Region asks landlords to offer vacant homes to low income individuals
Slow turnover and limited supply of affordable housing a challenge for region
Landlords with vacant housing units are being asked to help Waterloo region provide more affordable housing for low income people.
The region is asking landlords to offer some of their vacant homes through a rent supplement program that aims to lower the wait list for affordable housing.
"In partnering with our local landlords, we're meeting the needs of the landlords, who need tenants to fill their units, and the need for affordability for members of our community," Jennifer Murdoch-Martin, manager of of housing programs and development for the region, told CBC Kitchener-Waterloo.
Currently there are over 4,000 households in Waterloo region on the wait list to get affordable housing, she said.
But slow turnover and a limited supply of affordable housing has made it challenging for the region to get people off the wait list.
"Often landlords may choose to offer units to households with more income to secure their tenancies," Murdoch-Martin said.
She said that by partnering with the region, landlords will still receive their market value rent, as the Region of Waterloo helps pay the difference between what the landlord is charging and what the tenant can afford.
The region's biggest demand is for one bedroom units and rental spaces with three or more bedrooms for bigger families.
Murdoch-Martin said the region is hoping to obtain 200 units spread throughout the community.