Rights Recognized in Occupancy Agreement

The occupancy agreement encapsulates the essence of GSA’s function as a housing trust, in enabling a vulnerable person to live in her own home with dignity, respect and safety. It is the basic and central legal agreement between the housing trust and the person. Its various clauses enable the person named in the agreement to enjoy all the benefits of lifetime homeownership and to develop her home as the basis of a whole good life, while protected against the risks of exploitation or inadvertent failure to maintain occupancy.

Alongside the more conventional legal language is a plain-language version expressed in the first person. While the home is legally the property of GSA, which takes responsibility for its safety, maintenance and financial viability, everyone concerned regards it as the home of the person named in the agreement. Respect for each person who makes an occupancy agreement with GSA is also expressed in the status as an “active member” and by the power to elect directors of the GSA board.

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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