Kitchener City Council approved the Housing for All strategy, a plan to guide the City’s actions and investments to address housing challenges in our community from 2020 through 2025. In collaboration with our federal, provincial and regional partners, not-for-profit housing providers and the development community, the City will use several tools to help make housing more affordable and accessible to everyone.

Kitchener’s housing situation has dramatically shifted since 2016. A housing needs assessment completed earlier in the year showed a 41 per cent increase in average rent prices since 2009, with home prices increasing by 104 per cent. In July, the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors reported that the average home price in Waterloo Region was almost $640,000. The assessment showed a need for 450 units of supportive housing, 5,000 units of community housing and 9,300 units of affordable rental housing to fill gaps in the existing supply. Filling these needs became targets for the housing strategy.

“Homelessness and housing affordability are two of our community’s most significant challenges,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “Having a safe home is a human right, and I’m proud to see that our new strategy has been shaped by members of the community who have lived experience and that the plan is focused on seeing Kitchener take a leadership role, both locally and nationally, with concrete action and meaningful next steps.”

The strategy outlines seven priorities, including a human rights-based approach to housing, helping to end homelessness and creating a working group of community members with lived experience of homelessness and housing challenges to advise staff in implementing the strategy.

Along with community groups, residents were consulted on developing the strategy. This helped focus the plan’s priorities into specific actions, like creating 450 units of new transitional and supportive housing, providing City-owned property for affordable housing projects, identifying City policies and practices that contribute to affordability challenges for review, and fast-tracking the approval of affordable housing development and working with municipal and regional partners on advocating to other orders of government for support.

“As a lower-tier municipality, we have worked collaboratively and had to be innovative in using the tools available to us to support affordable housing needs,” said Ward 4 Councillor Christine Michaud. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far with our community partners, volunteers and residents who have worked tirelessly to bring us this wide-ranging package of solutions. This strategy is just the start, and I’m excited to see these actions move into implementation.”

“Providing permanent, safe, and supportive housing options has been the ultimate goal of our advisory committee,” said Karen Coviello, Co-Chair Affordable Housing Strategy Advisory Committee. “Together, our committee represents a wide range of diverse views, experiences and perspectives that have all come together to create a blueprint for how we can address the housing challenges and inequalities in our community. I’m proud of this roadmap and I know it will allow us to make Kitchener more affordable, inclusive and the caring community we know we are.”

Addressing housing affordability and supporting Kitchener’s growth as a caring community was identified as a top priority when the City consulted residents on its strategic priorities. The development of a housing strategy was identified as a key deliverable of the City’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan. Funding for the strategy has been incorporated into the City’s existing financial plan, and its approval does not require any request for additional funds. The City’s recently approved Make it Kitchener 2.0 strategy includes a commitment of up to $15 million through the Economic Development Investment Fund to support partnerships in creating mixed-income communities.

The full Housing For All strategy can be found at


For more information, please contact:

Shawn Falcao
Manager, Corporate Communications
City of Kitchener