Over 12,000 rental and community housing units needed in Kitchener: new report
Kitchener City Hall is pictured on Thursday, July 3, 2014. (Kevin Doerr / CTV Kitchener)
KITCHENER -- Some revealing numbers about the need for more affordable housing, on a variety of levels, were presented to Kitchener City Council on Monday night.
Council received the Kitchener Housing Needs Assessment report, which was put together by city staff and an advisory committee.
From renters to low-income residents and homelessness, the report outlines the current crisis and forecasts some of what’s needed now, and in the years to come.
It notes that average housing prices have more than doubled in the last decade and that far more people are relying on food banks now than ever before.
Among the key findings: the report suggests more than 9,300 new affordable rental units are needed for people whose household incomes are under $63,000.
It also says over 3,000 new community housing units are needed to meet demand in that sector.
The report also says homelessness is on the rise. It notes that while it’s hard to establish firm numbers due to the transient nature of homelessness, shelter use and survey data have identified clear needs for more supportive housing.
It suggests between 250 and 750 supportive housing units are needed to address the crisis at hand.
Housing for seniors is also a concern, with the report predicting the number of seniors will nearly double in the next 20 years.
Affording food is another focus of the report, which notes food bank use by single people has almost doubled in the last five years.
The city says the report will be a foundation for action to address the problems.
“The report identifies housing needs and projected housing supply and information that will help assess the feasibility of inclusionary policies and zoning changes”, notes a release from Kitchener City Hall.
“The next phase of work includes identifying issues, options and clear actions—working towards the development of an Affordable Housing Strategy.”