we tried to reflect this perspective because the majority of lowincome families are women led (Board A).ENF is very similar in this respect. One of the Board members of ENF described workingwith single parents at a Family Place in the mid- 1980s:the living conditions were appalling, it was a health issue as far as thechildren were concerned.. .the original women founders and tenants (ofENF) felt they were taking control of their lives...creating a morecomfortable base from which to go out into the community (Board E).One woman who is a tenant in one of ENF’s communities and who has been on staff, onthe Board as a Tenant Director, and President says her involvement with ENF has changedher Life:it has affected my housing, my employment, it has provided me a place formy son to grow up with friends.. .it has changed my whole personality.. .1am much more assertive, much more willing to stand up for my rights, and- 125 -I am much more willing to vocalize how I feel about something. I havefound it very empowering (Geary 1992: 90).The realities of housing for women forces them to unite and assume a proactive position innon-profit housing. An example of the particular problems women face is tenure. Once awoman’s children leave home she is no longer eligible to live in her house, and if she isunder the age of 55, then she is also not eligible for senior’s housing. Many women fallbetween the cracks of the established Programs. Therefore projects such as the BramblesCo-operative and Women In Search of Housing (WISHES) which provide housing formature women are very important. More women need to be involved in policy andprogram development (Board B). In addition, when policy makers consider methods toencourage resident participation in non-profit housing, it is crucial they recognize the realityfaced by the primarily female residents, “then at least they’d know where to start” (BoardD).-126-5.0 POLICY IMPLICATIONS FOR PARTICIPATORYHOUSING MANAGEMENT5.1 Research SummaryThis thesis has explored participatory management in non-profit housing. A historicalsurvey of Canadian social housing policy showed that management issues have not beenthe subject of much attention. Rather the focus has been on the supply and production ofhousing units, with the belief that the private market can and should provide most housing.Formulation of housing policy has rarely existed as a goal in and of itself, but has moreoften been linked to macro-economic stimulus. Further, the process of policy and programdevelopment has, for the most part, not included the residents of non-profit housing, nonprofit housing societies or staff. Women’s needs have often been overlooked. Recently,the emphasis on housing provision only for those the government deems most needy andthe continuous cutbacks in social housing spending by the federal government have becomeentrenched aspects of housing policy. These cutbacks contribute to the deteriorating qualityof life in social housing (la Haye 1992: 31).The theory on housing and resident participation offered a number of insights into publiclyfunded housing. The idea that housing is more than shelter was strongly advocated. Itwas recognized that housing serves as a base for people and provides stability in their lives.Resident participation in management was seen as a positive way of improving the qualityof life in social housing communities, and creating benefits for individuals, housingcommunities and non-profit housing societies.When dwellers control the major decisions and are free to make their owncontribution to the design, construction or management of their housing,both the process and the environment produced stimulate individual andsocial well-being. When people have no control over, nor responsibility forkey decisions in the housing process, on the one hand, dwellingenvironments may instead become a barrier to personal fulfillment and aburden on the economy (Turner 1976: 6).- 127 -Finally, as shown in the models of participation from the U.S.A., Great Britain andCanada, it was recognized that there are a number of diverse ways residents can participatein the management of their housing, and that no one way is universally applicable.The fmdings from the case studies of ENF and Red Door generally agreed with theliterature and theory on participatory management, but they also provided additionalinsights into resident participation in non-profit housing management. Non-profit housingwas considered to be very different from market rental housing. It has unique goals andaims, and therefore it was not seen as appropriate to rely exclusively on private marketmanagement techniques. Perhaps the most important factor in involving residents inmanagement is the existence of an organizational culture which emphasizes inclusion andempowerment. Both ENF and Red Door have such philosophies. However, philosophyalone is not sufficient, especially if there is a discrepancy between the reality and thephilosophy. In every community visited for this study there were residents who did notreally feel listened to or involved in decision making. They felt they lacked the power tochange anything. Interestingly, there were no big discrepancies in these findings betweenthe communities built under the Federal 56.1 Non-Profit Housing Program and those builtunder the Provincial Program, nor between the locations of Vancouver and Surrey.The challenges of getting people involved and low levels of participation were alsohighlighted, leading to the question, “are we measuring participation correctly?”