In celebrating its 50th anniversary, Options Community Services has launched a fundraising campaign for an affordable housing project in Newton.
Launched Wednesday (Feb. 17), Options has brought together 50 “influential South Fraser women” to raise $1.5 million in support of a new 100-unit affordable housing project at 81st Avenue and King George Boulevard. Thirty of the units would be market rentals, while the remaining 70 would be below market rates, with rent starting as low as $375 per month.
“It’s really a dream and it will make a life-altering difference to people who can access it,” said Christine Mohr, CEO of Options and campaign co-chair.
Mohr said in 2018, Options put out a question to staff to find out what they were hearing was the greatest challenge from clients.
She said “within hours,” she was seeing messages about the “absence of affordable housing.”
“If you don’t have a secure foundation and a place that’s home … What else can you do? You’re really in survival mode.”
Options purchased property at 8109, 8123 and 8135 King George Boulevard in 2015 with the initial plan to build spaces for community services, Mohr said they decided to expand into housing.
Mohr said the project will also include community services, such as early years, mental health outreach and family services.
From there, she said, Options came up with the idea of asking 50 women “to help raise the gap” in funding.
“It was overwhelming to see how excited they were about doing this on behalf of the community,” she noted.
Options board members and staff have also contributed to the cause, and the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society has also contributed $250,000.
The project is slated to open in mid-2023.
To see a full list of the women involved in the campaign, and to find out more about the project, visit womenofoptions.ca.