Incentives to Create Affordable Housing

The Region offers incentives for developers, builders and landlords to create homes for people who can't afford market rent.

Capital grants

Every year or two, the Region offers grants to help offset the capital cost of building new affordable and supportive housing.

Since 2001, the Region's capital grants have helped create 1,535 new affordable rental units under the Affordable Housing Strategy.

Who is eligible

Funding is handed out based on responses to requests for proposals (RFP) issued by the Region. To be eligible for funding you must:

  • Be a non-profit or private sector corporation
  • Own or have an accepted offer for land to build on
  • Have proper zoning for the development or have preliminary support from the area municipality for a zone change
  • Keep the units as affordable rental housing for at least 25 years
  • Meet all other requirements in the RFP

Email us to receive calls for proposals when they are issued.

What to submit in an RFP

COCHI and OPHI Guidelines

Investment in Affordable Housing for Ontario - 2014 Extension Program Guidelines 

You can review a copy of our last RFP (now closed) to see the type of information and program requirements typically required in a submission. These may be subject to change.


Secondary suites

If you would like to add an affordable in-law suite to your home, the Region can help you pay for the cost. Funding is available through the Ontario Renovates program.

Visit our Funding for Secondary Suites page to learn more about this program and to apply.

Rent supplement

We encourage landlords to make units available to people on our affordable housing wait list. The Region will cover the gap between how much you charge for rent and how much the tenant can pay.

How it works
If you qualify, we inspect your unit(s) and negotiate the rent. We then enter into an agreement with you and refer tenants from the wait list to you. You enter into a lease with the tenant, collect rent, and we pay you the balance.
Who is eligible
This program is open to anyone building or offering rental units, and agencies that offer support services. The units made available can be any type, including owner-occupied, and do not need to be vacant. Eligibility is based on:
  • The need for affordable housing in certain areas
  • The location of the building
  • The cost of rent for units in the building

How to apply

Please mail or drop off a completed rent supplement application form to:

Region of Waterloo, Housing Division
Attention: Assisted and Affordable Housing Program
99 Regina St. S., 4th Floor
N2J 4V3

Other funding

In addition to the Region's capital grants, there are other opportunities for developers to receive funding for affordable housing.

Regional development charge grants
If you qualify for capital funding under the Region's Affordable Housing Strategy, you may qualify for a Regional Development Charge (RDC) Grant to offset development charges. These grants are made available at the time you receive a building permit and are subject to availability of funding.
Optional property tax class
The optional property tax class lowers the tax ratio of new apartment units (tax ratio 1.000), reducing a developer's overall operating costs. New multi-residential developments that have six or more units are automatically provided with the optional property tax class at the time of assessment. 
Brownfield incentives program

Brownfields are vacant properties. They include former industrial sites, closed gas stations and foundries that have been unused or underdeveloped.

If you plan to build on a brownfield, the Region can help you cover some of the costs of clean up and redevelopment. This program includes:

  • Phase Two Environmental Site Assessment Grant (available Region-wide)
  • Regional Development Charge Exemptions (available Region-wide)
  • Joint Tax-Increment Grant (available in Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo)

Please visit the Region's Brownfield Incentives program for more information.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation seed funding program
This Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation program will help you cover some of the soft costs associated with your affordable housing project. You can qualify for up to $50,000 in funding for costs that include:
  • Incorporation
  • Preliminary financial feasibility
  • Developing a business plan
  • Project drawings/specifications

In some cases, this program also provides fully repayable, interest-free loans of up to $200,000. Visit CMHC's website for more information.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation co-investment fund

This fund encourages developers to adopt unique funding models and innovative building techniques to revolutionize the rental housing sector.

Visit CMHC's website for more information, including how to apply.

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