Surrey is capping the number of recovery homes in the city to 55.
Recovery homes are already required to register through the provincial Assisted Living Registry (ALR), but this move will limit the number of operations within Surrey.
The city will also begin to require a business license for such facilities.
“With the City of Surrey facing increased challenges related to homelessness, mental health, and fentanyl use, recovery homes are required to help assist those individuals who are dealing with such issues,” writes bylaw enforcement manager Jas Rehal in his report to council. “However, given the challenge in assisting individuals dealing with these issues, the appropriate screening is required.”
There are currently 50 recovery homes registered with the ALR, according to the report. There are another 20 that the city has identified as “illegal, non-registered homes.”
Recovery home complaints are down from 110 in 2015 to 79 so far this year, the report notes.
“This signifies a 28 per cent decrease as a result of the enforcement efforts over the past year, as well as the additional applicant screening process the City has been doing in conjunction with the ALR,” writes Rehal.
The city’s screening process includes operator and property owner screening, fire safety inspections, building inspections and finally an application to the ALR.
The new rules will provide the city with greater enforcement tools, increase safety for those in the homes and improved data collection, notes Rehal in the report.
“The proposed changes above will streamline and ensure recovery homes are operating in a safe manner and that they are registered with the ALR, which has the jurisdiction to oversee recovery from a health perspective.”