Housing and Rental Tips

Housing for all


Links of interest for people with a disability seeking housing.  You will find many more links and resources at each of these sites:

HAFI Grants – Home Adaptatons for Independence


Government of BC program that recognizes even small home adaptations can make a big difference in the

lives of people who wish to remain in their homes longer.

If you or a member of your family is having difficulty performing day-to-day activities independently and safely – the HAFI program may be able to help. 
Note that to be eligible for grants to make an improvement your house must be worth less than lot value – who sets these ridiculous limits anyways?


Great new housing resource


SCI BC (formerly BC Paraplegic Association) has a new website dedicated to finding accessible housing.

Beyond the obvious listings there are resources on how to apply for housing while on PWD – see the guide – as well as a good primer on co-ops. Check it out: http://sci-bc-housing.ca/

Need help with shoveling snow? Find a Snow angels program


Need help clearing the snow?  Burnaby has a SNOW ANGELS program,  Or would you like to be a snow angel for your neighbors?  You can register at the Burnaby SNOW ANGELS site.

You can also find Snow Angel programs in other municipalities by just Googling Snow Angel and your city name.

Trouble navigating the disability system?


Our Disability Benefits Navigator allows you to quickly find what you might be missing: http://www.abilitytax.ca/navigator/home.html





CO-OP Housing


Co-operative Housing is a great alternative to a traditonal rental situation, whereby, you have a landlord.  Co-op’s create a "close knit" and family-oriented living environment where everyone knows one another and participates in maintaining and operating the building.  The participation time which is required is minimal.  Applicants & families must go through an interview and other screening including a credit check.  A one-time lump sum of money called shares is also required and is refundable when you move out.

For my handicapped brother and I it has been a wonderful quality of life and alternative to a traditional rental.  Everybody knows you ,holds the door open for you and is there if you have an emergency.  We have resided in one for over five years now and I would highly recommend it.

Check out the website chf.bc.ca for further information. 


Legal information made easy!


Check out this new website, Clicklaw, for all British Columbians.  You can access guides, information sheets and a legal advocate directory.  There is a special topic area for disability that can help you understand your rights to medical care, disability benfits and income assitance. 

There are tons of resources here, for example, in the learn and teach section you can find a link to a video for children to help them understand divorce.

Before hiring a live-in or live-out caregiver, questions to be asked….


I just learned about a new service by the Minister of Labour.  Its called the Employer’s Advisor and the EAO helps with registration and claims if you are the employer.  In fact, call them before you contact WCB and they will walk you through the process.  Here’s what I learned:

The role of the Employers’ Advisory is to provide advice, education, assistance and representation to employers on WorkSafeBC issues. As we are independent from WorkSafeBC we can advise employers on a confidential basis about issues that they may be facing. We can provide expert advice on all areas of WorkSafeBC: Prevention (Occupational Health and Safety); Claims; and Assessments. We can assist employers with submissions or representation including attending hearings. We also provide education seminars to employers. As discussed, our services are at no charge, we are indirectly funded by the Worker’s Compensation system.

Our website for our course listing and other information is: http://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/eao/welcome.htm.  Our main contact number for businesses is: 1-800-663-8783.

Next time you are thinking about WCB coverage, call this number first.  BTW, there’s an article about hiring caregivers in The Tax Detective’s Useful Links.  If you are considering bringing in a live-in caregiver, this is a must read.  Caregiver Conundrum 

Free energy saving kit for low-income households


Are you a BC Hydro customer? Do you live in a low-income household? If so, you may be eligible to receive a free energy saving kit from BC Hydro.

Their free energy saving kit for low-income households offers a variety of simple ways to help you save energy. By reducing how much energy you use every day, you can reduce how much you have to pay for heat and electricity. The tools in the kit will also increase the comfort of your home and help reduce our overall impact on the environment.

What’s in the kit?

The kit contains a number of simple, easy-to-install energy saving products including:

  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). CFLs use up to 75% less energy than regular light bulbs. They can also last up to 10 years.
    • Have a question about the safety of using or disposing CFLs? Visit our CFL tips page to watch videos and find out more information on these energy-saving bulbs.
  • Weatherstripping to put around your windows and doors and help keep out drafts. (You can find videos on draft proofing on our tips page.)
  • Fridge and freezer thermometers to help you set your refrigerator and freezer at an ideal temperature where your food stays cold, but you’re not wasting any extra energy.
  • A low-flow showerhead that uses significantly less water than a standard showerhead.
  • For a full list of the products included in the Energy Saving Kit and how to use the products, download a copy of the Energy Saving Kit instruction manual [PDF, 1.8 Mb].

Home Renovation grants in BC


If you have an adult or child with a developmental disability living at home, you may qualify for financial support for renovations to your home.

The Giving in Action Society  provides grants to families living in the province of British Columbia through the Family Independence Fund. The grants enable families to stay together by addressing accessibility issues in their home and

Find the application form and more information at the Family Independence Fund.