Guelph Services for the Autistic as Housing Trust

What is a Housing Trust? GSA uses the term with two levels of meaning.
One is the sum of the formal and informal relationships of trust around each person, when an agreement is made to support the lifelong occupancy by a vulnerable person in his or her own home. Such an agreement is legally defined and subject to several conditions.
The term is also used for the charitable not-for-profit corporation that has embraced the vision, mission and function of making these agreements with individual persons and may support several vulnerable persons in homes of their own.
The term Housing Trust has been often used to mean a fund or mechanism for creating affordable housing in municipalities and regions all over the world, with several safeguards—usually involving public funding. We share that general function, but with a special emphasis on supporting a person with a disability (autism in our case) to have his or her own home. Our use of the term also involves more shades of meaning of “trust”—so that persons and their families can trust that good arrangements, made in advance, will be carried out. Trust is involved among more partners.

Guelph Services for the Autistic (GSA) is a charitable, not-for-profit organization, incorporated in Ontario since 1980, that reorganized itself in 1997. GSA’s mission is to help adults with Autism to live good whole person-directed lives in their own homes, supported by people they choose, by holding and administering property in trust for each person’s lifetime, subject to necessary personal and financial safeguards.

Excerpts from introduction to chapter in CREATING A HOME AND GOOD LIFE OF MY OWNStrategies and formal agreements developed by Guelph Services for the Autistic in its role as housing trust (2008). 
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