Homeless prevention program announced in Surrey

SURREY – A new funding initiative has been announced that would help keep at-risk people in Surrey and other communities from becoming homeless.

 

Federal and provincial representatives were on hand at Surrey’s Hyland House Friday (Oct. 17) to announce a new program designed to help out some of the most at-risk groups.

 

Called the Homeless Prevention Program, the initiative will see the feds and province come up with an estimated $62.5 million over the next five years to provide rent supplements for those at risk of becoming homeless.

 

The four groups specifically targeted by the initiative are women fleeing violent situations, youth aging out of foster care, those leaving the hospital and correctional system, and aboriginal people.

 

The idea is to provide funding to vulnerable groups in the form of rent assistance rather than trying to commit funds to purpose-built homes and shelters, and an estimated 4,000 will be served by the program in the next half-decade. Surrey will be one of six communities served by the program, which is estimated to expand to 30 communities in later years.

 

"Rent supplements offer a more flexible option for many people because they can choose where to live based on what suits their needs," said deputy premier and minister of housing Rich Coleman. "The Homeless Prevention Program builds on our success with other rental assistance programs aimed at addressing homelessness by taking a more proactive approach and helping people in crisis."

 

Federal minister of state Candice Bergen was also on hand, saying, "our government has taken action to invest in housing and initiatives to combat homelessness because we recognize that having safe, permanent housing is an important first step towards a new transition in life."

 

Several of Surrey First’s councillors, including Linda Hepner, Judy Villeneuve and council-hopefuls Vera LeFranc and Dave Woods were also in attendance.

 

Villeneuve, who sits as president on the city’s homeless and housing society said the announcement was significant for Surrey.

 

"It’s so important that these kinds of dollars come into our community," she said. "$12.5 million per year for that kind of funding is great and we’re really pleased to know that funding will be coming into our community. It’s often that that kind of funding is what people need to leave an abusive situation or help others transition from being on the verge of homelessness."

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Claiming she has COVID-19, stranger coughs in Cloverdale woman’s face

Clayton Heights woman will now self-isolate for the next two weeks

Police watchdog finds cops blameless for deaths in 2019 Surrey hostage-taking

Woman was killed as ERT officers fired on man holding a knife to her throat and ‘what appeared to be’ a gun in his hand

No, Delta police are not pulling over cars to check for social distancing

DPD dispelling rumour cops pulling over vehicles with two or more people, checking IDs, issuing fines

White Rock/South Surrey experts launch website of mental-health resources

Together White Rock/South Surrey aims to help ease the search for supports

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

VIDEO: Dog missing in Lower Mainland since winter sees his family again for the first time

Aldergrove helped find Buster, says dad, who has now witnessed ‘the power of social media’

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Most Read