Residents respond to affordable housing project in Beechwood
KITCHENER -- Residents of a Waterloo neighbourhood are raising concerns about the size of a proposed affordable housing complex proposed for the area.
Waterloo Regional Council is set to vote on land use for an affordable housing project in Waterloo's Beechwood neighbourhood on Wednesday night.
Residents in the area are speaking out about the two-acre property that could soon be home to an affordable housing complex.
Jennifer Murdoch-Martin, Waterloo Region's housing programs and development manager, said there's a wait list of 6,000 households waiting to move into affordable housing.
However, some aren't happy about construction so close to home.
"It's not about low-income housing, it's about our property value," nearby resident Judy-Ann D'Aguilar said. "We have invested our lifetime savings into our homes."
Another resident, Lyn Pearce, is one of the delegates scheduled to speak agains the idea at Wednesday's council meeting.
"There is low-income housing on this street, it is not about that," she said. "It is about the size of the structure that does not fit in with single-detached homes and two-storey townhomes."
Murdoch-Martin said the planned complex could accommodate six storeys and more than 200 bedrooms.
Waterloo staff said the zoning changes in 2005 to allow a mid-rise developments of up to six storeys.
Planning for the project is still in its early stages. There were two town hall meetings in June and regional council is set to vote on whether or not the land will be classified as surplus.
"If the lands are considered surplus, we will issue a [request for proposal] to the general public," Murdoch-Martin said.
Coun. Jim Erb said the proposed lot is an ideal location.
"It's within a 10-minute walk to a main bus line that connects to the LRT, there's amenities in the area such as grocery," Erb said.
Pearce, however is concerned about traffic and putting pressure on the amenities in the area.
"There's no green space already in the neighbourhood, the schools already have kids in portables," she said.
Pearce said she'd like to see Habitat for Humanity homes as another option for the land.
If plans go ahead, construction could start in spring of 2021.