Statement From WRAR on Kitchener and Waterloo’s Recent Decisions to Permit More Missing Middle Housing

(Waterloo, November 2, 2023) – Housing affordability and attainability are at crisis levels in Waterloo Region, and the Waterloo Region Association of Realtors® (WRAR) has been calling for action to build more housing that families can afford.

This week, Waterloo City Council unanimously passed a motion brought forward by Councillor Bodaly directing staff to begin the process of amending the city’s zoning by-law to permit four residential units and four storeys as-of-right in low-density parts of the city. Earlier this month, Kitchener City Council unanimously passed a motion brought forward by Mayor Vrbanovic directing staff to propose a zoning by-law that would permit as-of-right up to four residential units on a property wherever zoning allows single detached, semi-detached, or street townhouse dwelling units. In both cases, staff have been directed to report back with the draft zoning by-law by the first quarter of 2024.

WRAR is thrilled to see our local elected leaders championing more missing middle housing in the Waterloo Region. Earlier this year, WRAR released research showing that many young families were considering leaving Waterloo Region due to the cost and availability of homes and we urged our elected leaders to legalize more missing middle housing. Waterloo and Kitchener are stepping up to begin a very progressive policy change that, if passed, will clear the way to build more homes families can afford.

WRAR looks forward to supporting these important zoning by-law amendments when they come back to both Kitchener and Waterloo councils in early 2024. These amendments must be passed by council for more housing to get built for families in Kitchener and Waterloo.

WRAR also calls on the City of Cambridge to follow suit and begin its own process to create a multiplex zoning by-law. Growth does not have to be a debate between building single-family homes and high-rise apartments. Cambridge must turn its attention to policies that will make it easier to build semi-detached, row, duplex, triplex and fourplex style housing.

Megan Bell

2023 WRAR President

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