Surrey council voted to appoint Surrey Connect councillors Rob Stutt and Pardeep Kooner to the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society board on Monday and authorized staff to begin recruiting community members to also serve.
The society, and the Surrey Homelessness Housing Fund, were set up in 2007, endowed with $9 million from the city’s affordable housing reserve fund.
According to a corporate report before council, “The goal was to form a society to administer these funds while operating at arms’ length from the City” and that Vancity Community Foundation manages the fund.
The report, from general manager of corporate services Rob Costanzo and Terry Waterhouse, general manager of community services, notes that the City of Surrey doesn’t directly control the society, “which exists as a separate legal entity.”
The board typically had 10 to 12 members, up until 2020 when the previous council reduced the number of serving directors to three city councillors. “Currently, only one director remains, a sitting City Councillor,” the report notes. Staff recommends that the city “immediately” begin recruiting volunteers for the board, with applicants having three weeks to respond.
“The advertisement will request the submission of a resume, a letter outlining reasons that the individual wishes to sit on the Board, an outline of previous boards and committees on which the individual has served, and an expression of particular experience and expertise that the individual would bring to the Board,” the report states. After the application deadline, council will be presented with a list of candidates for consideration.
The SHHS, it adds, “has been able to make a significant difference in the quality of life of many Surrey residents toward its goal of minimizing homeless or risk of homelessness in Surrey.”