Region of Waterloo Chair Karen Redman and Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, together with over 250 housing stakeholders from across Canada met yesterday with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Ahmed Hussen and other federal representatives at the Federal Housing Summit.  The Summit, organized by the Federal government through the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and also with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), brought together a broad set of housing stakeholders from all orders of governments, Indigenous organizations, as well as the non-profit and private sectors, to discuss a collaborative approach to creating more housing supply and giving more Canadians a place to call home.

“The housing market and home prices are emerging as the #1 issue for so many people in Kitchener and across Canada,” said City of Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “The crisis in housing affordability and supply has been building over a number of years, and we know that it will not be fixed in one meeting. Today’s Federal Housing Summit, which included representatives from all three orders of government, builds on the recent Ontario-Municipal Housing Affordability Summit and other work to date.  It is only when all orders of government work together with other stakeholders that we can achieve a coordinated, long-term strategy towards creating housing for all.”

Last week, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland made new federal emergency support for public transit systems contingent on provinces and territories taking action on addressing barriers to housing supply, in collaboration with municipalities, demonstrating the importance and urgency of housing. Provincial governments, like Ontario, are focusing on the issue of housing.  Solving the housing crisis also means appropriate housing for everybody.

“Ending chronic homelessness and supporting those with mental health and addiction issues can be achieved if we are committed to working together and investing in our people,” said Regional Chair, Karen Redman. “This is why municipalities across Canada are calling on the federal government to scale-up the proven Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), and permanently double funding for the community-based Reaching Home homelessness strategy. With this approach, we will continue to make progress on our ambitious affordable housing strategy locally across Waterloo Region.”

Municipalities from around Canada are ready to do their part and, in many cases, have already taken action. In our community, the Region of Waterloo and City of Kitchener have partnered with the federal government and local organizations through the Rapid Housing Initiative and other programs for additional housing units at the YW on Block Line Road and at oneRoof on Sheldon Avenue, to name a few.  Now is the time to work together and build homes for Canadians.


The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) unites more than 2,000 local governments at the national level, representing more than 90 per cent of Canadians in every province and territory. FCM’s Big City Mayors’ Caucus (BCMC) convenes the mayors of 22 major Canadian cities. 

FCM news releases and announcements

CMHC news releases

For more information, please contact: 

Paul Grivicic, Chief of Staff

City of Kitchener


Bethany Rowland, Director of Corporate Communications & Marketing

City of Kitchener  


TJ Flynn 

Director, Corporate Communications, Region of Waterloo