CTV News Kitchener: Kitchener group asks city to reject Rainbow Row demolition proposal
Posted December 4, 2023
A group of Kitchener residents held a rally Monday in the hopes of saving their homes.
A proposal has been put forward to demolish low-income housing on Benton Street and Saint George Road to make way for a new high-rise condo.
According to the Waterloo Region Acorn Tenant Union, who organized the march, residents only learned about the plan in August when a billboard was put in front of their properties.
People living in the townhouses, also known as Rainbow Row due to their brightly coloured facades, are worried they won’t find another affordable place to live if the condo project is approved.
“It wouldn’t be an issue, you know, if it was 2015 and the market was what it was then,” said tenant Shaun McKinnon.
“I was coming from a terrible situation, an apartment infested with both bedbugs and roaches to the brim, and this was the only place that I could find. It’s so much better. If I lose this, I have nowhere else,” tenant Marieal Gaines said.
Residents are asking the city to reject the proposal to rezone and redevelop 93-99 Benton St. and 39-43 Saint George St.
“There is strong opposition to this,” said Acer Bonaparte, the chair of Waterloo Region ACORN. “We understand we need to build more housing, but the way to do that isn’t to kick vulnerable people out of their homes and potentially make them homeless.”
City council will hear from delegates Monday night at the Planning and Strategic Initiatives Meeting.
Article by Stefanie Davis for CTV News Kitchener