As well as managing housing complexes, Nanaimo Affordable Housing is active in promoting the value and importance of affordable housing as well as participating in many community, regional, provincial, and national coalitions which focus on affordable housing.
NAHS participates regularly in networking sessions with other housing providers across the Province and has served as a mentor for other housing providers on the Island. Our Executive Director is currently serving in his 6th term as a Director of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA) which is the strategic planning and service organization representing over 500 non-profit housing operators around the Province. His involvement has brought the needs of smaller communities and the importance of supportive housing to the Provincial housing policy table. NAHS is also a member of the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) which is the national housing advocacy organization. This membership helps us to keep informed of resources and trends throughout the country.
NAHS sits as a member of the Social Work community advisory committee of VIU and has delivered a presentation which we call “Housing is Good Social Policy” to students who are pursuing social work as a career. NAHS believes that it is important to introduce post-secondary students to social housing as a vital and vibrant sector. As more employment opportunities in the sector come available in this community and around the province, it will be increasingly important that we start to grow the interest in and understanding of what social housing is about.
NAHS also serves as an information source for affordable housing in the community. NAHS is often the first place that people contact for information and on average, the Society gets over 50 calls per month from families, seniors, and single adults who are trying to find affordable housing.
Because of the recognition that has been received for the work that NAHS has done on research and evaluation, NAHS has been invited to participate in Provincial and National Research Initiatives, the latest one involves a growing concern about food security for individuals living on fixed or low incomes. NAHS staff have also participated in and presented at forums focusing on this topic and other issues facing the non-profit housing sector in Nanaimo.