Surrey council approved a development permit and a development variance permit Monday (March 11) for the five-storey transitional housing building near Surrey Memorial Hospital.
The project, which was submitted by the Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver, would have 85 units, according to the March 11 council agenda.
On the second floor there would be 28 units, which wouldn’t include kitchens or bathrooms, “as residents must uiltize the common kitchen and shared bathrooms.” The 57 units on levels three to five would be complete dwelling units with kitchens and bathrooms for longer-term stays.
The ground floor, according to the agenda, would have space for medical and dental officers, as well as amenity space and programming space and offices for the non-profit.
It was in December of 2014 that council gave third reading to rezone three properties for a transitional housing facility. Since then, the Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver submitted a development permit application.
The society, according to the March 11 city council agenda, is a non-profit organization, currently operating in New Westminster, “focused on delivering support for low-income and marginalized women and children at risk.”
The agenda says the society requires financial support and partnerships, and the proposed transitional housing facility is supported by the Fraser Valley Aboriginal Friendship Centres Association, BC Housing and the City of Surrey.
The Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver, according to its website, has a goal “to support criminalized and marginalized women, girls and children in achieving their potentional.”
The society began in 1939, and its early work focused on “transforming conditions for women and girls in custody.”
It now serves more than 2,200 clients annually. Of the clients, 77 per cent have children, “and the majority of these are the sole caregiver. Virtually all live below the poverty line.”
Elizabeth Fry has programs for at-risk women and at-risk women with children and families.