Collaboration for impact

Together, we’re working towards a future where more of Canada’s multi-unit housing communities are socially connected, neighbourly, health-promoting and resilient. 

Addressing the epidemic of loneliness and social isolation

Locally and globally, a decline in social and community connectedness has become cause for concern. Well before COVID-19, policy makers around the world started taking action to respond to growing research which shows that strong social connections benefit individuals and communities and make them healthier and more resilient.

Where you live matters

In many of British Columbia’s densifying communities, multi-unit housing is becoming the norm, particularly for low to moderate income households.  However, these housing types often have lower levels of connection and community between neighbours. But it doesn’t need to be that way. 

Hey Neighbour Collective is working to shift this by strengthening social connections and resilience amongst neighbours in multi-unit housing.

Experimenting, learning and making change together

The core of Hey Neighbour Collective is our Community of Practice, comprised of non-profit and for-profit rental housing operators (Catalyst Community Developments Society, Brightside Community Homes Foundation, Concert Properties), non-profits (Building Resilient Neighbourhoods, West End Seniors Network, Seniors Services Society of BC) and researchers (SFU Urban Studies, SFU Health Sciences, SFU Gerontology and Happy City.)

In addition to our Community of Practice partners, HNC includes many other important ‘learning network’ partners: Landlord BC, BC Non-Profit Housing Association, City of Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, City of Victoria, City of New Westminster, Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Coastal Health, BC Housing and United Way Lower Mainland.

These partners share our Community of Practice’s understanding of affordable housing as a key social determinant of health. They consider loneliness and social isolation as critical issues and are concerned that these issues are more prevalent within multi-unit housing, compared to other housing types.

The partners of Hey Neighbour Collective are working together towards a future where more of Canada’s multi-unit housing is socially connected, neighbourly, health-promoting and resilient.

Key strategies

1. Prototyping and piloting community-building programs and activities

Testing and evaluating diverse community-building programs and activities in a variety of multi-unit affordable housing contexts, with a focus on rental housing.

2. Action research & learning

Generating evidence-based data and inspiration for residents, housing operators and cross-sectoral policy makers which highlights professional practice, systems and culture change opportunities.

3. Story sharing & knowledge mobilization

Sharing our stories, practices and evidence related to improved programming, management, design, and community culture of multi-unit housing. 

4. Housing industry & policy engagement

Engaging housing professionals and cross-sectoral policy makers in understanding and implementing opportunities to foster healthier and more resilient housing communities through shifts in policy, programming and practice.

What are we working to change? 

Mindsets & culture

Multi-unit buildings as desirable, vibrant, friendly, socially connected communities


Connected neighbours; collaboration between residents & property managers

Behaviours & practices

Engaged housing providers and industry, active residents

Policy, Systems & structures

Supportive policy, promoting community well-being and resilience-building

Impact areas, what are we working to change: mindsets, relationships, behaviours and practices, policy, systems and structures.

What supports the impact we’re aiming for

    Healthier residents through increased engagement, sense of community, safety and belonging
    Improved business practices and results
    Guidelines and practices that support the creation of environments which foster social connectedness and resilience
    Resources and direction for planning, design and programming

Read our full Theory of Change and access our conceptual project chart

Mash up of the Theory of change pages into a cover image that centres the impact areas.

Theory of change

Read our Change Theory (PDF) about our intended impacts, supports of change, key strategies, collaborators, foundational principles, and more.
hey neighbour collective chart

Hey Neighbour! Collective chart

Explore our collective organization, from Experiment & Learn, to Research & Document, and Share & Mobilize.