Welcome Guest!
In order to take advantage of all the great features that Waterloo Region Connected has to offer, including participating in the lively discussions below, you're going to have to register. The good news is that it'll take less than a minute and you can get started enjoying Waterloo Region's best online community right away.
or Create an Account




Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Affordable Housing
#1
How much subsidized housing has been made in the region? Is there any sort of tracker for this? I have heard of a few projects in Cambridge but haven't heard much happening in Kitchener or Waterloo
Reply


#2
(11-21-2018, 08:47 PM)darts Wrote: How much subsidized housing has been made in the region? Is there any sort of tracker for this? I have heard of a few projects in Cambridge but haven't heard much happening in Kitchener or Waterloo

Kitchener Housing has 730 units, most of them income-geared. I have no idea about Cambridge or Waterloo, though.
https://www.kitchener.ca/en/city-service...g-inc.aspx
Reply
#3
The region has 2,700 units, but their wait list is 4,000.

This report would suggest that there are about 10,400 units in the region and another report suggests there are 245 emergency bed spots across the region.
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
Reply
#4
(11-21-2018, 11:18 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(11-21-2018, 08:47 PM)darts Wrote: How much subsidized housing has been made in the region? Is there any sort of tracker for this? I have heard of a few projects in Cambridge but haven't heard much happening in Kitchener or Waterloo

Kitchener Housing has 730 units, most of them income-geared. I have no idea about Cambridge or Waterloo, though.
https://www.kitchener.ca/en/city-service...g-inc.aspx

One of the big issues with housing is how many of these units are destroyed by their tenants and end up being condemned. I've dealt with it before, and this one family (husband and wife and their 7 kids) were on their third rental because they had trashed the other two so bad that it was a massive health risk. You're talking feces on walls, vomit in every corner of the house, holes in the walls, door, and rotting food everywhere. I wasn't sure if I was more surprised that they kept getting a new/fresh units or that Family and Child Services didn't take the kids.

If people were to take care of their places, I'm sure the city/region could probably quadruple the amount of units that they own.
Reply
#5
And yet I suspect that the vast majority of people in income-geared housing do NOT destroy their units. The ones that do are yet another problem that we need to work on a solution for.
Reply
#6
(11-21-2018, 11:42 PM)tomh009 Wrote: And yet I suspect that the vast majority of people in income-geared housing do NOT destroy their units. The ones that do are yet another problem that we need to work on a solution for.

Indeed. The few ruin things for the others. I think there are two difficult points that should not be ignored:

1) We need to emphasize helping those who don’t resist the help. So for example, if people destroy their subsidized apartment, they should be blacklisted in favour of people who won’t destroy their apartment. Even if there are psychological or other issues that make the destruction not really their fault, it’s just not fair to those who only need an apartment for scarce apartments to be occupied by people who destroy them. But see point (2).

2) Some people aren’t really grownups and cannot be treated as such. I’m not sure what the proper arrangement is, but in the described case, it sounds like if they are to be given housing it needs to be more like an old-fashioned dormitory, with strict rules, monitoring, and instruction in proper behaviour; maybe even curfews. If they don’t like it, they can live on the street. We don’t have infinite resources to keep cleaning up after people. The trick is that the rules and procedures need to be designed to support as well as possible people who are difficult to help, not with the goal of shaming anybody. For example, I mentioned curfews. But if those would not help achieve the actual goals, they would not be used.
Reply
#7
It would be nice if there were tools at the disposal of the Region and/or Cities to compel certain types of housing units as part of any development as a matter of public health. What do the various Official Plans say on the subject?
Reply
#8
(11-23-2018, 02:45 PM)nms Wrote: It would be nice if there were tools at the disposal of the Region and/or Cities to compel certain types of housing units as part of any development as a matter of public health. What do the various Official Plans say on the subject?

To make it mandatory, you would really need to do it using the zoning bylaws.

I think a better approach is to use the carrot rather than the stick, and to encourage developers to do the "right thing" through bonusing, development fees and property taxes.
Reply
#9
With the number of zoning amendments that developers have youd think the cities could leverage the developers for something like this.
Reply
#10
(11-24-2018, 08:33 AM)Spokes Wrote: With the number of zoning amendments that developers have youd think the cities could leverage the developers for something like this.

And they do. Whether the carrots are attractive enough is another question.

Personally I think we need a comprehensive policy to encourage inclusion of income-geared units. With some safeguards to protect the buildings from the ill-behaved tenants: those can scare off developers from offering any affordable units.
Reply
#11
I have heard talk of creating some sort of 'repair fund' that could exist that developers/landlords could access to fund the cost of repairs if damage occurs on subsidized units. That could in theory reduce their hesitations over renting to a particular group. I'd also love to see more subsidized housing tied to individuals/families rather than to 'units'. This could help ease transitions for those individuals when they need to move.
Reply
#12
I was thinking along the lines that not too long ago having steps up to a business was normal, as was not having indoor plumbing or a suitable number of fire exits. These changes (and others) were made by society in general when it was decided that some things should be mandated while not waiting for a property owner to carry out their own upgrades.

Accepting that if our urban fabric will become more vertical, then the vertical spaces should provide for a variety of demographics. I'm pretty sure that the building where Trinity was will have accessible entrances, indoor plumbing and a suitable number of fire exits.
Reply
#13
How many new units were created? I've seen a few units made in waterloo or in the process at least. I guess this isn't the type of thing that anyone keeps stats for
Reply
#14
(11-25-2018, 10:10 AM)dtkmelissa Wrote: I have heard talk of creating some sort of 'repair fund' that could exist that developers/landlords could access to fund the cost of repairs if damage occurs on subsidized units. That could in theory reduce their hesitations over renting to a particular group. I'd also love to see more subsidized housing tied to individuals/families rather than to 'units'. This could help ease transitions for those individuals when they need to move.

I would take this one step beyond: add an "affordable housing surcharge" to development fees and/or property taxes. A 10% development surcharge, for example, would add maybe $320 in development charges to a downtown apartment or condo, or $1100 to a suburban detached house. Developments that include at least 5% affordable/income-geared units would be exempt from the surcharge, and including at least 10% would provide a 10% discount instead. The revenues from the surcharge would be earmarked to damage repairs and any other affordable housing-related spending.

A 10% surcharge would not have a significant impact on buyers, but would provide a boost to the affordable housing budgets. And the surcharge/discount incentives would encourage inclusion of affordable units. (Whether 10% is the right number is left as an exercise for the reader.)
Reply
« Next Oldest | Next Newest »



Possibly Related Threads...
  Mixed-use developments and affordable housing Bob_McBob 31 5,358 07-06-2018, 02:51 PM
Last Post: jeffster

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

About Waterloo Region Connected

Launched in August 2014, Waterloo Region Connected is an online community that brings together all the things that make Waterloo Region great. Waterloo Region Connected provides user-driven content fueled by a lively discussion forum covering topics like urban development, transportation projects, heritage issues, businesses and other issues of interest to those in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and the four Townships - North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich.

              User Links