All posts by Rachel Hopf

Affordable Housing Symposium

Sept 20, 2019


All aspects of the housing continuum are facing challenges:

  • Vulnerable individuals, renters and homeowners are struggling with accessibility, vacancy rates, affordability and the stress test;
  • Builders are struggling with Community Benefits Charges, development charges, lands use assessment and complex planning processes;
  • Affordable housing advocates and social agencies are struggling with funding, land access and perceptual challenges;
  • Municipalities are looking for scaled solutions to achieve their community plans.

Leading communities have found ways to resolve these problems by adopting new models of cooperation and interaction.

Results from the second round of discussions on November 21

Download the notes from November 21st HERE.

Download handouts HERE.

Date: November 21, 2019 – 1:00-4:30 pm
Location:  Community Living Guelph Wellington, 8 Royal Road, Guelph

Results of the 2-day Symposium held on Sept 19 and 20:

Download the Outcomes Summary HERE.

Download Media Release dated September 23, 2019 HERE.

Download Information Sheet HERE.

Copies of the presentations are available here:

Thank you to our facilitator:

Dr. Rebecca Sutherns, Sage Solutions

Thank you to the presenters:

Stewart McDonough, City of Guelph; Mark Poste, County of Wellington – Framing the Symposium

Greg Dewling, Capital Region Housing – Synergizing Across the Housing Continuum: Addressing All Needs

Jeff Neven / Graham Cubitt, Indwell – Case Study in Supportive Housing

Steve Cordes, Youth Opportunities Unlimited – Case Study in Social Enterprise

Bernadette Majdell, HomeSpace – Community Land Trusts and Co-operatives

Thank you to the participating organizations:

10C – 10 Carden


Blue Valley Building

Built for Zero

City of Guelph

Canadian Mental Health Association of Waterloo Wellington

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp.

Community Living Guelph Wellington

County of Wellington

Family Transition Place

Guelph & District Association of REALTORS

Guelph & District Home Builders Association

Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination

Guelph City Council

Guelph Community Foundation

Guelph Community Health Clinic

Guelph Independent Living

GW Housing Committee

Habitat for Humanity

Immigrant Services Guelph-Wellington

J. David McAuley Architect Inc.

Kindle Communities; CAFS

Lakeside HOPE House

Lammer Group

Legal Clinic of Guelph

Local Immigration Partnership

Marianne’s Place

Michael House

Options for Homes

Options International

Royal City Mission

Sentry Group Wealth Partners

TAMBRO Construction


West Neighbourhood House

WG Drug Strategy

Wyndham House

Together we can pave the way towards an affordable city for all.


Habitat WDG launches subsidiary organization to offer attainable homeownership to Guelph community

One in eight Canadian households do not have a decent or affordable place to live. We know we need to do more. We need to bring homeownership within reach for more members of our community.

Habitat for Humanity Wellington Dufferin Guelph is introducing an initiative to expand affordable housing availability.  The innovative program supports first-time buyers in overcoming financial barriers that are preventing them from becoming homeowners. This program is aptly named Within Reach.

Within Reach is an extension of the Habitat affordable homeownership model. Through shared equity mortgages, those families that can afford conventional financing but require assistance with down payments can now access ownership. The program is available now within our Cityview Village project in Guelph. The program applies income guidelines set in the recent Federal budget.

With 28 units among three buildings, the Cityview “village” is a bright, stable and supportive community comprised of individuals and families who, with Habitat’s help, will thrive in a stable, safe and healthy environment through affordable homeownership. They will experience improved health, education and employment outcomes. And they will contribute to the well-being of the Village by providing “sweat equity” in return for the hand-up provided to them.

“This is an important initiative undertaken by our Board and staff” explains Steve Howard, CEO of Habitat WDG. “ Habitat recognized that there is a gap in the traditional way that our organization selects families for our home-ownership model, and after consulting with the Guelph & District Association of Realtors, we are proud to share our attainable housing model, which will allow more families to be Habitat partner families, contributing to one of the National Housing Strategy’s key principles, that of promoting diverse, inclusive communities by building sustainable, accessible and mixed use housing.”

“Partnership is an important part of this. Not only does this initiative support our current project, we are looking ahead to gathering community leaders and advocates of affordable housing interests in larger scale projects such as the reclamation of the IMICO site. Within Reach is foundational to supporting those organizations. It builds on other recent innovations – introduction of a deferred home ownership model for renters in partnership with the County of Wellington and a social investment model to support project financing. Plans are underway to host leaders in planning collaborative efforts using these tools.”

To learn more about Within Reach and Habitat WDG, visit, or contact Steve Howard, CEO –