2. Snapshot of Financial Inclusion Programs & Services
This section provides an overview of available programs and services in the Region that support greater financial inclusion. These programs are focused on improving access to financial services including banking and income tax services as well as those supporting greater financial literacy and system navigation.
This inventory includes the following six service and program areas:
- Credit Unions
- Community Education and Supports
- Identification Supports
- Income Tax Supports
As identified in the introduction, the following “seek to serve” categoriesare identified for each program:
- Lowest income
- Low wage
- Life Change
2.1 Overview of Services and Programs
Across each of the six areas, there are 44 Financial Inclusion programs available in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge. For more detailed information about programs and eligibility, please see the appropriate sections.
Local reports that address issues related to financial inclusion in the Region include:
Marsh, S., Dildar, Y.& Janzen, R. (2010). Pay Day Lending: In Search of a Local Alternative. Centre for Community Based Research and the Wellesley Institute.
Community Education and Support
Elkins, J. (2009). Making, Saving and Spending: How to Make Your Money Work for You: Creating a Financial Literacy Program For Waterloo Region Discussion Document. Lutherwood
Income Tax Supports
Opportunities Waterloo Region (2011). Free Tax Clinics in the Waterloo Region: Helping People File Their Taxes: Increasing Access to Free Tax Clinics in Waterloo Region – Pilot Project Evaluation. Available at:
Elkins, J. (2009). Voluntary Trusteeship as a Tool for Eviction Prevention: Discussion Document. Lutherwood.