How Did We Get Here? 3/4

Nov 6 2019

How Did We Get Here?In the third part of the series, you can think with us about "How Did We Get Here?". The conditions for the current affordable housing crisis have been building up for decades. Many policy changes in Canada and Ontario since the 90’s could be named, such as the interruption of the federal investment in social and non-market housing, provincial cuts to social assistance programs, or downloading of social service costs to municipalities. The list would go on. The point here is not to unpack the policy changes. The focus is on shedding light on the mindset that created those policies or that failed to anticipate and respond to the crisis in the making. It is the same mindset that has been shaping the course of the urban development and gentrification in cities around the world, as well as in Waterloo Region. 

Experiencing Displacement and Gentrification 2/4

Oct 30 2019

DisplacementExperiencing Displacement and Gentrification is a part two of a four part series. As we continue to publish stories of displacement and resilience, we will bring to light the invisible narratives beneath the ‘investment opportunities and the construction boom’.  We wish to stress the point that residents living on low income are a highly diverse population, and in a limited number of interviews, we encountered people who have post secondary education and are in precarious employment, homeowners, businessowners and low income earners, social assistance recipients and recipients of the Canada Disability Pension. You can also listen to the interview podcasts at the Anchor, Spotify, Google, Apple, Overcast. 

Life Stories of Displacement Series

Oct 23 2019

Life Stories of Displacement Podcast Series Building cheap and non-profitable housing seems to be an impossible scenario, especially in the urban core along major transit lines - except for all other conceivable scenarios. The Life Stories project started recording the history of our community told by persons who live on low income and have experienced marginalization in its many forms. Their voices were not represented in the long sequence of decisions that brought us to the present moment of reshaping urban development in the region. To read their testimonies and to listen to the full interview podcasts, go to the Life Stories of Displacement page where we will continue publishing three more episodes to better understand displacement, consider how we got to the crisis and how social justice and social commons can shape the future of our cities.

26th Annual Celebration

Oct 10 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: & 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 27 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 22 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.