From friendly buildings to an emergent pilot project, a history of HNC

An experiment to learn about resident-led leadership in creating more socially connected buildings.

The Hey Neighbour Collective emerged from collaboration between staff involved in the City of Vancouver’s 2018-2019 Hey Neighbour! pilot project and a number of advisory committee members working on similar projects. 

The City of Vancouver’s original Hey Neighbour! Pilot was designed as an experiment to learn about the potential of resident-led leadership in creating more socially connected buildings.

Two rental buildings took part in the pilot. In each building, two residents stepped forward to work with City of Vancouver project staff and their building managers to organize social activities.  

The pilot aimed to:

  • Increase a sense of community amongst residents within their buildings
  • Decrease the frequency and intensity of loneliness among residents
  • Support participating buildings to feel like home, and not just a temporary place of residence
  • Increase sense of responsibility and care over common property amongst residents

The pilot was preceded in 2017 by research into friendly buildings that produced a series of case studies, and culminated in a tour of friendly buildings attended by a diverse group of stakeholders from the housing, public health, municipal, private and non-profit sectors.

The tour provided an opportunity for the attendees to hear directly from residents and property managers and see local best practices first-hand.

It also started a conversation around the importance of working collaboratively across industries to support increased sociability among neighbours living in multi-unit buildings.

To learn more about the Hey Neighbour! pilot, visit the City’s project site, or check out the following reports: