a response to the need for affordable housing

About Us

MennoHomes Inc. is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 2001 under the sponsorship of Mennonite Central Committee as a response to the need for affordable housing. We provide affordable rental housing in Waterloo Region for families and seniors. CRA# 86304 7015 RR0001

Mission Statement

MennoHomes mission is to provide affordable housing to those in need. Our housing projects will be economically and environmentally viable and sustainable and will include support services for our tenants.

Dan Driedger - Executive Director


Dan joined MennoHomes as the Executive Director in October 2013. His professional career includes serving with Mennonite Central Committee Ontario as Resource Development Director, and many years with a Waterloo-based engineering and manufacturing firm as the Administrative Operations Manager.

His first work experience came early on the family farm near Chesley. He moved to Waterloo Region to study Business at Conestoga College. He has "hands on" construction experience having designed and built two houses for his family. Dan and his wife Darlene live in the Drayton area along with their three young-adult children.

Dan enjoys the wide range of work that comprises his role with MennoHomes. He finds the opportunity to work collaboratively with volunteers, staff, and the board meaningful and rewarding as together they respond to the need for affordable housing.

Nick Driedger - Secretary


Nick joined the MennoHomes board in 2010.

Following university, Nick worked in the field of special education prior to joining Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (now Kindred Credit Union) as a loans officer in 1983. Over the years, he held various positions with MSCU including the role of CEO from 1992 through to his retirement in 2010. Working on behalf of the members of a church-related credit union resulted in a particularly meaningful and rewarding career. In semi-retirement, Nick has accepted employment as a Returning Officer with Elections Ontario and Elections Canada.

One of the special blessings of retirement is time to spend with grandchildren, alongside other hobbies and the opportunity to serve as a volunteer with a church-related organization like MennoHomes. Nick and his wife Janice share in the continued joys and challenges of raising two children, five adopted children and four grandchildren.

Amie Brubacher McPhee - Treasurer


Amie joined the MennoHomes board in 2014. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a 2002 graduate of the University of Waterloo with a Masters of Accounting degree. Amie is the Director, Corporate Finance at Mennonite Economic Development Associates in Waterloo. She has been working with MEDA since 2004, starting as Assistant Controller. Amie enjoys getting involved in local community events and sports organizations. Amie, her husband Chris, and their two children live in Wellesley.

Chip Bender - Board Member


Chip joined the MennoHomes board in 2014. He is currently employed by The House of Friendship as an addiction counselor in the Addiction Supportive Housing (ASH) program. He became aware of the need for affordable housing while employed by The Working Centre in a position that supported the persistently homeless population in Kitchener. Prior to joining MennoHomes, he served on the board of directors at the House of Friendship.

He has served as a pastor for 14 years in two different urban Mennonite congregations (Ottawa and Waterloo). He learned some building trades through two long-term stints with MDS and running his own reno company for a short period of time before feeling called to work more closely with people again. He has studied theology in Winnipeg and Waterloo, receiving his MTS from Conrad Grebel University College. He has also been trained as a coach and as a spiritual director. Chip continues to learn valuable lessons from his wife, Wendy Janzen and their two elementary school-aged sons with whom he shares a residence in downtown Kitchener.

Brian Unrau

Brian-2016Brian joined the MennoHomes board in 2016. He is president of Vigor Clean Tech, a local renewable energy developer. His work experience and education reflect his wide-ranging interests and skills including a Bachelor of Environmental Design, Masters of Business Administration, as well as being a Chartered Professional Accountant. He has worked as a consultant, business owner, teacher, and in finance.

In addition to his work with Vigor Clean Tech, Brian is President of Community Energy Development Co-operative Ltd. He also serves on the board of directors of the Federation of Community Power Co-operatives.

Brian and his wife Jennifer have three young children who enjoy living in Haysville (near New Hamburg). He sees his role with MennoHomes as an opportunity to further use his skills in shaping financing/business models while integrating this with his interests in design and the built environment.Brian is excited by the opportunity to look at energy efficiency and building systems in creating both sustainable and affordable housing.

Mike Strathdee - Guest of the Board


Mike has been a volunteer guest of the MennoHomes Board since its inception in 2001.

He is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Gift Planning Consultant with Abundance Canada.

Prior to joining Abundance Canada in 1999, he was a business reporter for the Kitchener-Waterloo Record.

Mike received a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1989. He completed the Canadian Securities Course in 1996, the Canadian Securities Institute’s Professional Financial Planning Course in 1999, Georgian College’s Planned Giving course in 2000, the Elder Planning Counselor (EPC) designation from the Canadian Initiative for Elder Planning Studies in 2005, and the CFP designation from the Financial Planners Standards Council in 2007.

