Rendering of the Harmony apartment proposed for the 15100-block of 20 Avenue. (Contributed graphic)

‘Inclusive, affordable’ South Surrey project aims to meet ‘desperate’ housing need

Public consultation on 91-unit ‘Harmony’ to launch online next month

Public consultation on a 91-unit affordable and inclusive housing project proposed for South Surrey is taking a twist due to the ongoing pandemic.

Doug Tennant, chief executive officer of UNITI – a partnership of Semiahmoo House Society, Peninsula Estates Housing Society and The Semiahmoo Foundation – said restrictions on gatherings have led to “a whole new ballgame” when it comes to collecting public input.

“Because of COVID-19… we’re going to be doing an online public-information meeting, and we want to make sure it’s a genuine way to consult with people,” said Tennant.

Starting June 15, the public can weigh in, ask questions about and comment on the Harmony apartment project via a website that is being to created to explain it.

“Every couple of days after June 15, we’ll be answering the questions that have come to us,” he said.

Input – to be collected through to June 27 – will also be gathered through email, by phone and via a survey, Tennant added.

The site proposed for the project is 5.5 acres that is owned by Peninsula Estates Housing Society. Located in the 15100-block of 20 Avenue, it is currently home to 52 townhomes and an 18-unit apartment building.

Currently at the development-permit application stage, Tennant said the hope is to break ground on the six-storey Harmony next spring. He noted the site does not require rezoning.

Tennant described the need for more such affordable and inclusive housing in South Surrey as “desperate,” noting the organization’s first inclusive project – Chorus, which opened its 71 units four years ago at 2358 153 St. – has been full from the get-go.

READ MORE: South Surrey’s Chorus development ‘a model we want to replicate’

“We realized (the need) when we completed Chorus: it was rented up immediately and vacancies are snapped up immediately,” Tennant said.

“The model works,” he added, describing a combination of inclusive, affordable and close-to-market-rate units that create a community which reflects a diversity of residents – from health-care workers and seniors to families and people with disabilities.

He hopes the upcoming consultation period will help quash “misinformation” about the project, including the belief by some that it is a for-profit development.

“We are a not-for-profit developer,” Tennant said. “We do not build for financial profit, we build for social profit of the community as well as the tenants that are going to live in the apartment.”

Other fears he wants to quell include that the project is a precursor to something bigger. Tennant said any future growth on the site would actually be smaller – townhouses and duplexes are a possibility – and, “would be 20 years away.”

He noted that while 17 of the 52 townhomes that currently exist on the proposed site are slated to be demolished to make way for the new building, the affected residents “will have first kick at the can” for a unit in Harmony, which is anticipated to be ready for occupancy by the end of 2022.

He expects the units to “fill up in a heartbeat, absolutely.”

The public-information website link is expected to be ready this week. For more information, email harmony@pehs.ca



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

affordable housingdevelopmentdisabilitiesSurrey

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

 

Just Posted

Thomas Dawson Peacock
Surrey man, 32, charged with sexual interference

Incidents alleged to have happened in Surrey and Abbotsford

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. (File photo)
The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region over the last week.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
CHARTS: Weekly COVID-19 case double in Fraser North health area, up 50% in Vancouver

The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region.

Kristjon Olson in a photo released by Surrey RCMP.
High-risk offender back in custody facing child-porn charges, Surrey Mounties say

News of Kristjon Otto Olson’s arrest is posted to Surrey RCMP’s website

(Delta Police Department photo)
No offence in second incident involving a teen girl being approached in Tsawwassen: police

Police still investigating incident on Oct. 15 where teen girl was approached by older man in a burgundy car

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

The Excelsior 4 are set to make their second court appearance in Abbotsford on Monday (Nov. 2). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
‘Excelsior 4’: Animal activists set to enter not guilty plea in Abbotsford hog farm case

Animal rights activists expected to plead not guilty to charges, protest for Vancouver scheduled

Dennis Cholowski shows off a Jordan 2 Retro Just Don Blue sneaker, the type of shoe only a true sneakerhead would appreciate. (Facebook photo)
VIDEO: Chilliwack Chiefs alum Dennis Cholowski shows off ‘sneakerhead’ collection

The Detroit Red Wing has been spending his NHL paycheques building up an impressive closet of shoes

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Most Read