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Posted Thursday June 25, 2020


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Housing

Region of Waterloo planning for innovative affordable homes

The Region of Waterloo plans to seek proposals from developers to build innovative affordable homes in Waterloo Region. “There is a growing need for affordable housing in Waterloo Region,” said Ryan Pettipiere, Director of Housing Services. “More than 5,000 families and individuals are on the wait list and thousands of others are spending 30 per cent or more of their income on shelter, making it a challenge to meet other basic needs.”

The Region is planning two affordable housing projects for Cambridge and Waterloo. Neighbours have been informed and will be asked for feedback on the design to ensure the homes fit well within their communities.

Up to seven units slated for 127-161 Bechtel Drive in Cambridge will be small but will be permanent, self-contained, and fully serviced. The project slated for this Waterloo Region Housing community will be the first of its kind in the city.

“We’re planning to address affordability in innovative ways using emerging technology,” said Jim Erb, Regional Councillor and Chair of the Housing and Homelessness Steering Committee. “These will be smaller, more energy efficient and cost-effective affordable homes. They can be built faster than standard construction, helping to move people off the wait list more quickly.”

An innovative affordable housing project is also planned for the Region’s surplus lands at 555 Beechwood Drive in Waterloo. This residential development will include green space and environmental design features for the building with guidance from the building/architectural standards of the City of Waterloo.

Virtual meetings and EngageWR pages (www.engagewr.ca/affordable-housing-beechwood and www.engagewr.ca/affordable-housing-bechtel) will be used to provide the community with updates and gather their feedback on the projects as they progress.

These projects align with the priorities in the Region of Waterloo Strategic Plan and the 10-year Housing and Homelessness Plan. They will go to Regional Council for approval to proceed on July 15.












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