All-Connect is an active participant in our community contributing to many charitable organizations.
This year, we partnered with Heartwood Place (Kitchener/Waterloo) to assist in their efforts to create more safe, affordable places to call home.
Here is a little more information on their organization and what you can do to help:
HEARTWOOD PLACE was established in 2001 by a group of local volunteers, who were concerned about the increasing need for affordable housing in our community. From high vacancy rates and low rents in the mid-90’s to a changing economy and lack of government funding, the year 2000 saw many significant changes. Rental housing was costing more, occupancy rates at local shelters were on the rise and many families were sharing housing with others under dire circumstances. The number of individuals, couples and families on the regional waiting list for affordable housing continued to grow.
Why We Need More Affordable Housing in Our Region
- Although the government has supported the construction of 1896 new affordable housing units since 2000, there are still 10,000 people on the regional waiting list; the wait can take up to four years, many people don’t even register their names
- Over 47,000 people are living in poverty, including many single mothers with young children and many seniors
- According to statistics, every $1 invested in building affordable housing generates $13 in economic growth in our community
- Businesses can’t attract employees without affordable homes for them to live in. Affordable housing keeps wages competitive and employees on the job
- Emergency medical and shelter services are 10 times more costly than providing long-term affordable housing
- According to CMHC standards, housing costs should not exceed 30% of a person’s gross income. Many single mothers pay far more than this – in some cases up to 80%. It is hard to accept that over 50% of them live below the poverty line
- There is a proven link between health and housing. People with stable, clean and secure housing are healthier, more productive, do better in school and are less likely to end up in institutions
- A single person must earn around $15 an hour (significantly more than the minimum wage) to afford a one bedroom apartment at $615 (including utilities). Many young people have difficulty finding full-time employment at minimum wage and have very inadequate accommodation
- Basic pensions have not increased at the same rate as rent and utilities. Many seniors spend more than 50% of their income on housing. They depend upon food banks to survive
- Construction of affordable housing helps cities keep pace with their growing populations and gives new life to vacant areas, boarded-up buildings and abandoned industrial sites
Visit their website http://www.heartwoodplace.ca to help make a difference