. The firststep in any participatory management scheme is to ask residents if they want to beinvolved, and in what issues and how. Resident participation will mean different things todifferent people, communities and non-profit housing societies. Therefore, it is necessaryto create a variety of ways residents can participate, be it Resident Councils orAssociations, residents on the Board, or as members. Some communities may just want aproperty manager. “Each group will determine how they want to participate” (Sector A).- 128 -Issues of accessibility and voluntary involvement, acknowledging the realities of thecommunities and residents, and balancing diverse needs such as privacy and control, mustalso be addressed if resident participation is to be effective.Participatory management recognizes the inherent tension between “being realistic” and“pushing at the edge”. There is always the danger of creating false expectations. Thereforeit is important to establish clear lines of communication between staff, board and residents,and government. Housing society boards may need to do things like rotate meetings fromcommunity to community in order to have more direct contact with residents. This may bedifficult, especially in areas outside Vancouver, but it is the Board’s responsibility as theydecided to build in these locations. Government needs to create structures and processesthrough which they receive input from the other stakeholder groups. Recent initiatives areencouraging, such as the Public Housing Tenant Advisory Committee and ProvincialHousing Advisory Committee which advise BCHMC and the Minister of Housing.The case studies also demonstrated that participatory processes take time and energy, andare not necessarily easy. Therefore fundamental to the success of resident participation areeducation and training, community development and identifiable benefits for thoseinvolved. Housing communities and societies are not stagnant entities, therefore methodsof assessing participatory structures, to ensure they are doing what they were intended todo, are necessary.Finally, the case studies highlighted the need for women to be part of all aspects of housingfrom the creation of policy and programs, to development, to management. In the pastthere were no women on the Board of Directors at BCHMC, now there are six women (oneof whom is an aboriginal woman), and five men. In addition, the top policy makingpositions in the provincial Ministry of Housing are held by women: the Minister, Deputy- 129 -Minister, Assistant Deputy Minister and Director of Policy are all women. These changeswill hopefully result in housing which better reflects the realities of residents, the majorityof whom are women.This research began with an assumption of “individual growth” (meaning growth by theresidents) resulted from resident participation. However, as the research progressed itbecame clear that the idea of “individual growth” meant different things to different people.As it was pointed out to me , by assuming that participatory management leads to peoplemoving forward, the belief that the residents are “down and out” is reinforced. Perhaps theresidents were just fine where they were (Sector C). In some ways this assumption is partof the “service provision” mentality which permeates Canadian social programs. “Housingis seen as a service and the residents are the recipients” (Sector C). Instead, social policyshould “enable individuals and communities to attain their own ends in their own ways”(Cayley 1994: 16). Housing should allow people to help themselves.Participatory management recognizes that the most valuable assets of non-profit housingare not the buildings, but the people who live in those buildings, the residents. Byrecognizing and valuing the knowledge of residents, and providing them with theopportunity to be involved in decision making, participatory management attempts to reachthe full potential of non-profit housing. It replaces the top-down, hierarchical model ofnon-profit housing management seen in Chapter 3, with one that is based on partnership.In a participatory management model, there is a place where all the stakeholder groups ofnon-profit housing management, the residents, non-profit housing societies, non-profithousing staff and government, are involved in shared decision making. However, it alsorecognizes that there are other areas where only some of the groups interact, and still otherswhere each group will have its own area of responsibility. Generally, it acknowledges thecomplexity of the formal and casual relationships.-130-Participatory management also has potential impacts on how non-profit housing isperceived by the larger community. From the interviews a pattern emerged where theindividual resident receives training and support through involvement in their housingcommunity. This leads to increased skills and self-esteem, which results in participation inthe greater community, and leads to a positive image about the housing community andsocial housing in general.Figure 7: Resident Participation and the Greater CommunityParticipation “ Support SkillsINDIVIDUAL — In Housing i’ Training —ii Self-esteemCommunity Opoortunitv...ConfidenceI Participation in Positive image BETTERL0. GREATER—of housing .................. FEELINGSCOMMUMTY community ABOUT SOCIALHOUSINGParticipatory management is not a panacea which will solve every problem associated withsocial housing. However, it is a way to allow residents to take some control over theirliving environments, thereby addressing issues of equity, social justice, quality of life, andthe physical and social health and well-being of both non-profit housing communities andthe neighbourhoods in they which they exist.5.2 Challenges With MethodologyThe intention of this research project was to follow a participatory