$13M announced for 3 Surrey transitional housing projects

B.C. housing minister announces 160 temporary modular housing projects coming to three locations in Surrey by early spring.

Three temporary modular-housing projects will be fully operational in early spring

For the past 12 years, dozens of people have taken part in the annual Sources B.C. Homelessness Awareness March in Surrey. (Jesse Johnston/CBC)

The B.C. government has announced an allocation of $13 million to build transitional housing units at three locations in Surrey.

Two sites have been confirmed for the temporary modular project, including 10662 King George Blvd., and 13550 105th Ave.  

The third site is yet to be determined. 

The 160 units will include individual rooms with private bathrooms, meal service, counselling and medical offices, 24/7 staffing, plus life and employment skills programming. 

Artist rendering of temporary modular housing planned for 13350 105 Avenue, in Surrey. (Harold Dupuis/CBC)

In 2017, a Metro Vancouver homeless count identified 602 homeless people in Surrey — second only to Vancouver.

"This number is almost a 50 per cent increase from 2014," said B.C. housing minister Selina Robinson. 

"It tells us the significant problem has been ignored for far too long."  

Robinson said the housing is a swift and effective solution to help people struggling with homelessness.

The temporary facilities, she said, will be replaced by 250 units of permanent modular housing once additional sites have been identified.   

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said the project addresses all aspects of the city's rapid-response housing plan. 

"Our goal is to provide safe housing to our most vulnerable and bring some semblance of normalcy back to the people who reside and work in the 135A Street area," said Hepner. 

The new homes will be run by Lookout Housing and Health Society.  

To assist people with severe substance disorders who are homeless in the community, Fraser Health will operate an intensive case management team within one of the housing sites. 

The three projects are scheduled to be fully operational by early spring.