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The Affordable Housing Strategy Advisory Committee, formed to advise staff, first met in <br />November 2019 and met 9 times with their last meeting on November 26, 2020. Council <br />received the Housing Needs Assessment on January 13, 2020 and participated in a Strategy <br />Session focused on Affordable Housing Issues and Options on February 24, 2020. Council <br />identified homelessness as the top issue to focus on and noted the importance of supporting <br />the Region of Waterloo in their mandate to lead and address this issue. In addition, Council <br />wanted to see improvements to housing options across the housing continuum. Results of <br />an Engage Kitchener Survey launched on March 13, 2020 and concludingon May 8, 2020 <br />informed the development of the draft Housing Strategy presented to Council on Aug 31, <br />2020. A second Engage Kitchener Survey launched on September 28, 2020 and concluding <br />on November 30, 2020, informed the creation of the recommended housing strategy. <br />Housing Situation <br />Kitchener’s housing situation has dramatically shifted since 2016. Key findings from the <br />Housing Needs Assessment showed a 41% increase in average rents andthat the average <br />price for a house increased by 104% between 2009 to 2019, with most of the increase since <br />2016. Recent information (July 2020) from the Kitchener Waterloo Association of Realtors <br />indicates that housing prices continue to rise in the city due in part to purchasers moving <br />from the Toronto area. This summer theaverage home price was reported to be $639,814 <br />1 <br />in Waterloo Region. As well, about 28% of renter households in the City are in Core <br />2 <br />Housing Need based on 2016 census information. <br />Ideally, housing needsand housing supply match up. In Kitchener’s case there is a gap <br />between housing needs and housing supply. There is a need for 450 units of supportive <br />housing, 5,000 units of community housing and 9,300 units of affordable rental housing to <br />fill gaps in the existing supply. Filling these needs became targets for the housing strategy. <br />What the City Can Do <br />Staff identified the municipal tools available to the City to address housing issues. Council <br />wanted to ensure that the housing strategy does not duplicate work done by the Region and <br />others. The array of tools available to the City of Kitchener are listed below. <br />Figure 2:Housing Tools Available to Local Municipalities <br />1 <br /> Kitchener Waterloo Association of Realtors, 2020 <br />2 <br /> CMHC defines a household as being in Core Housing Need if its housing costs more than 30% of the household <br />income to pay the median rent, and/or the housing requires major repairs and/or if there is overcrowding in the housing. <br />(CMHC) <br />6 - 3 <br />