Kitchener councillors have approved a solid foundation for an affordable-housing program.
Now, with support from non-profit groups and private developers, the city hopes this July to move ahead with projects offering low-cost shelter located near public-transit routes throughout the city.
In a unanimous committee vote yesterday that requires final approval at the May 15 council meeting, I was pleased to see councillors approve a variety of incentives to boost construction of affordable housing and hopefully take advantage of long-overdue dollars offered for low-cost shelter by federal and provincial governments.
In council I said city incentives, plus additional support from regional government, will benefit some of the estimated 10,000 adults, children and an increasing number of seniors who have been waiting up to six years for affordable shelter. In addition, across the region, there are at least 1,500 people waiting for supportive housing where they receive help from various agencies.
I also argued that money taxpayers currently spend on health, justice and social services for many of those in need of shelter is likely to be reduced through the provision of affordable housing.
Meanwhile it’s great to hear that Kitchener Housing already has one low-cost housing project ready to go and city planners have seen similar interest from private developers.
Now we have built the foundation, let’s move quickly to construct the rest of the program.