Tenants have started moving into The Working Centre’s new apartment project in downtown Kitchener.

The Working Centre built 21 new apartments funded mostly between donations and the federal government.

The new units are converted offices located on Queen Street South, next to The Working Centre’s office.

Fifteen of them have already been rented out, following move-in day earlier this week.

“I was so excited – I jumped. I feel at home. I'm so happy. Everything is so nice. I'm already seeing it. I already see my future,” said one of the new tenants.

The goal is to help those in need in the community – especially mothers.

“Constantly we are seeing new Canadian women with children who are in crisis – not being able to find a place to raise their child,” said Joe Mancini, director at The Working Centre.

Mancini said the need in Kitchener is clear.

“We put out a call for tenants at the end of April. Within two weeks we had thirty people apply and we were just touching the surface of the issue. I think we could fill 100 units without even trying,” Mancini admitted.

For one of the tenants, who we have agreed to not name, the space is just what she needs to raise her three young children after a stay in the shelter system.

“I had just my room and washroom, but now it's so good. I love it because everything is just for me… no sharing it,” laughed the mother.

Depending on the applicant’s income, the units cost between $400 and $600 a month.

“To watch a family grow in a space is really beautiful and so, I can see that in people's faces but I also know what it's going to look like in 10 years when the child is grown up and they move on and this has been a real supportive community that they've been part of,” Mancini said.

He added that this is the type of affordable housing that is required to lift communities up.