TWO new supportive housing buildings will provide more than 100 rooms in Surrey, providing homes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Construction is scheduled to begin in July 2020 on Guildford Place, located at 14706 104 Avenue. Guildford Place will consist of 61 permanent studio units, each with a private washroom and kitchen. The building will include a commercial kitchen, dining and lounge areas, storage and amenity space, laundry and a medical room. Construction for Guildford Place is expected to be complete by May 2021, with residents moving in soon after.
“The need for safe, secure housing has never been more important,” said Garry Begg, MLA for Surrey-Guildford. “We are taking urgent action with our partners to provide more supportive homes because we’ve seen how successful this type of housing has been for helping people move forward with their lives.”
In addition, BC Housing and the City of Surrey have identified a site for another supportive housing building. Located at 13620 80 Avenue, the building will consist of 40 homes for people experiencing homelessness in the community.
“Our community is safer and healthier when people have housing and the supports they need,” said Harry Bains, MLA for Surrey-Newton. “These new homes are another step forward in reducing homelessness in Surrey and making sure people have a place to call their own.”
BC Housing intends to submit a temporary use permit application for the 80th Avenue site to the City of Surrey later in June. If approved, construction will begin by September 2020. Details about the project will be mailed directly to local residents and businesses and posted online: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/surrey
Both projects are part of a commitment between the Province and the City of Surrey to deliver 250 permanent supportive modular homes to replace the current temporary sites in the community. The first project as part of this commitment, Peterson Place, is under construction: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020MAH0058-000920
“Today’s announcement is another step in the right direction to provide safe and supportive housing for our city’s most vulnerable,” said Doug McCallum, Mayor of Surrey. “These projects will ensure residents have a roof over their head and the necessary support services in place as they transition off the streets. These projects are an illustration of what can be accomplished when various levels of government and organizations work together to end the cycle of homelessness. I commend everyone who has been involved in bringing these projects to realization.”
Phoenix Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education Society will operate the 80th Avenue site and provide residents with 24/7 on-site staff and support services, including meal programs, life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services and opportunities for volunteer work. Lookout Housing and Health Society will operate Guildford Place and will provide similar services.
“The Phoenix Society is excited to be working with BC Housing and the City of Surrey to deliver 40 new homes in Surrey,” said Keir Macdonald, CEO, Phoenix Society. “This is an important step in advancing the continuum of care for those experiencing homelessness and will provide residents with many of the supports they need to get back on their feet.”
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
* The Province will provide $15.9 million to the Guildford project as part of the Homelessness Action Plan, $100,000 in one-time startup costs and an annual ongoing operating subsidy of $1.1 million.
* The Province will provide details on funding for the 80th Avenue site as the project moves closer to construction.
* The City of Surrey provided the land for both projects.
* The Province has worked with partners to open 161 supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness in Surrey over the last two years. An additional 330 supportive homes, including the Guildford and Newton sites, are underway.
* Over 3,000 spaces in hotels, motels and community centres throughout B.C. have been secured for vulnerable people to reside during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Surrey, BC Housing has secured 206 spaces to date for vulnerable people in the community.