methodology. Thismethod was chosen in order to allow the research to be done “with” people rather than “on”them, and to facilitate mutual learning opportunities. I believe this research philosophy wassuccessful in that it permitted a certain amount of flexibility, allowing the research to evolve- 131 -as I gained a better understanding of the issues. The specific methods of one-on-one open-ended interviews and focus group discussions were also successful. The interviews, mostof which took place in people’s homes or offices, created a safe environment, encouragingpeople to share their experiences and not hold back information for fear of ramifications.On the other hand, the focus group discussion encouraged sharing of information.However, I also discovered challenges and demands associated with participatory research,which contributed to the fact that this research project was not entirely participatory. Iformulated the original research question, and the decided on the specific methods. I alsointerpreted the results and will largely decide how those results are used. However, thedemands of participatory research, especially in terms of lack of time and resources, forboth me as the researcher, and the participants made it difficult. It was unfortunate that Iwas unable to organize the focus group discussion with residents of Red Door and ENF,but conflicting schedules and my tight time table made this virtually impossible. Despitethese challenges I believe participatory research is an extremely valid research methodwhich results in rich findings and paves the way for informed action.5.3 ImplicationsIn addition to highlighting the successes and challenges Red Door and ENF have facedwith resident participation, the research suggested a number of implications for policy andprogram development.Implication 1: Recognize and Encourage Resident ParticipationThe first and most obvious implication coming from this thesis is the need to recognize thevalue of participatory housing management, especially in non-profit housing. Residentparticipation can result in benefits such as better decision making, increased quality of life,opportunities for skill acquisition, and more responsive management. It also allows- 132 -residents to take some control over their communities and living environment.Opportunities for resident participation should be made available, but at each communityresidents, together with the housing society, should define how they will participate.Flexibility is needed to respond to the changing needs and realities of residents and nonprofit housing societies.Implication 2: Government SupportOne of the requirements of Implication 1, is government support. Governments and theiragencies, CMHC and BCHMC, need to actively encourage resident participation in socialhousing. This entails a change in the civic and organizational cultures of these institutions,and the building of trust with the non-profit sector and residents. I think it is fair to say thishappening in B.C. The three BCHMC officials I talked were open to resident participation,and with recommendations from the Provincial Commission on Housing Options, theProvincial government appears to moving in the direction of encouraging participatorymanagement.While legislation forcing non-profit housing societies to include residents in managementwas not widely supported, I would recommend stipulating resident participation as arequirement in the Operating Agreement, something BCHMC is considering (BCHMC C).Guidelines should be drawn up around expectations. However, the form and level residentparticipation takes should not be mandated by government. In addition, the OperatingAgreement should ensure that information on the Residential Tenancy Act be distributed bythe non-profit housing society when the tenancy agreement is signed.Implication 3: Legislative ChangesThe Residential Tenancy Act should be amended to remove the ambiguity surroundingresidents as members of non-profit housing societies. The RTA and any related- 133 -information booklets should also be rewritten in gender neutral and plain language, and, ifnot already done, be translated into minority languages. The Societies Act should beexamined to see if it creates any barriers to resident participation.Implication 4: Recognize Need for Community DevelopmentDirectly related to the necessity for government support is the need for communitydevelopment. Funding for community development is necessary, both before and after thehousing is built. Community development is a housing issue, and while it was notunanimously agreed, funding for community development should come from the Ministryof Housing. Residents, non-profit housing societies and staff should be consulted aboutwhat community development means and how it could be implemented. There also needsto be tangible support in the form of access to training, educational workshops andinformation. Money, which is resident controlled, is also required for resident activities.This has been possible in the past. ENF has had a budget line item for newsletters andchildcare, but it could not be used for other activities. Red Door was not even aware ofthese funds. Therefore sources of funding need to be advertised. Finally the interviewsand focus group discussion clearly stated that community development workers should notbe social workers, and property management staff should not be responsible forcommunity development.Implication 5: Participatory Housing Research and EducationResident participation is seen by some in the non-profit housing sector as radical. In orderto demystify the idea and facilitate its acceptance, research on the successes, challenges andbenefits of