K-W Urban Native Wigwam Project to Open First Indigenous-led Transitional Housing in Waterloo Region

Posted on Tuesday August 08, 2023

Waterloo Region – K-W Urban Native Wigwam Project (KWUNWP) will open the region’s first Indigenous-led transitional housing project this week. Located at 34 Bridgeport Road East in Waterloo, the site will provide temporary housing for individuals experiencing homelessness who identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit – Status and Non-Status).

Onsite staff will support up to 28 individuals (singles, couples and potentially small families in emergency) with 24-hour-a-day care, seven days a week. Supports will be culturally relevant and trauma-informed with an Indigenous focus on community, inclusions, identity and healing.

“Transitional Housing is an overdue and extremely needed addition to the services provided by KWUNWP. We are so happy to have a safe place for our community members to transition into permanent housing and to finally have housing in Waterloo, is also an amazing first for us,” said Lee Ann Hundt, Executive Director, K-W Urban Native Wigwam Project. “The new staff have been working tirelessly to prepare the space and I am so proud of my whole team. We’re ready to make a difference and help those we have been unable to in the past. We are very grateful to the Region for their support.”

The program, supported by the Region of Waterloo, will help individuals experiencing homelessness transition to permanent housing.

“The opening of the region’s first Indigenous-led transitional housing site is an important step forward in our community and one of the actions outlined in our Interim Housing Solutions plan,” said Ryan Pettipiere, Director of Housing, Region of Waterloo. “K-W Urban Native Wigwam Project is a key community partner and brings a much-needed Indigenous focus in providing culturally safe and affordable housing in Waterloo Region.”

HIP Developments, the owner of the property, has also been key in this innovative partnership between the municipal, not-for-profit and private sectors in addressing the housing affordability challenge.

“HIP Developments is proud to play a small role in this important initiative through creative real estate partnerships,” said Scott Higgins, President, HIP Developments. “The peace of mind that comes from having secure and culturally appropriate housing supports for Indigenous peoples is invaluable for those in need.”

In 2023, the Region has budgeted an investment of $192.5 million for Housing and Homelessness.  This includes $109.5 million for housing and homelessness operating programs as well as direct initiatives to address chronic homelessness. It also includes $83 million for affordable housing capital projects.


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