Welcome to the Independent Living Housing Society

Like most of us, many people with physical or developmental disabilities would like to live independently where they can determine their own environment and make their own lifestyle choices.  The Independent Living Housing Society of Greater Victoria makes that possible.  ILHS builds or modifies existing homes to accommodate people with special needs and helps them operate the homes for safe and comfortable living.

The Independent Living Housing Society of Greater Victoria is a non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors and administered by the Executive Director and administrative office staff.  Community Living BC and the Vancouver Island Health Authority provide funding to ILHS.


History of Independent Living Housing Society

The Independent Living Housing Society was founded in 1976 by a group of people who lived at the Gorge Road Hospital in its Extended Care Unit. They shared the desire to live a more  independent lifestyle free of institutional constraints, and had a meeting to discuss new and innovative housing options. Out of those people, four decided that they were compatible and could live together. They were also willing to take responsibility for hiring and firing care workers, looking after the physical maintenance of a house, and paying the rent, utilities, and their household expenses. A renovated, wheelchair-modified house in the Swan Lake area was purchased and the first tenants moved in on May 25th, 1976.  In 1978, a second home was opened in the Tillicum area. It was a newly constructed home designed specifically to address the needs of persons with physical, mental, or multiple challenges.

The new Society was initially operated under the auspices of the G.R. Pearkes Clinic and funded by a cross section of government ministries and other non-profit organizations.  The formal mission of the new Society was developed, “To respond to the expressed consumer need for independent living by providing and assisting with community based independent living options for persons with physical or developmental challenges.” The opportunity was thereby created for any person who so desired to be in control of their environment and all decisions concerning their personal needs and care, who their roommates would be, home furnishings and décor, house maintenance, meal planning and preparation, as so on. As the organization grew, administrative work originally handled by the residents was transferred to the Society. On October 2, 1986, G.R. Pearkes Clinic turned the houses over to the ILHS for $1.00.

ILHS subsequently developed and constructed a house in the Gordon Head area, which was officially opened on June 22, 1990. It is a licensed home funded by the Ministry for Children and Family Development, Services for Community Living Branch. To protect the assets of the new home, a separate society was formed in 1988, called the Independent Living Housing Society Of Greater Victoria. The two societies later amalgamated, as both were serving the needs of the same group of people.

Throughout the 1990’s, the Independent Living Housing Society opened three other housing resources: a residential home located in the Gordon Head area, a house in the Swan Lake area with one permanent tenant and three respite beds, and one floor of an apartment building in the Tillicum area with seven, one-bedroom apartments. The Independent Living Housing Society continues to work to provide opportunities for individuals to develop a more independent lifestyle in a very active way, and to the extent that they are able, manage housing finances, participate in decision-making, and direct activities of daily living.

Services provided by Independent Living Housing Society

Falmouth Home


The ILHS currently operates four centrally located residential homes with housing for four clients in each as well as an apartment complex that provides housing and care worker support for seven clients in their own apartments.

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Easter Road Bed & Breakfast


The Easter Road Bed & Breakfast is a unique house where adults with multiple disabilities can come and enjoy a vacation in a home-away-from-home atmosphere.

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Heather's Residence

Home Share

ILHS contracts home share providers to offer residential options which include a variety of living arrangements supporting adults to live in a home environment that caters to their specific lifestyle preferences and unique needs.

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CARF Accreditation was awarded to Independent Living Housing Society in 2008 for the provisions of programs and services in our homes.


What is Accreditation?

Proudly accredited since 2008

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is a peer review process that helps the Independent Living Society of Greater Victoria improve the quality of services provided to clients.  Accreditation demonstrates that our organization has opened its service delivery and business processes to outside scrutiny to improve the quality of our programs. Every three years surveyors visit our homes and offices to evaluate our compliance with the highest standards for residential operations and organizational management.

What is CARF?

Proudly accredited since 2008

What is CARF?

The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, or CARF, is a private, non-profit organization that grew out of a need to promote quality programs for people with disabilities. CARF has surveyors with extensive experience and training in the area in which they survey. The role of the surveyor is to help organizations achieve the goal of assisting individuals with disabilities in achieving their highest human potential.