City of Kitchener finding best options for supporting residents displaced by development

Kitchener is looking to contribute to the province’s goal to build 1.5 million home in 10 years

A motion passed at the most recent city council meeting in Kitchener aims to help tenants displaced by development get the support they need to find new homes.

The motion brought forward on Monday by Ward 1 Councilor Scott Davey will see city staff discuss with community stakeholders, local agencies and different levels of government to use their input in a report that they must bring back to council by the end of 2023.

At the meeting, amendments to the motion were made by other councillors, however CAO Dan Chapman was adamant that it would be wise for staff to create the report with recommendations on tools and best practices before the city implements any new measures.

However, in order to properly contribute to the province’s ambitious target, Davey told CityNews 570 that the most environmentally and financially sustainable way to fight the housing shortage in Ontario is to look at in-fill development. Unfortunately for those who live in affordable housing units in prime locations for development, eviction could be the cost of that decision.

Davey said one of the options could be offering a reduced cost of rent for anyone who is forced out of their home by development plans.

“For example, let’s say there’s 100 units being built where there used to be a three to four [unit] affordable [home]. Can we move them around if there’s a tower being built down the street that has some affordable units being built? Is there a way for us to be able to manage that and make sure they go to the top of the list? It’s options like that, as well as advocating to other levels of government that might even be able to provide some financial supports like if someone is getting evicted, in terms of temporary funds to look for new places to move to.”

Davey also said that residents of Kitchener needed to brace themselves for a major transformation.

“I hope people are aware that with the changes from the province coming down, our region is going to changing very dramatically. Our portion of that 1.5 million in Kitchener alone is 35,000 new homes which is quite a significant number. Our city has changed quite a bit in the last ten years and I think it’s going to be changing quite a bit more in the next ten.”

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