participatory management needs to be done. This should take the form of aguide book, similar to The ONPHA Tenant Participation Handbook. An educationalprocess could also come out of this information. While Red Door and ENF are twoexamples of non-profit housing societies which have tried to incorporate residents into-134-decision making, there are other housing societies in B.C. which have tried differentapproaches.Implication 6: Social Housing ReformAttitudes surrounding social housing, and social programs in general need to change. Thisdoes not mean eliminating programs nor reforming the basic principles behind theseprograms. However, attitudes that view social housing as service provision to the needy,must be changed to one where residents are viewed as social housing’s most valuableasset. In advocating this view, there needs to be an awareness of issues regardingexploitation, such as demanding participation in maintenance as a term of residency.Related to this is language. Language is a powerful part of the civic culture in which welive, and forms the basis of the attitudes, images and meanings we communicate.Terminology such as housing “project” conveys negative images reminiscent of large scaleAmerican public housing. In contrast the word “community” implies common interest andmutual support. The same is true for “tenant” as opposed to “resident”. According to theCollins Dictionary a “tenant” is a person who has the use of a house or piece of land etc.,subject to the payment of rent. A “resident” is a person who resides or lives in a place.The use of the term resident over tenant reflects the belief that both tenants and ownersreside in place, the only difference being the form of tenure.Implication 7: Reinstate Funding for Social HousingThe research clearly demonstrated the value of social housing, especially for women andtheir children. Safe, secure and affordable housing is a basic human right. Rather thanretreating from their responsibility, governments should view housing as a priority in termsof funding. Not only will this lead to cost savings in the future, but also will result inhealthier communities now. The value of co-operative housing was also highlighted, and a- 135 -co-operative housing program should be restored to provide people with low and moderateincomes a viable way of taking complete control of their living environment. Innovativeforms of housing, such as equity co-operatives and co-housing should also be supported.Implication 8: Gender Sensitive Policy DevelopmentThis research showed that the needs of women have not been addressed in social housingpolicy and program development. The Provincial Commission on Housing Optionsrecommended that housing programs should be designed on the basis that 80 per cent offuture residents will be women. Women need to be involved in this process, not justexperts, but women who live in publicly funded housing.Implication 9: Participatory Policy DevelopmentIf we are to develop effective and equitable social housing policies, the processes by whichthese policies are made must also be effective, equitable and importantly participatory,involving the people whose lives they affect most. Residents, housing society boardmembers and staff, as well as people within the non-profit housing sector possess valuableinformation and knowledge which should be utilized. In this way the needs of the peoplewho live and work in social housing will be better reflected and met.Implication 10: Participatory PlanningIn terms of planning this thesis proved to me the importance of asking people questions andassuming they have valuable knowledge to share. Planning is largely about guiding ordetermining future action. Participatory planning finds rich sources of knowledge andinsight to the problems at hand. Participatory planning seeks to include people in thedecisions which impact on their lives, as well as informing them of the diverse interests andissues at stake. However, as planners we can not always expect people to come to us andparticipate in ways we decide, for example through public meetings. Planners must go to-136-people where they live, work and play in order to broaden involvement. Finally, peoplemust know that their opinions are respected, listened to and acted upon. 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Franck and S. Ahrentzen (eds.) New York:Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1989Wichman, Monika B., Management Style and Social Housing Policy, Vancouver,University of British Columbia: School of Social Work, 1981Wheeler, Michael the right to housing, Montreal: Harvest House Limited, 1969“A Women’s Housing Manifesto”, Women and Environments, Fall 1987, pp 4-5Yin, Robert K., Case Study Research: Design and Methods, London: Sage Publications,1989- 144 -APPENDIX IUBC ETHICAL REVIEW COMMITTEECERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL- 145 -The University of British ColumbiaOffice of Research Services______Behavioural Sciences Screening Committee forResearch Involving Human SubjectsCertificate of ApprovalPRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR DEPARTMENT NUMBERLaquian, A.A. Human Settlements B93-0590INSTITUTION(S) WHERE RESEARCH WILL BE CARRIED OUTUBC CampusCO-INVESTIGATORS:Geary, V., Comm & Regional PlanningSPONSORING AGENCIESTITLE: . . . . .. . ..Building committees The importance of partIcipatory management in non-profit housingAPPROVAL DATE TERM (YEARS) AMENDED:A1J627 1993 3CERTIFICATION:The protocol describing the above-named project has been reviewed by theCommittee and the experimental procedures were found to be acceptable on ethicalgrounds for research involving human subjects.Dr. R. Corteen or