YW Supportive Housing

Apr 30, 2018

Everyone understands that if we want to end homelessness, we need more affordable housing. ‘Affordable’ housing can have a couple of different meanings. It can mean rents that are no more than 30% of a tenant’s income (called Rents Geared to Income, or RGI), or it can mean rents that are no more than 60% to 80% of the ‘market’ rents determined each year by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

But for some homeless people, affordable housing isn’t enough. They also need supports in such areas as personal care, food management, medications management, financial management and community inclusion if they are to live successfully on their own. And these are typically the homeless people who spend long periods of time in the shelters or on the streets.

A the end of March 2017, there were 243 individuals on the wait list in Waterloo Region for supportive housing. More than half of these 243 individuals had been assessed at the ‘highest acuity’ or the greatest need for housing supports. Unfortunately, with only 236 supportive housing units in total – and almost all of those units already occupied – there simply aren’t enough to meet the need.

We need more affordable and supportive housing and the YW is doing its part. There are 11 supportive housing providers in our region, and with 60 units – or 23% of the total – serving 90 women and children, we are the largest, and we are the only supportive housing provider for families. Please join us on a short video tour of our supportive housing programs, to learn more about our work.

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