Region invests $3 million in Indigenous led affordable housing initiative

Posted on Thursday January 13, 2022

Waterloo Region – Today, the Region of Waterloo announces $3 million in funding for the development of 30 new homes for families in Cambridge, leading to a better quality life for residents. The homes will be managed by KW Urban Native Wigwam Project with funding from the Region’s Equity Investment Fund. This significant investment is announced alongside $4.5 million in funding for the development from the Rapid Housing Initiative through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC).

The Region’s Equity Investment Fund is part of Regional Council’s vision for an inclusive community where everybody can thrive. The fund aims to improve the economic, social, and cultural health and well-being of Indigenous, Black, racialized, and marginalized groups who experience discrimination and exclusion.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action lay out direction to close the gaps in outcomes for Indigenous peoples and recognize the role of Indigenous communities and organizations in effecting positive change. The Region is committed to these actions, reconciliation and relationships with First Nation, Metis and Inuit community members.

All 30 of these homes are for Indigenous People, and 16 of these homes will be dedicated specifically to Indigenous women and their children. The development will be located at 27-31 Cambridge St. in Cambridge.

This initiative is part of the Region’s affordable housing plan, Building Better Futures: 2,500 Homes in 5 Years, which aspires to increase the average number of affordable homes created each year from 50 to 500.

The Region was also excited to announce the funding provided by CMHC for OneROOF, located at 35 Sheldon Avenue N. in Kitchener, which will create an estimated 44 new units for youth and will see a significant reduction of chronic youth homelessness in Waterloo Region.




“The Region of Waterloo is committed to ensuring everyone in our community is included and has a safe place to call home. It’s projects like the KW Urban Native Wigwam in Cambridge that exemplify our vision and put both our Equity Investment Fund and affordable housing plan into action.” - Regional Chair Karen Redman.


“These units are more than a roof over someone’s head, they offer a place to heal, grow and learn. In this case, many of those people will be women and children. This investment is very much needed in both Cambridge and Waterloo Region and we thank our government partners for contributing to our community’s well-being. We all must work together to end chronic homelessness and these units are one piece of that puzzle.” – Mayor of the City of Cambridge, Kathryn McGarry


“This new funding will be absolutely pivotal for K-W Urban Native Wigwam Project and for the Indigenous community. We are super excited!!! This will be a game changer for us and something that will make the lives of many people in this community so much better. It will allow us to do something we have never been able to do before in our 30 year history of housing in the Region of Waterloo. We will have 30 new housing units for students, Elders, many of our homeless and singles/couples in the Indigenous community. We will be able to open up applications for one bedroom units for the first time, ever. We also are expanding to the City of Cambridge for the first time. This will be a tremendous move for us. We will have a presence in the City of Cambridge that has been needed for a very long time. We look forward to providing culturally safe and affordable housing for 30 more units in the next year. I would like to thank all that were involved in making this happen.” Executive Director of KW Urban Native Wigwam Project, Lee Ann Hundt


“Today’s announcement is another amazing example of the power of collaboration and what can be achieved for our residents, when the City of Kitchener, the Region of Waterloo and the Government of Canada work together in solving some of our community’s greatest challenges. We are grateful to Minister Ahmed Hussen and the Government of Canada through CMHC, for today’s funding announcement in support of oneROOF and at-risk youth in our community to build 44 additional housing units through the Rapid Housing Initiative and the Reaching Home program. A society is often judged by how we treat our youth and our elderly. Today’s announcement helps ensure that our young people can have a roof over their heads and the supports they need to get their lives back on track and give them the best chance for ongoing success.” – Mayor of the City of Kitchener, Berry Vrbanovic


“The needs of young people experiencing homelessness are as diverse as the youth themselves.  Although youth needs are distinct from adults in many ways, one similarity is the desperate need for affordable housing.  oneROOF Youth Services is thrilled to have received funding from CMHC's RHI funds in order to build a 44 unit Supportive Housing Building specific to youth.  This build will have an incredible impact on the housing needs in Waterloo Region; and will serve to support and assist youth as they transition into adulthood and independent living.” CEO of OneROOF, Sandy Dietrich-Bell 



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