DtJ’D.SpratleyDr. I. Franks, Associate Chairs r L Director, Research ServicesThis Certificate of Approval is valid for three years provided there is no change in theexperimental procedures-146-APPENDIX 2REQUEST TO CONDUCT RESEARCHWITH ENF AND RED DOOR- 147 -Request to Entre Nous Femmes Housing Society* to conduct research:BUILDING COMMUNITIES: THE IMPORTANCE OF PARTICIPATORYMANAGEMENT IN NON-PROFIT HOUSINGPURPOSE OF THE RESEARCH:The purpose of this research is to examine whether non-profit housing managementstyles which involve residents facilitate the building of community and individualgrowth. The primary objective is to evaluate management styles in non-profit housing,and expand the conventional view of housing management to one that involves residentparticipation. The experiences of 2 non-profit housing societies which have includedresidents in management will be compared and contrasted to discover successes,challenges and obstacles. In addition, the gender implications of non-profit housingmanagement will be identified by documenting women’s involvement at all levels of nonprofit housing management.The impetus for this thesis comes from past research on the housing needs of female ledsingle parent families. This research, done by talking directly to women who live innon-profit housing, highlighted the importance of management. The women voiced theopinion that the ability to make choices about the community in which they live allowedthem to take control over their environment. They also felt that by including tenants inthe decision-making, the housing better meets the needs of the people who live there.SIGNIFICANCE OF RESEARCH:The examination of different styles of resident involvement in social housing is not new.However, research on this topic as it specifically relates to Non-profit housing isscarce, it is hoped this study will add to the literature. In addition, the examination ofparticipatory management in Non-profit housing in BC is particularly relevant at thistime as budget dollars shrink. Recently the Provincial government’s own Commission onaffordable housing recommended that tenant participation be strengthened in non-profithousing. Although the Report only discussed tenants sitting on non-profit societyboards, there may other ways of increasing tenant participation. This study will beginto highlight some of those ways.The research is intended to benefit the groups and individuals involved by allowing themthe opportunity to share their experiences, strategies and methods around residentparticipation. In addition, the research will provide them with a tool for on-goingeducation and advocacy around non-profit housing management.METHOD OF INVESTIGATION:This study will be an exploratory investigation of non-profit housing management, andwill not attempt to prove any particular hypothesis. There will be opportunities for thenon-profit housing societies involved in the study to participate in the development andimplementation of the research questions and approach. The hope is to do research ‘with’rather than ‘on’ people, and ensure that the research fits the societies and communities.This involvement will be dependent on the time constraints of the participants andresearcher.- 148 -Specific methods include:• an examination of relevant literature to discover models for housingmanagement.• interviews with ‘professionals’ working in the non-profit housing sector,government officials and staff at the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, BCHMCand CMHC.• interviews with staff and Board members of 2 non-profit housing societies.The interview informants will be asked to give their perceptions of non-profit housingmanagement and resident participation and satisfaction.• interviews with residents who live in housing run by 2 non-profit housingsocieties. The interview informants will be asked to give their feelings and opinionsabout current management practices, their ability and desire to participate in themanagement of their housing and their satisfaction with their living environments.• a focus group with residents living in communities run by both non-profithousing societies. This will allow a group discussion of management, residentparticipation and strategies to improve non-profit housing management.• a focus group with some staff and Board members from both non-profit housingsocieties. This will allow a sharing of experiences, successes and challenges, as well as adiscussion on resident participation in management. It is anticipated that the focusgroups will be important means of gathering and sharing knowledge for both me as theresearcher and the participants.Interview guides and letters of consent have been developed (please see attached),submitted to the UBC Office of Research Services Ethical Review, and received its’Certificate of Approval. The focus group involving staff and Board members wasdeveloped after this process but will follow the format approved for the resident focusgroup and the questions approved for the individual interviews of staff and Boardmembers. Reimbursement for any monies spent by participants on childcare ortransportation will be made available. The interviews will take place at participantshomes or offices and the focus groups in the common room of one of the housingcommunities.SPECIFICS OF REQUEST TO ENF:• interviews with 8 to 10 residents from 2 communities. The residentsinterviewed will be recruited through recommendations from property managers and onthe advice of residents themselves. The interviews will take no longer than 1 1/2 hours.Please see attached letter of consent and interview guide.