26th Annual Celebration

Oct 9 2019

25th Annual Celebration

If you are a neighbourly spirit, come and join the 26th Annual Celebration of the Festival of Neighbourhoods on Sunday November 17th, 1-3pm at Kitchener City Hall Rotunda. Regardless of having registered gatherings with the Festival this year or not, come and explore with neighbours from all over the city to fill up your Neighbourhood Loot Bag with ideas that are fun, surprisingly simple, empowering and within your REACH! If you haven't yet, RSVP by November 7th the number of adults and children to come: entries@festivalofneighbourhoods.ca & 519-579-3800

Age of Gentrification and Truly Affordable Housing

Life Stories of Displacement "This is not about working-class areas being taken over by incoming hipsters and middle-class residents and businesses. This is another phenomenon entirely. This is about how global private equity firms have become leading players in the property market since the 2008 crash. This was predicted by the late geographer Neil Smith in the 1970s, who argued that when the gap becomes big enough between the rent a property earns and what it could earn if redeveloped for new residents, private capital would flow in, attracted by the potential to make large profits."  Anna Minton, The Guardian on September 20, 2019

The Age of Gentrification study is an introduction to the Life Stories of Displacement series about the living experience of displacement in the urban core of Kitchener-Waterloo created in collaboration with the University of Waterloo Professor Brian Doucet, School of Planning. Continue reading and follow us for more articles and podcasts. 

Sense-making of Wellbeing WR Survey Results

Sep 26 2019

Canadian Index of Wellbeing has published the preliminary data and the data set was already run through computer algorithms. The results, when read and run through lived experience, open a number of questions. The community connectors who supported the collection of responses to the survey in the summer of 2018, came together again to support the sense-making process of validation of the results and to identify potential gaps in data collection. General recommendation is that indicators addressing the material living conditions for low income people and persons with disabilities have to be revised as they do not reflect adequately the living experience of the people living in hardship. Social Development Centre wants to raise the awareness that people living in marginalization and exclusion can only improve their conditions if being in leadership roles in any research or strategy development from its inception to the implementation. Read the sense-making feedback summary.

Stronger Neighbourhoods the Fun Way

Sep 15 2019

September 2019 E-NeighbourAs you build stronger neighbourhoods the fun way, we support your REACH by gathering insights into the evolving nature of neighbourhoods across the cityFoN intends to expand its support and resources such as Neighbourhood Activity TrunkActivity Guide and Reach! Inclusion Challenge. Also, this year’s Celebration will introduce a new era, in which Festival of Neighbourhoods will encourage everyone to meet their neighbours, explore the richness of experiences and interests we share across diversity and feel the joy of being in the center of our own neighbourhoods. If you want to know how, do not forget to register your neighbourhood's gatherings and to join the Annual Celebration on Sunday November 17th at the Kitchener City Hall Rotunda from 1pm to 3pm. Read more in our September e-Neighbour!

Accessible & Affordable Housing Now

Aug 21 2019

DHR Logo2019 City of Kitchener Residential Bylaw Review incited a multifaceted conversation at the Disabilities and Human Rights Group. It revealed some of the current experiences and future expectations that persons with disabilities have amidst the development and intensification in Waterloo Region. The core issues are enforcement of the Building Code, AODA compliance, protection of the human rights and creation of affordable and accessible housing. Read the notes from the meeting and tell us what you would add to it. 

Common in Community

Jul 30 2019

Finding Common GroundNew series of roundtable, participatory discussions presented together with the Marit Collective starts August 13th 7-9pm. It will explore how we can have discussions across social barriers, find common ground with all our differences. Have we checked recently how many interactions or friends we have with people who are from another social, economic, cultural, political or faith orientation? How big a deal class plays in our choices? Once we understand that there is no Truth with a capital T in this complex and politicized world, how do we come to terms with the fundamental human issues such as health, climate, housing, work...? Where do we go beyond mostly polarized conversations that divide rather than unify to find the common in our communities? Check the FaceBook page for more information and to register.

Housing is a Human Right

Jul 28 2019

ACTO 2019 Fact SheetUntil we ensure housing supply for the marginalized, displaced and excluded, the homeless, those at risk of homelessness living under prolonged stress and fear of displacement, immigrants, refugees, low wage earners, youth and seniors, our mantra will remain: "Housing is first and foremost a human right for the majority". It is not an investment, not a savings account, not an economic development or profit making tool for a some. See the new fact sheet from the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario and our local tenants issues and concerns.

Festival of Neighbourhoods, Invaluable Resource

Jul 2 2019

We can’t help but notice places near our homes that could be improved with a small change, or how our growing city could potentially impact our neighbourhoods. How to harness all the great ideas is best done by sharing and recording them through neighbourhood gatherings. On that journey, the Festival of Neighbourhoods has proven itself to be an invaluable set of tools and resources. Read more in the July E-Neighbour about the Schneider Creek story: "Making our Neighbourhood Great!" and take the Event-in-a-Trailer survey by July 8th to let us know how we can create even better tools and resources for you.

52nd Annual General Meeting

Jun 25 2019

Membership 2019ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, JUNE 25, 6 PM to 7:30 PM at St John Church in Kitchener, entrance from Duke Street. Nominations for the Board & Membership Call 

We are encouraged by the political will and organizational leadership in Waterloo Region that is bringing us closer around common problems in pursuit of common solutions: affordable housing, safe consumption sites, social and economic inclusion, equity and democratic participation. We can best be of service if we amplify lived experience voices across the board and continue creating safer spaces for conversations that do not shy from difference and opposing views.

Lived Experience Groups Joining the Anti-Poverty Hearings

Jun 19 2019

 Lack of affordability in the KW housing market impacts many residents, especially those who are low income. Through the Voices From the Margins project led by the Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition (ISARC), a hearing was held in Kitchener on June 18th that allowed members of different lived experience groups to share their stories. The Participant Action Groups, Disabilities and Human Rights, Awareness of Low-Income Voices, and Alliance Against Poverty all had representatives at the hearing who spoke about their hardships of living on low income or no income: fear of not having a permanent home, inadequate income to cover basic needs, disruptions in the services provided, and the impact of housing instability and homelessness on one’s mental health and well-being.