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Region collaborating with community partners to create more affordable housing

The region's surplus property, 23 Mill St., is to be used for affordable housing and is ready for occupancy after undergoing repairs
Region of Waterloo administration complex
The Region of Waterloo administration complex on Frederick Street in Kitchener.
Waterloo Region – The Region of Waterloo surplus property, 24 Mill Street, is ready for occupancy creating more affordable homes in the Region. In December 2020, MennoHomes was gifted 24 Mill Street in a lottery and underwent repairs in 2021 to get the property ready for a new family’s fresh start. The short turnaround speaks to the commitment both the Region and its partners have to affordable housing.

Regional Council declared the properties to be surplus on April 17, 2019, meaning they were not being used but were owned by Regional government. This was the first time the Region held a lottery for surplus properties rather than selling them, and was another step towards our goal of Building Better Futures: 2,500 homes in 5 years.

“The Region continues to prioritize affordable housing through our plan Building Better Futures: 2,500 Homes in 5 Years,” says Regional Chair Karen Redman. “Our lottery for three surplus properties is another example of how we can increase supply through innovation and local partnerships.”

Menno Homes Inc., along with Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) have been working diligently throughout the last seven months to repair and renovate 24 Mill Street to provide a family with a fresh start in affordable housing. In honour of the many volunteers that helped with this project, a celebration was held last night.

“With the gift of the house from The Region of Waterloo, we saw the potential to provide much needed housing for a family in downtown Kitchener,” notes Dan Driedger, Executive Director of MennoHomes. “This project would not have been possible without the incredible support of the staff and volunteers from Mennonite Disaster Service. They have transformed a dilapidated house into someone’s home.”

“The Region of Waterloo thought outside the box with a surplus house,” says Bruce Weber, Project Director of Mennonite Disaster Service. “MennoHomes is a wonderful affordable housing provider. Mennonite Disaster Service provides caring volunteers to rebuild houses. A caring group of families sponsored a refugee family who had been displaced by their government. All these folks worked together to provide a beautiful home for a family that had none.”

The Region’s two other gifted surplus properties have 34 Mill Street transferred with a tenant in place, and 32 Mill Street set to be occupied on September 30, 2021.


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