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Thursday, February 29, 2024
Over 500 respond to NOTL seniors housing survey, so far

Project closes on Sunday but there’s still time to fill it out


More than 500 people have responded to a survey that aims to find out what Niagara-on-the-Lake residents’ housing needs and desires are as they age.

The survey closes this Sunday, Jan. 21, so anyone who hasn’t completed it has a few more days to do so.

The online project is a key research tool that an ad hoc committee of residents is using to determine what sort of housing options residents believe they will need as they get older.

“At the outset, we set the closing date for fieldwork at the middle of January, and we’re now only days away from that,” said Steve Ferley, one of the researchers leading the project.

The number of responses already received means the survey organizers, together with a group of Niagara College post-graduate students, will have a “very usable sample” to work with, he said.

His fellow research expert, Michael Ennamorato, noted, “The survey sample is on a self-selected basis, and professional care has been taken to make it as representative of the NOTL 55-plus age population as possible.”

“People have responded to various articles and ads in both of the NOTL community newspapers. And we’ve added responses via NOTL Facebook sites and from posters and business cards distributed across all of NOTL’s communities,” he said.

The survey organizers expect data analysis to show the relative importance of factors in NOTL seniors’ housing needs – both in the next few years and over the longer term.

For instance: Do people want to stay in their current NOTL community? Are they OK with moving to a different community, so long as it’s still in NOTL?

Or maybe they’re looking at somewhere else entirely. What type of residence are they considering for the future?

Do Old Town residents’ plans and desires differ from people in other NOTL communities? Do downsizing patterns differ by community, age, gender or financial resources?

The questions are endless, Ferley said, “so the larger the sample, the greater the opportunity for analyzing the diverse options that may emerge.”

Niagara College School of Business Prof. Nick Farnell’s postgrad students at Niagara College will be working with Ferley and Ennamorato through February and March to analyze the survey data.

The college has access to a wealth of Statistics Canada data, including NOTL census information and figures from other official studies. That can dovetail into the new survey data to yield as complete a picture as possible, Ferley said.

The survey originated from a committee of interested residents who recognized that quantified and objective data was required, he said.

“The findings will be valuable not only for NOTL specifically but also the broader Niagara region and elsewhere.”

“Many companies in the seniors’ housing field obviously do their own research. But the new survey may well give them fresh insights specific to NOTL. The information can help both their corporate operations and NOTL residents,” Ferley added.

The survey is available in a variety of forms, including a QR code that people can click on by using their smartphone camera or a direct link to the survey via https://forms.office.com/r/NGNVQ11SZd.

As well, anyone without internet access or who has trouble accessing the survey can call 905-468-7498 for help.

The committee that inspired the survey includes Robert Bader, Al Bisback, Fran Boot, Cindy Grant, Bill Halpenny, Sandra Hardy, Terry Mactaggart, Sandra O’Connor, Tom Smith, Tim Taylor and Peggy Walker.


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