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. We hope you’ll find these stories demonstrate our commitment to serving individuals and families with dignity – wherever they’re at.
Cara* first moved into Norfolk Housing Association (NHA) over 30 years ago with her young son, having moved here from out East. Cara recalls that she didn’t have a large support network and longed for community – a community with schools, transit, and other amenities that would make it possible for her to build a vibrant life for her and her son.
She’d been living in less than ideal accommodations for a few years, waiting to get into Norfolk Housing, knowing that this community would be the change she and her son needed so badly. When she finally got into a townhouse in Sunnyside she remembers feeling so excited that they could finally relax into a good home, a good school, and a good life.
She liked that everything they needed was within walking distance or easily accessed by c-train or bus. They could walk to the community center for activities and especially liked visiting the Sunnyside Flea Market on Sundays and enjoying Riley Park. Not having to bus her son to school was an added bonus!
Once Cara’s son grew up and left home, she didn’t want to leave Norfolk’s community but also understood what a townhome could do for another small family. So Norfolk and Cara worked together to find her a good unit in another building and free up the townhome for the next family. Since moving to the other building, with more individuals, more units, and more movement in general, Cara feels an even stronger sense of neighbours helping one another, supporting one another, and just being friendly day-to-day.
“The thing I’ve always liked most about living at Norfolk Housing, alongside the great neighbourhood, is that it’s mixed-income. People don’t feel segregated here like they can in other low-income or affordable housing. It’s nice that nobody has to know whether I live in a market unit or a subsidized unit, whether my neighbours pay market rent or rent-geared-to-income. It never occurs to me to care who pays what for rent, as long as everyone is decent to one another and supportive of our community here.”
In addition to the community, the location, and the diversity of a mixed population, Cara notes that she feels great about how well NHA takes care of the buildings and maintains the properties. “It makes me feel proud to live with them and I hope to continue to do so for a long time to come.” Cara anticipates living with NHA for years to come.
*Name changed to respect resident’s privacy