4 new affordable housing projects approved for Waterloo region
Total of 68 supportive units for people facing homelessness, mental illness included
Four new affordable housing priority projects are coming to Waterloo region — including one at a former Kitchener church.
The projects were green-lit Tuesday by the region's committee of the whole. A total of 124 affordable units — including 68 supportive units — will be built, along with 66 market-rate units.
- A 28-unit addition to an existing affordable building for seniors, led by Sprucelawn Apartments. The address is at 33 Front St., St. Jacobs.
- A new construction, 25-unit building for people with mental illness, led by Threshold Homes and Supports. The address is 290 Sheldon Ave., Kitchener.
- A new rental infill apartment with 28 affordable units and 66 market-rate units, at an existing property owned by Parkwood Mennonite Home Inc. The address is 726 Hampshire St., Waterloo.
- The former St. Mark's Lutheran Church will be converted into 43 units and programming space for people who face chronic homelessness, led by Indwell Community Homes. The address is 825 King. St. W., Kitchener.
The region will kick in $10 million for the projects. That's half of the money the region earmarked for capital investment in affordable housing over the next two years, in its most recent budget.
Another $2.6 million will come from federal and provincial funding. The total budget for the projects comes to about $12.6 million.
Coun. Jim Erb noted that without the region's contribution, "we only would have been able to build the first units of Sprucelawn in St. Jacobs."
Erb said that while federal and provincial funding is always appreciated, the region needs to develop its own long-term strategy to pay for affordable housing.
The committee also approved another $10 million from the 2022 budget to buy properties in strategic locations, such as along the upcoming Stage 2 ION route, that could be used for affordable housing.
Over the next five years, the region hopes to build up to 2,500 new affordable housing units.
The committee of the whole decisions are expected to be ratified by council later this month.