• interviews with 6 staff and Board members: 2 property managers from theselected communities; 1 Society Coordinator; 1 President and 2 active Board members.The interviews will take no longer than 1 1/2 hours. Please see attached letter ofconsent and interview guide.• 2 focus groups:1) with 4 or 5 residents living in the selected ENF communities.2) with 4 staff and Board members from ENF.Meeting space in the common room of one of the selected communities may be requested.• permission to use some of the material related to management gathered throughthe history project, and other relevant material such as organizational charts.• the selection of a person to act as a liaison between the researcher and ENF.- 149 -ETHICAL QUESTIONS:As already mentioned, the research approach and methods have been approved by theEthical Review Committee of UBC. A copy of this submission is available on request, andcopies the letters of consent and interview guides for staff, Board members and residentshave been attached. I understand that ENF has many requests for research projects, andforemost of importance is the understanding that ENF communities are homes, notresearch labs. Participants’ privacy will be strictly respected, they will be in controlof where and when we meet. In addition, confidentiality will be maintained by keepingthe names of all participants anonymous and ensuring all interviews are locked in theresearcher’s office. Every participant will be informed that they can drop out of thestudy at any time, with no negative effect on them or their home.RESULTS:The result of this study will be a thesis to fulfill the requirements for a Master’s Degreein Planning, but it is also hoped the thesis will be of use to people working in the nonprofit housing sector and for people who live in non-profit housing. A copy of the thesiswill be submitted to UBC Library where it will be available to the public. In addition,the thesis will be made available to the individuals who participated in the study, andanyone else who has an interest in the subject. Three free copies will be given to thenon-profit housing societies involved in the study, and it is hoped that it will aid in theiron-going education and advocacy around non-profit housing issues. If appropriate, thethesis will also be submitted to BCHMC, CMHC, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs andHousing and the Housing Research Centre of the City of Vancouver.TIMING:The research will take place in September and October 1993, with the expectedcompletion of the thesis by December 1993. ENF will receive regular updates about theprogress of the research throughout this time.Thank-you for considering this request. I have enjoyed working with Entre NousFemmes Housing Society in the past, and believe I have an understanding of theprocesses, objectives and principles of the Society. I look forward to working with youin the near future.Sincerely,Vanessa GearySeptember 8, 1993* The “Request for Research” submitted to Red Door Housing Society wassimilar.-150-APPENDIX 3LETTERS OF CONSENTTO RESPONDENTS- 151 -THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIASchool of Community and Regional Planning6333 Memorial Road________Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z2Tel: (604) 822-3276Fax: (604) 822-3787(LETTER OF CONSENT TO RESIDENTS OF NON-PROFIT HOUSING)1 August 1993DearSubject: Building Communities: The Importance ofParticipatory Management in Non-Profit HousingMy name is Vanessa Geary, I am a Masters Student in theSchool of Community and Regional Planning at the Universityof British Columbia, doing research on non-profit housingmanagement in Vancouver as part of my required graduatingthesis. The purpose of this research is to examine whetherresident involvement in non—profit housing management helpsbuild community and promote individual growth.You have been identified as someone who would beinterested in participating in this study, and I hope you canfind the time to help me. I would like to interview youabout the management of your housing and whether residentsare involved. The interview will take no more than 1 1/2hours, and if convenient with you will take place at yourhome. In addition, I may ask you to participate in a focusgroup with other residents of non—profit housing. The focusgroup will be 2 hours long, and I hope it will give us achance to share ideas and experiences.All information collected for this study will be keptstrictly confidential. The names of all people interviewedwill not be identified, and nothing you say will beattributed to you in the thesis.If you have any questions about the interview or focusgroup, or about the research in general, please feel free tocall me at 224—3523. You can also contact my researchadvisor, Dr. Aprodicic Laquian, at 822-5856.The School of Community and Regional Planning is affiliated withthe Centre for Human Settlements and the Westwater Research Centre. page 1 of 2-152-If, for some reason you do not want to participate inthis study, please be assured this will not have a negativeeffect on you or your work. Also, if at any time during thestudy you decide to withdraw or not participate further, Iwill respect this decision.This letter will serve as a consent form, and if youdecide to participate in the study, please sign below. Yoursignature indicates that you have agreed to participate inthe study. You will receive a copy of this letter for yourown records. If you decide to participate, please call me at224—3523 to set up a meeting time.Thank—you very much for your attention to this letter, Ihope to meet you soon.Sincerely,Vanessa GearyPrincipal InvestigatorI, , have read and understand thedetails of the study Building Communities: The Importance ofParticipatory Management in Non—Profit