Eviction Prevention Waterloo Region

Eviction Prevention

The Eviction Prevention Peer Support Program at SDC was developed based on our long-time support to tenants through Renters Educating and Networking Together (R.E.N.T.) and in reponse to recent studies on the eviction and displacement of low to moderate income residents in Waterloo Region.

For example, research and practice on displacement in Kitchener-Waterloo (SDCWR, 2021) identifies a range of tenant experience and landlord practices, such as discrimination and renovictions, as the forcible moving and un-homing of tenants in Waterloo Region. This article from February 10, 2022 also highlights gaps in enforcement of tenants' rights in Waterloo Region.

Thanks to funding originally provided by United Way Waterloo Region Communities, SDC was able to start offering peer support for tenants in Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge in May 2020. As of February 2024, we are grateful to receive funding through the Region of Waterloo's Plan to End Chronic Homelessness to continue providing this vital service.

Who We Support

The Eviction Prevention Peer Support Program is delivered by peers and plays a critical role in homelessness prevention for the most underserved populations, including Black, Indigenous, new immigrant, and LGBTQ+ community members in Cambrige, Kitchener, and Waterloo. Our peer workers support tenants who are: 

  • at risk of or in the process of being evicted legally or illegally
  • at risk of or experiencing unaffordable legal or illegal rent increases (Above Guideline Rent Increase)
  • at risk of or experiencing unsafe or unaffordable housing
  • at risk of or experiencing homophobia, transphobia or racism in their landlord tenant relationship.

How We Support Tenants

  • Provide advocacy, intervention, mediation, and negotiation, and help tenants develop alternative plans to eviction and loss of housing.
  • Provide timely access to accurate information based on the needs of the tenant in person or through printed and online materials (created by both SDC and other tenant-serving organizations) 
  • Make warm community partner referrals to support tenants whose needs are outside of our purview. 
  • Empower tenants to document their conflict experience with landlords and/or neighbours.
  • Assist community members as they navigate their Landlord Tenant process.
  • Provide safe, private access to space and technology for tenants to attend their scheduled Landlord Tenant Board hearing in all three cities. 
  • Visit buildings where tenants live for tenant support and documentation of housing concerns.
  • Use our professional discretion to identify (a) where a relevant legal, social, economic or health-related problem is at present and (b) what action, in consultation with the community member, needs to occur to remedy the presenting problem.
  • Listen and collect tenant’s rental stories to validate their experiences.
  • Take a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness approach to community service.

How We Support Systems Change

  • Map residences where tenants are at risk of or experiencing eviction or displacement.
  • Compile information to be cross-shared with the SDC Mapping Displacement Project.
  • Collect and prepare new locations for geocoding and further updates to the Map of Displacement in Waterloo Region.
  • Create an online following of community members through social media for the sharing and gathering of information (Eviction Prevention KW and Cambridge Facebook pages)

Contact Our Peer Workers

  • Michelle Knight - Eviction Prevention Cambridge, Project Coordinator
    or 519-579-3800 ext. 8

  • Leah Connor - Eviction Prevention Kitchener-Waterloo
    519-579-3800 ext. 7

  • Megan Walker - Eviction Prevention Tenant Organizing 
    & 519-579-3800 ext. 9

Reports and Case Studies

Why Do We Need A Peer-Based Eviction Prevention Program? 
October 2021 - March 2022 Report - trends, challenges, successes, learning.
April 2022 - October2022 Report - trends, evolution, case studies
October 2022 - March 2023 Report - trends and case studies
April 2023-October 2023 Report - trends, partnership development, process improvement

Resources for Tenants

Eviction Prevention in The Media