Kitchener building supportive housing for women

block line kitchener Y

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

An affordable housing project being built by the Region of Waterloo and YW of Kitchener-Waterloo on land provided by the City of Kitchener, is expected to be ready by early 2022.

Building Better Futures: 2,500 Homes in 5 Years, the YW Block Line Supportive Housing project will add 41 new homes to The Region of Waterloo, along with built-in supports for residents, including case and crisis management, daily life skills, access to food bank services, and move-in-supports, ensuring they continue to get the help they need.

The new supportive units will provide housing for women experiencing or at risk of homelessness, reducing the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness in the Region.

People who are ‘chronically homeless’ have been staying in shelters or on the street for at least six months of the past year, or at least eighteen months of the past three years in the region.

“In many cases, the women who will be moving into YW Block Line Supportive Housing have been homeless for years. Our new program will end their homelessness, and the homelessness of almost half the women on Waterloo Region’s supportive housing waitlist, giving them apartments to call their own and a community in which they can stabilize and flourish,” said Elizabeth Clarke, CEO of the YW Kitchener-Waterloo.

Regional Council and the Government of Canada through the Rapid Housing Initiative announced this project, along with another affordable housing project, in December 2020 through an $8.2 million dollar investment. The City of Kitchener’s contribution of the one acre Block Line property is valued at $2.57 million.

“Safe and affordable housing is a human right,” said Kitchener Mayor, Berry Vrbanovic. “The Rapid Housing Initiative is a truly collaborative effort to build much-needed affordable housing. Women have been one of the most highly impacted groups of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the City of Kitchener is pleased to contribute our Block Line property toward this partnership with the YWCA as our first investment to support Kitchener Council’s Housing For All strategy,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic.

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