The Emergence of Social Economy Initiatives in Québec to Address the Housing Needs of Seniors

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Comeau, Yvan
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Sommet International des Coopératives, Québec 2014
(Full abstract from French paper) In this paper, the author presents a cross-sectional analysis of five detailed monographs of seniors’ housing initiatives from the social economy sector in order to understand the dynamics informing their foundation. Carried out in 2013 and 2014, these monographs were undertaken using a similar methodology and a common data collection grid. They describe the territory in which these initiatives were undertaken, the context of their emergence, their rules of governance, their organizational functioning, and the provision of services. Although the senior's homes studied have different legal statuses (one cooperative and four non-for-profit organizations), the same factors appear to condition their emergence. Using a collective action perspective, three different sets of theories (relative deprivation, resource mobilization and framing) contribute to explaining the dynamics at play during this phase. Please note that a book has now been published which elaborates upon the findings of this paper: Yvan Comeau, Michel Desrosiers et Laurence Martin-Caron (2015), Intervention collective, mobilisation locale et hébergement des aînés, Québec, Presses de l’Université du Québec, Collection « Initiatives ». (URI included above). Dans ce texte, l’auteur procède à une analyse transversale de cinq monographies détaillées de résidences destinées aux aînés et qui appartiennent à l’économie sociale, afin de comprendre les dynamiques de leur fondation. Réalisée en 2013 et 2014, la production des monographies suit une méthode et une grille communes de collecte des données. Elles s'intéressent au territoire des résidences, à leur contexte d'émergence, à leurs règles de gouvernance, à leur fonctionnement organisationnel et à l'offre de services. Bien que les résidences aient des statuts juridiques différents (une coopérative et quatre compagnies à but non lucratif), on observe des régularités quant aux phénomènes propices à l’émergence de telles initiatives. En envisageant celles-ci en tant qu’actions collectives, les théories de la privation relative, de la mobilisation des ressources et des cadres permettent de comprendre les dynamiques à l’œuvre au cours de cette phase.
(Description of English research summary) This study looks at factors involved in the development of housing in Québec by third sector organizations such as non-profits and co-operatives, that is targeted to seniors with assisted living needs; that is, seniors who are relatively healthy and independent but still require assistance with outings, housekeeping, and meal preparation. This study employed a case study approach, in which the development path of five social-purpose, assisted-living residences for seniors was studied—four were non-profits and one was a multi-stakeholder cooperative with resident-, supporter- and employee-members. (It is worth noting that even the non-co-operative residences featured prescribed engagement for residents on the Board and at the AGM). The facilities were situated in a variety of urban and rural locations, and varied in size from 14 to 71 units—all were built between 2003 and 2012.