Living in Community Housing

Getting involved in your community can not only make you feel good, it strengthens neighbourhoods. Learn about the different types of community housing offered, opportunities to get engaged, as well as your responsibilities at a tenant or member. 

As COVID-19 recovery continues, Community Services is re-opening its Welcome Spaces and resuming in-person service. However, things look a little different as we work together to stay healthy. Find out what you should know before you visit. Also, please see the full list of COVID-19 service updates and resources for WRH communities. If you live in other types of community housing and need your rent adjusted, please call your housing provider.

Please note: Changes are being made to how your rent is calculated. Find out how to remain eligible for subsidy.

Messages of hope

Waterloo Region Housing staff and residents of the communities they serve are coming together in creative ways during COVID-19. The Messages of Hope Project was developed to fill the days of residents who were staying at home and help reduce social isolation in some of our buildings for older adults. Staff engaged tenants in fun and safe activities to demonstrate our commitment to strong communities in these uncertain times. Messages of Hope will continue, with new and innovative ideas that allow us to stay connected.

If you have an idea for a fun activity and you live in our communities, please reach out to your Community Engagement Specialist with your suggestions. Stay Tuned for more “Messages of Hope.”  

Thanks to all of the tenants who made these beautiful and inspiring displays.

Photo Gallery: Waterloo Region Housing will appear here on the public site.

Co-op Housing 

Living in co-operative housing means that if you are able to, you take part in decisions that impact your community. Tenants are members of a co-operative; this means there is no formal landlord. Co-ops are run by a board of directors elected by the co-op's members. 

Each co-op member takes on tasks to help maintain the community. This helps keep costs more affordable. It also provides members with opportunities to learn new skills.  Meetings are generally held twice a year and are an opportunity for members to have a voice.

If you are interested in moving to a co-op or would like more information, please see Find Affordable Housing.

Non-Profit Housing

Non-profit housing is sponsored by community groups and developed through government programs that help cover costs. These costs include operating or rental costs (the gap between what the tenant can afford to pay and local market rent).

About 89 per cent of non-profit housing is owned by community-based organizations such as service clubs or faith groups. The rest are owned by municipalities. If you are interested in moving to non-profit housing or would like more information, please see Find Affordable Housing.

Waterloo Region Housing

The Region owns and operates more than 2,700 community housing units in Waterloo Region. 

How to get engaged

Waterloo Region Housing communities have very diverse tenants with a sense of commitment to where they live. See below to learn more about the opportunities available. Contact your community relations worker to find out about other social activities that aren't listed here. 


Tenant advisory committee
This advisory body advocates for tenants and plays a large role in decisions that impact Waterloo Region Housing communities. The committee is made up of ten elected tenants, including youth. Elections are held every two years.
Local tenant councils
Tenant councils are in two of our senior housing communities; 168 Grand Avenue and 95 Concession Road in Cambridge. They meet monthly to address tenant issues and concerns. The council also helps foster stronger, more inclusive relationships among tenants and staff.
What's Up newsletter and committee

Produced once a year, this newsletter is a forum for both tenants and the Region to share important information, as well as photos from community events and celebrations.

Whatsup Winter 2020/2021 newsletter plus the Whatsup Winter 2020/201 newsletter insert and Important Reminders

Youth Force

Youth Force is a summer employment program that helps teens and young adults become champions in their neighbourhoods. The program is open to anyone between 14 and 25 years old who lives in or near community housing in Waterloo Region.

Participants are hired by community centres to work in their neighbourhoods while building skills to help with their future careers. Duties include clean ups, gardening, and unit inspections. Supervisory roles are open to the older participants.

Dotmocracy events

We provide people living in Waterloo Region Housing with opportunities to work together to make decisions about the communities they live in.

Recently, tenants from nine WRH communities voted on a colour scheme for bathroom renovations by placing a sticker (dot) next to the colour board they preferred. The one with the most dots was chosen. Feedback from tenants who took part was overwhelmingly positive.

Your responsibilities

As a tenant in WRH, you have some obligations to follow that support a successful tenancy as well as health and safety.  

Paying rent

Because our Welcome Spaces are closed during the coronavirus, paying your rent in person is not an option at this time. Rent payments can be made by mail or through online banking. See instructions below. Please note: we cannot accept cash payments. 

Cheques can be mailed to one of these addresses:

  • 235 King St. E., Kitchener N2G 4N5
  • 99 Regina St. St., Waterloo N2J 4V6
  • 150 Main St., Cambridge N1R 6P9

Rent can be paid online through your bank:  

How to set up pre-authorized rent payments

You can pay your rent online through one of the banks below. You will need to go to your bank to obtain a pre-authorized debit form. Then you can scan and fax the form to: 519-893-8447 or mail it to one of the addresses below.

