NHA likes to tell stories of our residents’ success! However a huge part of our model is respecting the anonymity of all of our residents. In this series, we’ll keep telling those stories but we will change names and remove details that could point to a particular individual (dependent on each person’s preferences and comfort). We hope you’ll find these stories demonstrate our commitment to serving individuals and families with dignity – wherever they’re at.
Peggy first moved to Sunnyside in 1987 and has called the area home for most of the time since. In 2010, with her children long grown and out of the house, Peggy was newly retired and in need of more affordable housing. Having spent many years in the community, she was aware of Norfolk Housing Association and knew that NHA would be the right fit for her in future. In fact, she’d already met some of her current neighbours and was excited by the idea of maintaining those relationships.
“This community was a real fit for me as it had a lot of people and organizations who worked hard to make this community and city a decent place for working people to live.”
When Peggy moved into NHA, she was paying market rents – owing in large part to the fact that NHA is always conscientious of market rental rates, working to ensure they remain affordable. As her income shifted, so did her rent, and Peggy moved to paying rent geared to her income without having to move apartments or change homes.
According to Peggy, NHA’s unique 50/50 mixed model is a great way of keeping rental housing affordable, especially in an often expensive neighbourhood like Hillhurst-Sunnyside. However, as with anything, it isn’t a model that works flawlessly in every scenario and the market units can see more turnover, especially during times of market flux. Any sort of rapid turnover naturally affects the longer-term sense of community that so many residents hold dear (and will note as a main reason for making their homes with NHA).
Peggy is an active member of the NHA community but also in the broader community, over the years leading the charge on labour rights, women’s rights, running for political office, and upholding the values of community on every level. She never misses an NHA Stampede breakfast, attends most Community Advisory Group meetings with residents, and often volunteers both within the NHA sphere and outside of it. Neighbours will tell you that Peggy is always willing to lend a hand – she is a natural leader and we all gravitate towards her optimism for a brighter future.
When asked about plans for the future, Peggy is, as ever, a tireless advocate for improved outcomes for all.
“I will continue to do all I can to encourage people to empower themselves to speak out and act on their concerns, whether it is the right to affordable housing, the right to public healthcare and education and to make sure the needs of everyone are met.”