About 27 people are being displaced as the City of Surrey shuts down a troubled trailer park in Newton.
The city is working closely with social service providers to ensure none of the residents end up on the street.
The city describes the evictions as an unfortunate outcome as officials work to end what they say are persistent crime and bylaw violations at Town and Country Motel and Trailer Park at 8293 King George Blvd.
For years, the property has been the site of police raids, along with failed fire and bylaw inspections, according to Surrey Bylaw Manager Jas Rehal.
Police and city officials say the trailer park is a frequent location for drug dealing, prostitution and related crimes, such as assault and property crime.
Bylaw officers have been to the site 35 times since November 2014, and currently has 10 active files for the location.
The Surrey fire department attended 22 incidents at the Town and Country in 2015 and conducted 15 B.C. Fire Code inspections during that time.
Surrey RCMP also say the trailer park has been a problem for police for a number of years.
Last year, it was identified as a “High Risk Location” under a new city program. Several search warrants were executed and arrests were made.
“The Town and Country has been a concern for a number of years,” Rehal said Wednesday. “So, unfortunately, we’ve had to cancel the (business) licence.”
It expires on March 1, 2016.
After that, the owner can no longer take on any new tenants.
“She (the owner) cannot operate after the first of March,” Rehal said. “It basically means, no new people.”
The power and lights to the units will remain on, Rehal said, adding the owner has the responsibility to look after the people that are still occupying the property.
The city is keeping an eye on several residents who count on the Town and Country for housing.
Of the 27 people who will be displaced, four have been relocated to Hyland House, a homeless shelter and transitional housing facility in Newton.
Three people are independently seeking housing, while another eight have received lists of independent housing from Options: Services to Communities Society.
The remaining 12 are of concern to both the city and Options, as they could prove to be hard to house.
That said, they are being assisted in every way possible, city officials say.
“Nobody is going to be moved without having some other option,” said Surrey Coun. Very LeFranc.
She pointed out the owner of the property has to follow Residential Tenancy Branch regulations and give those being evicted three months notice.
“It’s important that those residents are safe,” LeFranc said. “I know that they are particularly vulnerable and we need to make sure they are in a better place than they are right now.”