Staying Housed and keeping a home is becoming more challenging with the persisting lack of available, adequate and affordable rental units. Renter's Toolkit: Finding and Keeping a Home is a new resource for renters produced by the Region of Waterloo Community Services in collaboration with organizations and agencies providing housing supports in the region. Our contribution to the initiative grew out of the community engagement work in neighbourhoods with tenants and property standards enforcement agencies. Tenants' Rights Enforcement Information Sheet is a product of collaboration with Kitchener ByLaw and Fire Safety, Waterloo Region Community Legal Services and Police Services, R.E.N.T. and KW Tenant Group to assist renters primarily in Kitchener how to navigate multiple systems of support.
Social Development Centre Waterloo Region has been supporting tenant initiatives and advocacy since 1990s and has been a part of the R.E.N.T. (Renters Educating and Networking Together) leadership since 2015. Our work converged closer through Neighbourhood Connection and community engagement in privately owned rental buildings. Challenges we faced were tenant under reporting of issues, complex and fragmented systems of support, lack of educational opportunities for all the parties involved, inconcistent procedures to support tenants living with multiple challenges, weakened capacity in the region for support to tenant organizing and advocacy and persisting challenges for settlement of immigrants and refugees. Renters Toolkit compiles a series of tip sheets, educational videos and a resource inventory for tenants. Our objecive remains looking for avenues to support face to face tenant education, tenant organizing and ongoing collaboration among support agencies. We hope to see similar collective impact initiatives grow stronger in different municipalities in the region. Find out more in the Tip Sheet How to Respond to Issues that Arise During Your Tenancy and the video How to make sure your maintenance requests are completed.