A controversial plan to demolish homes to expand a funeral home has been given the green light by the City of Kitchener.

Henry Walser, owner of Henry Walser Funeral Home, is looking to demolish three Becker Street homes that he owns and currently rents out to expand his business.

"It's unfortunate in these times that people are going to be relocated, but my role is a funeral director," said Walser at a Monday night city council meeting. "I want to develop a funeral home that I believe is good for this community."

The extra room would allow him to nearly double parking and add an onsite crematorium.

The plan has been met by opposition from his current tenants who don't want to move out and leave their affordable rent prices.

"She's basically going to be homeless as a result of this project because she cannot afford the rent that they offered to pay in this smaller facility," one delegate said. "She has a child. This is a community. This isn't just a random street to people."

Walser says the growing community is in need of this expansion. In 2001, he says the funeral home served 100 families, and in 2023 they serve 1,400 families every year.