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

File photo
Surrey Mounties seeking dash-cam footage of Whalley road rage fight

Two men are alleged to have stabbed one another

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
No new Surrey school COVID-19 exposures reported overnight

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Fleetwood teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

The many faces of Daon Glasgow. (Photos: Surrey RCMP)
Glasgow found not guilty of trying to murder transit cop in Surrey

Transit Police Constable Josh Harms was shot Jan. 30, 2019 at Scott Road SkyTrain Station

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read