Housing conducted byVanessa Geary, M.A. student, . I agree to participate in aninterview for this study.Signature of Participant Date-153-page2of2THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIASchool of Community and Regional Planning6333 Memorial Road________Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z2Tel: (604) 822-3276Fax: (604) 822-3787(LETTER OF CONSENT TO NON—PROFIT HOUSING SOCIETIES)1 August 1993DearSubject: Building Communities: The Importance ofParticipatory Management in Non-Profit HousingMy name is Vanessa Geary, I am a Masters Student in theSchool of Community and Regional Planning at the Universityof British Columbia, doing research on non-profit housingmanagement in Vancouver as part of my required graduatingthesis. The purpose of this research is to examine whetherresident involvement in non—profit housing management helpsbuild community and promote individual growth.As a staff/board member of___________Housing Society,you have been identified as someone who would be interestedin participating in this study. I would like to interviewyou about the management of your housing communities andresident involvement in non—profit housing in general. Theinterview will take no more than 1 1/2 hours, and will takeplace at the Society’s office.All the information collected for this study will bekept strictly confidential. The names of all peopleinterviewed will not be identified, and no personalattribution of views will be made in the report.If you have any questions about the interview, or aboutthe research in general, please feel free to call me at224—3523. You can also contact my research advisor, Dr.Aprodicio Laquian, at 822-5856.The School of Community and Regional Planning is affiliated withthe Centre for Human Settlements and the Westwater Research Centre.-154- page oIf, for some reason you do not want to participate inthis study, please be assured this will not have a negativeeffect on the Society, staff or Board members. Also, if atany time during the study you decide to withdraw or notparticipate further, I will respect this decision.This letter will serve as a consent form, and if youdecide to participate in the study, please sign below. Thissignature indicates that you have agreed to participate inthe study. You will receive a copy of this letter for yourrecords. If you decide to participate, please call me at224-3523 to set up a meeting time.Thank—you very much for your attention to this letter, Ihope to meet you soon.Sincerely,Vanessa GearyPrincipal InvestigatorI, , have read and understand thedetails of the study Building Communities: The Importance ofParticipatoxy Management in Non-Profit Housing conducted byVanessa Geary, M.A. student, UBC. I agree to participate inan interview for this studySignature of Participant Datepage 2 of 2- 155 -THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIASchool of Community and Regional Planning6333 Memorial Road________Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z2Tel: (604) 822-3276Fax: (604) 822-3787(LETTER OF CONSENT TO PROFESSIONALS WHO WORK IN NON-PROFIT HOUSING)1 August 1993DearSubject: Building Communities: The Importance ofParticipatory Management in Non-Profit HousingMy name is Vanessa Geary, I am a Masters Student in theSchool of Community and Regional Planning at the Universityof British Columbia, doing research on non-profit housingmanagement in Vancouver as part of my required graduatingthesis. The purpose of this research is to examine whetherresident involvement in non—profit housing management helpsbuild community and promote individual growth.You have been identified as someone who would beinterested in participating in this study, and I hope you canfind the time to help me. I would like to interview youabout resident participation in the management of non-profithousing. The interview will take no more than 1 1/2 hours,and if convenient with you will take place at your office.All information collected for this study will be keptstrictly confidential. The names of all people interviewedwill not be identified, and nothing you say will beattributed to you in the thesis.If you have any questions about the interview or focusgroup, or about the research in general, please feel free tocall me at 224—3523. You can also contact my researchadvisor, Dr. Aprodicio Laquian, at 822-5856.The School of Community and Regional Planning is affiliated withthe Centre for Human Settlements cnd the Westwater Research Centre. page 1 of 2- 156-’If, for some reason you do not want to participate inthis study, please be assured this will not have a negativeeffect on the Society, staff or Board members. Also, if atany time during the study you decide to withdraw or notparticipate further, I will respect this decision.This letter will serve as a consent form, and if youdecide to participate in the study, please sign below. Thissignature indicates that you have agreed to participate inthe study. You will receive a copy of this letter for yourrecords. If you decide to participate, please call me at224-3523 to set up a meeting time.Thank-you very much for your attention to this letter, Ihope to meet you soon.Sincerely,Vanessa GearyPrincipal InvestigatorI, , have read and understand thedetails of the study Building Communities: The Importance ofParticipatory Management in Non-Profit Housing conducted byVanessa Geary, M.A. student, UBC. I agree to participate inan interview for this studySignature of Participant Datepage 2 of 2- 157 -APPENDIX 4INTERVIEW GUIDES- 158 -Bui1dinc Communities: The Importance of ParticipatoryManacement in Non-Profit HousinciINTERVIEW GUIDEFOR RESIDENTS OF SELECTED NON-PROFIT HOUSING SOCIETIES1) How long have