The Sionito Model Explained


The Sionito Model is based on the principles and values of the Social Work Profession: empowering the quest for independent life-ability against the context of individual and societal realities. It is a housing centric social policy model.


Societal Reality #1

Stated more simply, the Sionito Model understands the term "independence" as meaning reduced government intervention and costs. Compared to other models ranging from boarding homes to supported and supportive housing, to RHRA licensed care homes, and finally nursing homes; the Sionito Model has the lowest per diem costs, and has no need for new program or care funding.


Societal Reality #2

Long waiting lines for housing are the systemic flaw of present social policy frameworks. The research data shows across the societal spectrum of chronic physical and mental health disabilities, for each there are long waiting lines for stable affordable housing. Homeless shelters, which surprisingly are without waiting lines, are not the answer. Placing frail senior's prematurely into nursing home settings is not the answer. The Sionito Model is designed to respond to the simple research based fact that housing is a determinant of mental health, and properly understood is a determinant of family and societal health.


More services will not solve this crisis, only a master ‘housing centric’ social policy will solve our present crisis. Housing is the home base where informal care supports of family and friends can be applied. Informal care, when not available for citizens, doubles the health care cost for governments. Research shows that permanent housing, with community based supports, retains 85% of former users of shelters. It does not take a research study to comprehend that all chronic health challenges require a stable home base where community based support services can consistently find the client and then develop life-ability plans encouraging their independence. A home base is the core requisite of a multitude of 'aging in place' social policy initiatives focused on helping seniors remain independent from government funded settings of care.


The response to long waiting lines for affordable housing, the systemic flaw of present social policy; consists of the following components, which constitute the Sionito Model.


1) Use of 'waiting line based' housing designs that will produce the maximum number of units, not the maximum space per unit.

2)  Focus firstly on present levels of independence; not a listing of services to be provided. Effectively enable those with chronic mental health or aging related frailties to self-design an individualized appropriate 'life-ability plan' that will allow them to reduce (short term or long term) their unique stress and/or anxiety response to any or all of the following activities of daily living (ADL):

  1. the regular planning of menus, the activities of budgeting for food, the activities of shopping for food, the activities of preparing for food, the activities of managing meal time related pharmaceuticals
  2. the regular removal, washing, repositioning of all bed related sheets, pillow cases and bathroom related towels
iii) the regular cleaning, de-hoarding, and pest prevention activities of hygiene related to all private home spaces.

By reducing anxiety triggers, independence producing abilities can be increased.


3) Using a professional social work administrator, effectively encourage and co-ordinate community based service agencies to provide the supports and health care navigation needed by each tenant's diagnosed condition or conditions.


The goal is to use increased tenant independence at the 'activities of daily living' low cost support levels to dramatically decrease government high cost health care and dependence based support interventions. Research shows that 20% of seniors in nursing home settings could live independently if provided with ADL supports.


The vision is to provide through Civil Society Organizations like Sionito, a new apartment model in Canada that includes a dining room amenity in every setting with 60 or more seniors aging in place. This amenity is the only essential requirement of the Sionito Model and it can be easily placed into new builds or renovated apartment buildings.



The Capital Efficiencies of the Model

The data shows that by using reduced space per unit, the numbers of units in the same building envelop is greatly increased, without effecting the life-ability of single occupant tenants, who have been waiting in line, sometimes for years.


The data shows that Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) with charitable designations can produce a viable economic model that over time creates sufficient equity to continually refinance, upgrade and even expand their unit counts.


The data shows that governments partnering through upfront grants or long term mortgages to CSOs can develop a mental health related Civil Society Sector, that uniquely will not require ongoing constantly increasing operating subsidies.


The data shows that governments partnering with CSOs will lower dependence and increase independence of its most vulnerable most impoverished citizens, thereby reducing the need for supportive housing and nursing home spaces.


The data shows that governments partnering with CSOs will lower per diem costs of challenged citizens by reducing their presence in high per diem settings such as hospital emergency wards, ALC beds, rehabilitation centres and long term care settings.


The Operational Efficiencies of the Model

The data shows that low income and impoverished seniors and those who are younger with mental health challenges have sufficient funds from present government pensions (disability and senior) to pay "affordable" rents (as defined by CMHC) as well as cleaning and food service fees to maintain their independence.


The data shows that low level low cost ADL support services can be provided at a very affordable per diem rate.           


The data shows that high level high cost mental health supports can be provided from already funded community based agencies.          


The data, studied by arms length experts and consultants, will be able to show that the social housing projects based on this model can sustain the financing payments established in this business model.


The Social Work Outcomes of the Model

Accentuating life-abilities rather than services, the Sionito Model increases individual independence, and thereby decreases government intervention.





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Exemplar 591 Finch Avenue West New Development Opening Fall of 2020.


The Capital Efficiencies of the Model        

The data shows that the Sionito (CSO) project at 591 Finch Avenue West is financially viable and meets all of the CMHC National Housing Strategy milestones; accessibility, affordability and 'environ-ability', at levels that are beyond the norm:       

  1. affordability comes in three levels; 79%, 69% and 50% of median rental rates in the Westminster Branson (North York Zone 16) neighbourhood of Toronto
  2. accessibility comes at 100% barrier free building and 32% level of accessible units.
  3. environ-ability comes in the aggressive investigation of electric battery storage combined with solar panels to produce a 100% green electrically heated and operated facility.               


The Operational Efficiencies of the Model

The data supported by the operating cost history of the Bill McMurray Residence shows that the operating expenses of the 591 Finch Avenue West project will be covered by their operating revenues with a reasonable surplus.



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