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.

Housing is a Human Right

Jul 29 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 20 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.

Tenants Annual Meeting June 18

May 30 2019

RENT AGM 2019Have tenants' voices been lost? Who is paying the price? At the annual meeting on June 18, 6:30pm at St John Church, tenants can learn more about the RENT association, about tenant organizing in general, and what supports and resources we can rely on. Before you come, you can read the report from the tenants forum held on April 9th and think more about the relationships among people in your building or renters on your street, about the communication with landlords, changes in neighbourhoods due to constructions, and mutual supports.

Neighbourhood Resiliency in Emergencies

May 24 2019

May E Neighbour BannerNatural disasters, such as floods and fires, hitting communities far and near have been featuring prominently in the media as we talk more about the climate crisis. What, as neighbourhoods, can we do to be more resilient in the case we are hit by such an event? Trust among the neighbours is the not-so-secret ingredient. "It is extremely important that you get to know your neighbours beforehand, so that you know who is elderly, who has young children, pets, may have a disability." Steve LaRochelle, Emergency Management, City of Kitchener (May E-Neighbour).

Tax Clinic Scoop 2019

May 17 2019

Free Tax Clinics Our tax clinic team completed 420 returns this March and April, and processed 2016 and 2017 returns which was offered only by a few clinics. Extraordinary accomplishment by 8 extraordinary volunteers working evenings and weekends for 8 weeks.  The volunteers also responded to over 100 T1 adjustments, assessment notices & inquires, including CPP applications, and electricity bill relief. There are many ways in which we can improve the process for the next tax season internally and we hope to provide valuable feedback together with other tax clinics in the region towards greater supports to the volunteer run clinics from the federal government in the future. 

Viewpoints on Poverty

May 9 2019

Viewpoints on PovertyThe community will have a chance to continue Exploring Life in the Margins conversations. 'Viewpoints on Poverty' is an inclusive evening for discussion and discovery on the theme of nonviolence and poverty elimination. Join us together with Alliance Against Poverty and the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council in exploring our experiences, dreams, fears too, and creating unique perspectives that go beyond life in the margins. We are all responsible for our own living in the margins and at the Social Development Centre, we also dream of a more unified perspective across different socio-economic groups in Waterloo Region when it comes to poverty elimination.