Two more supportive housing projects will soon provide more than 100 rooms in Surrey for the homeless or those on the edge of homelessness, the province announced Wednesday morning.
Construction on the first project, Guildford Place, is set to begin this July at 14706 104th Ave. It will consist of 61 permanent studio units, each with a private washroom and kitchen. The building will include a commercial kitchen, dining and lounge areas, storage and amenity space, laundry and a medical room.
Construction for Guildford Place is expected to be complete by May 2021 and it will be operated by Lookout Housing and Health Society.
Another site, in Newton, has also been identified for a third supportive housing building in Surrey. Located at 13620 80th Ave., the building will consist of 40 homes. BC Housing intends to submit a temporary use permit application for the site to the City of Surrey later this month. If approved, construction is expected to begin by this September.
Phoenix Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education Society will operate the 80th Avenue site and provide residents with 24/7 on-site staff and support services, including meal programs, life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services and opportunities for volunteer work.
“The Phoenix Society is excited to be working with BC Housing and the City of Surrey to deliver 40 new homes in Surrey,” said Keir Macdonald, CEO, Phoenix Society.“This is an important step in advancing the continuum of care for those experiencing homelessness and will provide residents with many of the supports they need to get back on their feet.”
The supportive housing projects are part of the province’s commitment to deliver 250 supportive homes, in partnership with the city, to replace the current temporary sites in the community.
Construction on Whalley’s Peterson Place, the first project, started on May 22. Work is expected to be completed by the end of summer. Peterson Place will be operated by Fraserside Community Services Society. Its 38 homes will be located at 13245 King George Blvd.
The City of Surrey and the provincial government are also building a six-storey supportive housing facility in Green Timbers, a project that has been years in the making.
In May 2019, the city approved the 60-year lease with the province for the housing, which will include 100 supportive housing units and 30 transitional accommodation spaces. It will also include support services such as counselling, health and food services, laundry facilities, a dining lounge and recreation and outdoor open space.
RainCity Housing and Support Society plans to operate the Green Timbers Way Housing Facility, located north of the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre.
Construction began in November and is expected to be complete by late 2021.
In 2017, Metro Vancouver Homeless Count recorded 602 people in Surrey, including 399 sheltered and 203 unsheltered. It’s widely considered an undercount. That number was up from the 403 people identified in 2014.
– With files from Lauren Collins