Rapid Housing Planned for Waterloo Region

rapid housing planned for waterloo region

A rapid housing initiative was recently announced by the federal government who is funding $8.2 million that will add 42 affordable modular housing units in the Waterloo Region. Hopefully this will help the Region of Waterloo in dealing with the devastating impacts of rising levels of homelessness and housing need.

Ontario Construction News reports that this project will include:


 - 36 units of supportive housing at 1470 Block Line Road in Kitchener for women experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

 - Six one-bedroom units located at 127-161 Bechtel Street in Cambridge for applicants on the community housing waitlist.


"Our government is taking all the necessary steps to ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home. Investments with our municipal partners like the Region of Waterloo will go a long way to effectively support those who need it most by quickly providing new affordable housing units to vulnerable individuals and families. Our Government's plan under the National Housing Strategy continues to provide housing for Canadians from coast to coast, including here in the Waterloo Region."

Minister for Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation | Ahmed Hussen


The funding by the CMHC under the National Housing Strategy provides for the following:


 - To develop new, permanent affordable housing by covering costs associated with modular multi-unit rental construction

 - Conversion of non-residential to affordable multi-residential

 - Rehabilitation of buildings in disrepair and/or abandoned to affordable multi-residential


The Region of Waterloo will work with area municipalities, housing providers and the development community to create new affordable housing. Approved projects closely align with the Region's 10-year Housing and Homelessness plan and will increase support to help low and moderate income households find and maintain housing.

Kitchener contributed the Block Line property (valued at $2.57 million) toward this partnership with the YWCA as our first investment to support Kitchener Council's recently approved Housing For All strategy.


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The Region of Waterloo proposes to use the RHI funding allocation for 36 supportive housing units in Kitchener and 6 affordable housing units in Cambridge. 

According to Kitchener Today, Ahmed Hussen stated that this work will stimulate the local economy and create well-paying jobs when they are needed the most.

Regional Chair, Karen Redman, stated that 42 affordable housing units will be built by the end of 2021 with received funding split between the two projects in the region. 

Redman said that both the Bechtel and Block Line projects closely align with the Region of Waterloo's ten year Housing and Homeless Plan and noted that the Region has submitted an additional eight projects for consideration under the Federal Government's Rapid Housing Initiative's major project stream. If these projects get approved, they will be in partnership with an additional seven non-profit agencies and include a total of 176 units of affordable or transitional housing - with continued focus on Indigenous residents, people with disabilities, women fleeing violence and families.


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Posted by Judy Lamelza

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