you lived in this housing community?2) How did you find out about this housing? Were you on awaitlist? If yes, for how long?3) Why did you want to live in non-profit housing? Didyou specifically want to live in a community run by XHousing Society? If yes, why?4) Is living here any different in terms of managementthan other places you have lived? If yes, in whatways?5) Do you feel that the lines of communication are openbetween you and the property manager? Board?6) What are important aspects of management? What do youconsider “goodTT management?7) Is the management responsive to your requests andneeds?8) Is the building well maintained? Are maintenance andrepair requests dealt with quickly?9) Do you feel that you have a say in the management ofyour building?10) Are you involved in the management of you building? Ifno, is it possible to be involved? If yes, in whichways are you involved?11) Is resident participation in the management of nonprofit housing desirable? Why/why not?12) What would help you get involved in the management ofyou building?13) Is this a community? Why/why not? If no, what changescould build community? Is management style animportant part of the sense of community?14) If you have been involved in the management of yourhousing, what has it meant to you?-159-Buildincr Communities: The ImiDortance of ParticilDatoryManacTement in Non-Profit HousinciINTERVIEW GUIDEFOR PROFESSIONALS WORKING IN THE NON-PROFIT HOUSING SECTOR1) How are you involved in the non-profit housing sector?2) What is the goal of the Non-Profit Housing Program?What do you consider the goal of social housing?3) Is resident participation in non-profit housingmanagement desirable?4) How much control should residents have?5) Are residents of non-profit presently able to sit onthe Boards of the Non-Profit Housing Societies? If no,why not?6) What is needed to make resident participation feasibleand effective?7) Are the funds currently available for communitydevelopment or training around resident participationin management?8) Are women involved at every level of non-profit housingmanagement?-160-Building Communities: The Importance of ParticipatoryManaaement in Non-Profit HousingINTERVIEW GUIDEFOR STAFF/BOARD OF SELECTED NON-PROFIT HOUSING SOCIETIES1) How long have you worked with this non-profit housing society?2) What is your background or training in housingmanagement? Do you have prior experience or trainingin managing non-profit housing?3) What is the mandate or purpose of this non-profithousing society?4) Please explain the organizational structure of the society.5) What are the separate or specific tasks that make uphousing management?6) How does non-profit housing management differ frommarket housing management?7) What are the management roles and responsibilities of:A) the staff of the non-profit housing society?B) the Board of the non-profit housing society?C) the BC Housing Management Commission?8) What works about your management style? What does notwork?9) Are residents involved in the management of theirhousing? If yes, how? Do residents sit on the Board?9a) What is resident participation?10) What are the restrictions or hindrances to residentinvolvement? ie/legal, institutional, financial.11) Is resident involvement in management desirable?12) How far should resident participation go? ie/control,input, partnership?13) What would make resident participation in non-profithousing management feasible and effective?• how do you communicate with the tenants? ie/ written, faceto face, through tenant rep?• what issues do you communicate with the tenants about?- 161 -ENTRE NOUS FEMMES/RED DOOR DISCUSSION GROUP1) INTRODUCTIONS--everyone2) WHY WE ARE HERE--Vanessa3) BACKGROUND ON ENF/RED DOOR#1-3= 15-30 minutes4) DISCUSSION re: resident participation in non-profithousing#4= 1.25-1.5 hours5) RECAP--did I miss anything? Was I hearing what wassaid?#5= 15 minutesTHANKS TO YOU ALL!!!!- 162 -Buildincj Communities: The ImDortance of ParticiDatoryManacement in Non-Profit HousincrINTERVIEW GUIDEFOR A FOCUS GROUP INVOLVING RESIDENTS OFSELECTED NON-PROFIT HOUSING SOCIETIESThe following is a rough script for a focus group with 9residents of 2 selected non-profit housing societies. Thefocus group will serve as an open-ended data gatheringtechnique.The discussion will begin with participants introducingthemselves and explaining a little bit about their housingcommunities. This will be followed by an explanation of theresearch by the researcher. The discussion will be allowedto free flow, with the main theme being ‘what is the presentsituation regarding the management of your housing, and howwould you improve it?’ . The questions below will serve asprobes for the issues that are at the heart of the research.The focus group will last no longer than two hours and willtake place in the common room of one of the housingcommunities.•What is considered by the participants to be “good”management?‘Is living in non-profit housing any different in termsof management than other places participants have lived?If yes, in what ways?•Do participants have a say in the management of theirbuildings? Is this important?•Is it possible for residents to be involved in themanagement of their housing? If yes, how? If no, why not,would participants like to be and how?‘Is resident participation in the management of non-profithousing desirable? Why/why not?•]Do participants feel they live in a community? Why/whynot? If no, what changes could build community? Ismanagement style an important part of the sense ofcornmuni ty?‘What would help in facilitating resident involvement inthe management of their buildings?- 163 -

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