The provincial government has announced that 38 new homes are opening in Surrey for people who are either homeless or at risk of being so, while construction is also set to begin on 40 more.
“These new homes are part of our ongoing work to make sure people have housing and the supports they need,” says David Eby, attorney general and minister responsible for housing. “We will continue to work with the City of Surrey and community partners to move more people into places they can call home.”
The construction of 38 studio units, each with a kitchen and washroom, has been completed at Peterson Place, at 13245 King George Blvd. and residents are expected to start moving in on Dec. 21. It will also feature a commercial kitchen, dining and lounge areas, storage and amenity space, laundry and a medical room.
It’s to be operated by Fraserside Community Services Society and will have on-site staff and support services 24 hours, seven days a week with meal programs, life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services, and also provide opportunities to contribute to the community.
Lynda Edmonds, CEO of Fraserside, notes that people “experience belonging when they have a home and when they can belong to a community.
“Peterson Place is a community where people feel safe in their homes and where they will have access to support, health services and friendship, all essential ingredients to not only surviving, but actually thriving,” she says.
Meantime, Phoenix Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education Society will operate 40 supportive homes at 13620 80 Ave. with construction to start early in the new year and expected to be finished in the summer.
Keir Macdonald, CEO of Phoenix Society, says the projects represent “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 move forward with their lives.”
The B.C. government provided $11.3 million for Peterson Place as part of the Homelessness Action Plan and has also earmarked $732,000 for annual operating funding. It’s also providing $10.3 million for the Phoenix project and will provide $1.2 million in annual operating funding for that.
A provincial government press release issued Thursday notes both projects are part of a plan by provincial government and City of Surrey to build 250 permanent supportive modular homes in city while the construction of 61 supportive homes is also underway at 14706 104 Ave.
“These new homes will make a significant difference in people’s lives here in Surrey. Our government is working hard to reduce homelessness and to make life better for vulnerable people in our community,” says Bruce Ralston, NDP MLA for Surrey-Whalley
Harry Bains, NDP MLA for Surrey-Newton, notes that there is a strong need for supportive housing in Newton, with “wraparound supports.”
Mayor Doug McCallum said he’s of proud how this has come together “particularly through this time of the pandemic, to deliver safe and secure housing for our city’s most vulnerable residents at a time when it is needed more than ever.”