The city is being urged by two more groups to axe its plan to decommission illegal suites in East Clayton.
On Thursday, the BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA) and Landlord BC issued a release urging the city to reconsider its decision. So far, the City of Surrey has ordered 175 homeowners to remove illegal suites.
This comes after a petition that has garnered 2,200 signatures was launched against the city’s move. A group has also formed, said to be made up of tenants and home owners, who are against the decision.
“This is a watershed moment,” said Landlord BC CEO David Hutniak. “The density model in Clayton Heights is the model for the future so there is a certain irony that instead of focusing on housing Surrey families, we’re focusing on their cars. These secondary suite units need to be legalized immediately and the community needs to stop the finger-pointing and place people before cars.
“LandlordBC looks forward to working with all stakeholders to find appropriate solutions including enhanced transit and growth in new purpose-built rental housing,” he added.
The two groups say they met with Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner last week to discuss alternative ways to deal with the issue and agreed to a number of approaches. According to the press release, that included the need to continue advocating for better transit infrastructure and investments in the neighbourhood, re-examining a residential parking permit program, reinforcing the need to better utilize on-site parking and limiting the number of cars per household that can park on-street, and working together to build new purpose built market and non-market rental housing.
Mayor Linda Hepner was not immediately available for comment.
BCNPHA CEO Kishone Roy said it’s important to “work together to ensure we protect our existing supply of rental housing” in the midst of an affordable housing crisis, “most of which is found in the secondary market.”
“For the first time in a generation, we have all three levels of government eager to partner with the community housing sector to meet existing and future affordable housing demand, so real solutions to the affordable housing crisis are on the way,” Roy added.
More to come.