Mike, his wife, Carolyn, and their two daughters Ella and Kate, live in Kitchener.

Margaret Nally - Board Chair


Margaret joined the MennoHomes Board in 2005.

She is a spiritual director and chaplain for Mary’s Place in Kitchener.

In addition to MennoHomes, Margaret is involved with Circle of Friends, a program partnership amongst Mennonite Central Committee Ontario, the YWCA Kitchener-Waterloo and STEP Home (Support to end persistent homelessness).

She served a short term in Guatemala, Brazil, Palestine, and West Africa. Margaret and her husband Bob live in Waterloo. They have two daughters and two grandsons.
Nancy Regehr - Vice Chair

headshot-nancy-webNancy joined the board the MennoHomes board in 2011 after retiring from her position as Associate Executive Director of Project Ploughshares after more than 30 years of service. During that time she had responsibilities for finances, fundraising, personnel, administration and board governance.

From 1973 to 1976, Nancy and her husband Ernie were MCC volunteers, living in Botswana, South Africa and Zambia where Ernie worked on a research and writing project on the role of churches with regard to apartheid.

For 15 years Nancy served on the board of Global Community Centre that delivered development education programs in the Waterloo Region, and is currently on the board of her condominium corporation.

Nancy grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario and met Ernie when they were students at Conrad Grebel University College. Nancy and Ernie were married in 1968 and have three children and three grandchildren. They live in Waterloo.

Arnie Bender - Board Member
ArnieArnie has been associated with MennoHomes since 2002, more recently as Representative for Wellesley Mennonite Church. He joined the MennoHomes board in 2014. He and his wife, Barb, have called the village of Wellesley home for the past 16 years. They have three grown children and six grandchildren.

Graduating from OAC Guelph in 1966, his career focus has been the construction industry, both residential and commercial.He's held a licenced carpenter certificate for more than 40 years, and retired as a Construction Site Superintendent.He's also served on various committees within the church, as well as, in the construction trade. He "officially" retired from the construction industry but stays involved in various projects.Arnie;enjoys helping others and staying busy.

Steven Reesor Rempel - Board Member


Steven joined the MennoHomes board in 2014. He is Development Assistant at Shalom Counselling Services in Waterloo. After working with Mennonite Central Committee in Bangladesh for 1 year, and with the Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support in Kitchener for 5 years, he returned to school for his Masters of Business Administration, graduating in 2014.

As an avid soccer player, Steven captains the "Mennos in Black" soccer team. Steven and his wife Jessica live in downtown Kitchener.

William Wallace

William WallaceWilliam joined the MennoHomes board in 2016. He is a former actor, teacher and now branding expert who has resided in the Waterloo Region for 17 years. He leads The Brand Architect, a local firm that specializes in helping clients with marketing promotions and overall branding.

As part of his urge to become more involved in his community, he founded the local chapter of 100 Men Who Give a Damn. Not only has this charity conduit created ties to the community, it has made William that much more aware of what local charities there are, and the needs in the Waterloo Region.

William is interested in organizations like MennoHomes because of what he feels is the need for affordable housing locally. At present he lives In Brighton Yards Housing Cooperative, so he understands what is possible when industry and humanity work together.

William Wallace looks forward to working with the Board on marketing initiatives and strengthening the brand of MennoHomes as it increases its mandate and scope.

Martin Buhr - President Emeritus

Martin Buhr - Founding President

A Brief Overview of Martin's Legacy

In late 2000 at the initiative of Mennonite Central Committee, a small working group was formed to explore how best to respond to the need for affordable housing in Waterloo Region. Martin Buhr had just retired after serving as the Executive Director of the House of Friendship from 1978 to 1998. He agreed to lead this new initiative along with his wife Pauline. In May 2001, the working group invited local Mennonite and Brethren in Christ pastors, together with members of their churches who were community leaders in health and social services into the discernment process to determine how best to respond. There was strong support for a collective response to the need for affordable housing.

The name MennoHomes was chosen and the decision was made on June 11, 2001 to incorporate as a not-for-profit organization and apply for charitable status. When an incorporation and registration process that often could take up to a year was accomplished by September 2001, a short three months later, Martin Buhr say, "We realized something very unusual was happening. God's blessing was at hand."

From the onset, the inspired leadership of Martin Buhr ensured new opportunities would be pursued and the stock of affordable housing increased. Upon Martin's retirement in October 2013, MennoHomes had created 105 affordable rental units in Waterloo Region housing hundreds. Recognizing that residents need more than just a building, MennoHomes also provides connections to social services through Community Support Workers.

As MennoHomes moves into its second decade, the need for affordable housing still exists - but so does the will to support neighbours in need. MennoHomes continues to respond building on the work of Martin Buhr.