  • TD Canada Trust
  • RBC Royal Bank
  • BMO Bank of Montreal
  • CIBC
  • Scotiabank
  • TelPay (with a credit union)

How to add Waterloo Region Housing as a payee

Log in to the bank's website and follow the instructions to add “Waterloo Region Housing” as a new payee. You will need your tenant number to use for your account number.

 Smoke-free policy
There is no smoking in units with a smoke-free lease. Tenants also cannot smoke in common areas, including building entrances and exits, or within five meters of any building. Please obey the no smoking signs where you live. 
 Child safety

Please remember to keep your children under the age of 12 safe by supervising them when they are at the playgrounds.

They must not be permitted to play or run into parking lot areas. Also, children's toys and bikes should be stored in the patio area of your home.

It can be very dangerous for children to skateboard or ride bikes in parking lots and driveways; drivers may not see the children, and may not have enough time to stop.

Please explain the risks to your children and help keep them safe!

It is your responsibility if your child damages property, including cars.

 
Noise 
Tenants and their guests should be careful not to make any improper noise in or around their homes. Improper noise is anything which may disturb or interfere with the rights, privileges or interests of your neighbours. Loud music is a common complaint. 
Parking

As a tenant, you may use one parking spot (if available, depending on where you live). Visitors must park on the street or in designated visitor parking spots only. Please be careful when you are entering and exiting your car to not damage the car beside you. 

 
Smoke detectors
All smoke detectors are vital life safety devices in your home. It is an offence under the fire code to tamper with them and this includes the Direct Detect system for Kitchener-Waterloo family tenants. Tenants who disconnect smoke detectors, remove batteries, remove a smoke detector from a wall, and/or contact City of Kitchener and request the smoke detector be moved to another location will be charged for all costs, ranging from $60 to $200.
Changes to your home

Your safety is important to us. Please contact your Property Manager before making changes to your home. This could be for planters, holiday lights or decorations, and the use of peel and stick tiles.

You also need approval from your Property Manager to install a satellite dish or air conditioner.

In the interest of tenant safety, Waterloo Region Housing does not allow bedrooms in basements. 

Waste 
If your apartment building or townhouse complex uses large bins to collect waste, please place all waste inside the bin. Large household items, like mattresses, sofas and appliances, are not allowed in the bins. You must take them to the landfill yourself, or call a pick-up business to remove them for you. 
Key holder responsibilities 
The Waterloo Region Housing key holder in your apartment building ensures that Emergency Services and contractors can access the property. The key holder also monitors fire alarm systems and assists in case of fire alarms, and reports vandalism and building deficiencies to Waterloo Region Housing. For any issues, concerns or for maintenance problems, please call 519 575-4400. 
Tenant insurance 

Tenants are responsible for cleaning and/or replacing clothing, bedding, furniture and other household contents. Insurance can protect you from having to pay to replace household items.

The HSC Tenant Insurance Program offers property and liability coverage. Property coverage protects you from loss or damage to your personal property and pays for living expenses if you need to leave your home because of a covered loss. Liability protects you from costs of claims made against you for accidental injury or damage to someone else's property.

Help with issues in your unit

Who you call about an issue that arises in your unit depends on the type of issue you are dealing with. Click below to learn more. All maintenance requests can be completed online.

Non-urgent maintenance requests

If you have a non-urgent maintenance request, call the Region of Waterloo at 519-575-4400 to speak to a live person 24/7.
Emergency maintenance requests

Please call 519-575-4800 if there is a maintenance emergency in your unit. This includes bed bugs, a sewer back-up, major property damage, or a power outage.

If you call Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and are asked to leave a message, please give as many details as you can.

If you have an emergency when the office is closed, your call will be answered by an after-hours dispatch service.

Managing pests
If you think you have bed bugs, don't worry, it's not your fault! Even the cleanest homes and hotels do; but regularly cleaning and inspecting your home can help prevent or discover an infestation early on. Get more prevention tips or if you have bed bugs in your unit, please call 519-575-4800.

Volunteering with community centre partners

WRH tenants can volunteer with community centres on our sites.  Contact a centre below for volunteer opportunities!

 

Sunnydale Community Centre

508H Sunnydale Pl, Waterloo, ON N2L 4T1

Phone: (519) 883-0410

 

Paulander Community Centre

Unit 1. 60 Paulander Dr, Kitchener, ON N2M 5A5

Phone: (519) 741-1152

 

Courtland Shelley Community Centre

1064 Courtland Ave E, Kitchener, ON N2C 1K6

Phone: (519) 571-7953

 

Kinbridge Community Association

241 Southwood Dr, Cambridge, ON N1S 3S8

Phone: (519) 621-2930

 

Greenway-Chaplin Community Centre

116 Rouse Ave, Cambridge, ON N1R 4M8

Phone: (519) 623-4220

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