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Starling Community Services.

New Partnership Seeks to House the Chronically Homeless

Housing Landlord Poster

With the continuing rise in the cost of housing in Waterloo Region, it’s becoming harder for some people to afford their rent, forcing some to become homeless. Together with the Region of Waterloo, Lutherwood is looking to partner with area landlords willing to offer available housing to those who need it most through their PATHS2HOME program.

One landlord who has gone above and beyond to show her support is Wendy. Partnering with the program two years ago, Wendy has helped house multiple tenants and says every single one has been friendly, responsible and neat.

“We’ve just had great tenants,” said Wendy. “As a landlord you always have concerns about how a renter is going to treat your property and whether rent will be paid on time. But this program is supported through a housing coordinator, and rent is paid through the tenant’s assistance or Lutherwood directly, so we are guaranteed to have rent paid on time.”

Lutherwood is searching for vacant units of any size, from room rentals to a three-bedroom house. Housing Liaison Workers meet with landlords to hear about their specific desires for a tenant and find them a good match. Then the landlord and tenant can meet with the landlord having the final say in tenant selection. After that, the Housing Team is in constant contact with both the tenant and landlord, to help ensure that everything runs smoothly.

“We rent multiple properties, but we always set two aside specifically for this program,” Wendy said enthusiastically. “We’ve had nothing but success. I found working with Lutherwood easier than renting on our own. Lutherwood makes the whole relationship very easy and puts extra supports in place for us.”

Recent information sessions to spread awareness about the program in Kitchener and Cambridge included guest speakers from Homelessness and Housing Umbrella Group (HHUG), the Region of Waterloo, and Lutherwood’s CEO John Colangeli.

“We have the tools to end chronic homelessness,” Colangeli told the crowd. “Everything is lining up like never before. We have government funding, we have a compassionate community and we just need landlords like you to make it happen.”

Wendy hopes that other landlords will take the leap to give back to their community through Lutherwood. She says the amount of joy she feels at being able to help others is incredible, like with her current tenant, who was able to take care of and play with his young son after renting a home with a big backyard.

“This program has been so easy. It’s been so wonderful. It’s been a pleasure working with our housing coordinator, and it’s so nice to know that with the opportunities we’ve had of owning properties, that we’ve had the opportunity also to offer affordable housing to someone in need.”

For more information on the PATHS2HOME program or to connect with a housing coordinator, visit our Housing page.

"Any time I had questions my worker would always help me, even if it was to go over a hydro bill or to understand an e-mail. She always picked up my call."