Affordable and Supportive Housing is an issue that no single level of government can solve on it's own. It takes cooperation from all levels of government. The Federal, Provincial, Regional levels of government and the City of Kitchener are all working together for solutions.
At a municipal level it's outside of our jurisdiction at the City Of Kitchener to build or operate affordable housing projects. BUT, we can, and have made significant contributions to help make affordable and supportive housing projects happen in Kitchener. I was honoured to serve as a council representative on Kitchener's Affordable Housing Advisory Committee along with representatives Non Profit Providers, Developers, Real Estate Professionals, the Region Of Waterloo, Public Health and those with Lived Experience. I am committed to supporting more actions to increase the supply of affordable and supportive housing. Council voted to support our affordable and supportive housing strategy HOUSING FOR ALL
Here are some of the ways Kitchener has worked together with other levels of government to support affordable and supportive housing builds.
City council voted to provide a 50-year lease at 1 dollar a year, to the YWKW for new supportive housing. The 2 Building project will have 41 units of supportive housing for women experiencing homelessness. The site was valued at around $2.7 million. This project is supported by funding from: City of Kitchener, Region of Waterloo, Rapid Housing Initiative funding from the Federal Government through the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation for details on it Click BUILDING HOPE ON BLOCK LINEA video created after residents moved in shows the positive impact made. View it HERE
The City has also supported oneROOF in their new supportive housing build on Sheldon Avenue for youth experiencing homelessness through waiving of fees, expedited reviews, and helping them secure a loan to ensure the project’s success You can learn more by clicking oneROOF SUPPORTIVE HOUSING
Kitchener has provided land, water and hydro for A Better Tent City for residents experiencing homelessness. The Region of Waterloo has provided services including health care and funding and the Waterloo Region District School Board has provided portables and space too. Residents have washrooms, showers, laundry, dining and kitchen facilities on-site. For information click A BETTER TENT CITY
As part of the 2022 budget, Council responded to public engagement to prioritize affordable housing and voted to make $2 million of funds available in the form of an affordable housing reserve fund to help create more affordable units in the future once the policy is established this year.
There are more projects being planned for the future, including a nine story building with 108 affordable units to be run by House of Friendship on Charles St. Kitchener has partnered with the Social Development Centre Of Waterloo Region to create a 12 member Lived Experience Working Group. This 2 year pilot project will have this group monitor progress of our Housing For All Strategy, advocate for the priorities of under represented communities and co-create an ethical model of community engagement that centres lived expertise.
The Working Centre's Making Home Project is the result of collaboration between the private sector and multiple levels of government including the City of Kitchener. Learn more about it here: WORKING CENTRE MAKING HOME
When opportunities come for Kitchener to provide land or incentives for more affordable and supportive housing builds. I'll support them. Council is working with staff for new and innovative ideas to bring more affordable housing options across the entire housing continuum.
You can contact our Social Planning and Affordable Housing Program Lead of our Equity, Anti-Racism, and Indigenous Initiatives Division, Andrew Ramsaroop with comments or questions at 226.751.6266 or by email at email@example.com
Here are some links to Affordable Housing Information - Just click the links below: