Fika House aims to be one of Canada’s first NetZero developments to address the lack of affordable and environmentally focused housing for Saskatoon’s growing LGBTQ2+ seniors’ community. Through the co-housing inspired design, it will provide residents with a safe environment to age in place with like-minded couples and individuals and will provide access to a network of service providers and queer-friendly organizations. Fika House will include units with Universal Design features to help those with physical disabilities thrive in an independent environment.
The goal of Fika House is to redefine what affordability means in housing while increasing quality of life for our LGBTQ2+ community pioneers. The complex will reduce costs through a car share program, a NetZero design which will reduce utility costs and the creation of a community garden to help with day to day nutritional needs.
Fika House is being designed for seniors of the Saskatoon LGBTQ2+ community aged 50 and above and in need of affordable housing. A small number of the suites will be prioritised for youth in the community who are willing to contribute time to help residents plan and execute community building activities. The suites will be a combination of one bedroom and bachelor units suitable for individuals and couples with two guest bedrooms available for short-term use by tenants with out of town guests.
Geoffrey, through Petrichor Developments, demonstrates strong stewardship in regards to building a future that will be more positive for those who still face barriers of homophobia, transphobia, and social exclusion, when making choices about retirement and/or living in community settings.
Rachel Loewen Walker
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SHIP is a community-based non-profit organization that fosters collective action to develop creative solutions to affordable housing and homelessness in Saskatoon. They believe that the ample supply of affordable housing choices contributes to the economic, social and personal well-being of the residents of Saskatoon, and helps create a safe, healthy and prosperous community. SHIP was engaged to perform the Need and Demand study for Fika House as well as to facilitate business planning and grant applications.
7,910 LGBTQ2+ seniors in Saskatchewan
Does the Community Exist?
The LGBTQ2+ seniors’ community in Saskatchewan is estimated to be as high as 7,910 individuals based on a 2011 report by Forum Research. This number is expected to climb as the baby boomer generation retires and there is better inclusion through census reporting.
LGBTQ2+ & Health
Seniors within the community are 5x less likely to access health care services than their heterosexual counterparts.
Impact of Transphobia & Homophobia in Housing
The presence of extreme hardship in areas where homophobia and transphobia intersect with poverty, social exclusion, and job insecurity often result in high rates of housing insecurity, health problems, and homelessness within the LGBTQ2+ population.
A study conducted by Saskatoon Council on Aging and OUT Saskatoon showed that up to 30% of current residents in retirement communities would not accept an LGBTQ2+ person into their home. This study also indicated that managers of these facilities did not see the significance of offering an “LGBT friendly” environment.
Want to read the full study?Download PDF
Petrichor Developments was founded on the concept of "Ethical Development". We look to innovate within the community development sector by redefining affordability to help Canadians in need of long-term affordable housing. Redefining affordability looks at our responsibility as developers to go above and beyond the rent costs to create a climate of inclusivity and environmental responsibility. In doing this, we aim to help improve our tenants’ quality of life by reducing day-to-day expenses.
As a company, we guide our development and expansion plans through the lens of the United Nations 17 Strategies for Sustainable Development.
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Real Canadian Property Management
Real Estate Consultant
Start Up Founded
Business Plan & Need and Demand Contracted
Secured Marketing & Land Deposit Funding
Received Design Budget
Accepted Land Negotiations
Name of Fika House Chosen
Submitted Initial Grant Applications
Having always been passionate about business and affordable housing initiatives, he knew he wanted to put his own mark on the industry, but he also wanted his project to be something more than simply a low-cost place to live. Now, he is the brains behind Canada’s first-ever affordable housing project created specifically for LGBTQ seniors.