Home Takeover Pilot Project
A home takeover is a situation in which “vulnerable tenants are forced to accommodate unwanted guests in their homes. During home takeovers, vulnerable tenants [may initially] allow people into their homes to fulfill unmet social, economic, and personal needs. In the process, the tenant is threatened physically, financially, and/or psychologically” (The Dream Team, “Safe at Home” Research Project).
Victims of a home takeover, who can also be homeowners, are typically targeted by the perpetrators.
The target and perpetrator may have a relationship already – for example, they could be a grandparent and grandchild or family friends – or they can get to know one another and develop a degree of trust.
Initially, the tenant or homeowner allows the perpetrator into their home several times. But, in a home takeover situation, the tenant or homeowner eventually finds it difficult to get the perpetrator to leave.
The perpetrator may explain that they need to stay over for a short time because of a hardship, but then slowly begin to make themselves at home. Before long, the victims find themselves in a situation where their unit has been taken over and the perpetrator refuses to leave. Sometimes, the victims will experience violence, theft and other forms of abuse by the perpetrator.
Home takeover has been identified as an emerging issue in Grey County rent geared-to-income (RGI) neighbourhoods. The impacts of home takeover for tenants, families, the individuals taking over the unit(s) and the neighbourhood are being observed by housing staff and service providers.
Home takeover is complex with many intersecting factors, and intervention requires time, referrals and response from a number of organizations.
To better understand existing response and gaps in responding to a home takeover, several community partners joined together and participated in a stakeholder survey. As a result, a home takeover advisory committee consisting of housing organizations, mental health services, police, fire and other community organizations was formed to address the issue collaboratively and reduce the incidence of home takeover in RGI neighbourhoods.
As part of the project, a multi-stakeholder Home Takeover Response Framework has been developed as an approach designed to build community partner capacity to prevent, identify, respond to, and support recovery from home takeover.
The following resources are available to increase public knowledge and awareness of the term “Home Takeover”:
Home Should be Your Safe Place (Postcard)
Home Should be a Safe Place (Brochure)
The Risk of Home Takeover is Real (Poster)
Look out for it – Home Takeover (Poster)
Welcomed Guest or Home Takeover? (Checklist)
The Response Framework for Organizations and Service Providers (2022) and Response Pathway (2022) are intended to build community partner capacity to prevent, identify, respond to, and support recovery from home takeover through enhanced inter-sectoral collaboration.
The Guidebook for Organizations and Service Providers (2022) and accompanying presentation will assist organizations and service providers to offer opportunities for education and awareness concerning home takeover for vulnerable tenants, frontline workers and the broader community.