Surrey, province break ground on new supportive housing project

Surrey, province break ground on new supportive housing project

Facility near Green Timbers to include 100 supportive housing units, 30 transitional accommodation spaces

A project that has been years in the making is finally underway.

The City of Surrey and the provincial government broke ground on the Green Timbers supportive housing facility Friday (Nov. 22).

READ ALSO: Surrey approves lease with province for shelter near Green Timbers forest, May 28, 2019

Surrey Councillor Brenda Locke told the Now-Leader it’s “great news that we’re finally putting that shovel in the ground.”

“This has been in the works for a really long time and so this is a really important part of what we can do in Surrey to help people that are struggling,” said Locke, who chairs the city’s Social Equity and Diversity Committee.

“This will have a huge impact on those people that are street entrenched and those people that are not getting the kind of services that they need to move forward. This will have a big impact and help their lives move forward.”

At the Green Timbers facility, residents will be charged a monthly rate of $375, which is the social assistance shelter allowance provided by the province to people experiencing homelessness, according to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. There is no fee for transitional accommodation spaces.

Back in May, the city approved the 60-year lease with the province for the housing, which will include 100 supportive housing units and 30 transitional accommodation spaces. It will also include support services such as counselling, health and food services, laundry facilities, a dining lounge and recreation and outdoor open space.

At the time of the lease approval, construction was set to begin in June with an opening date expected for summer of 2021.

Construction is now expected to be complete by late 2021.

BC Housing, along with proposed operator RainCity Housing and Support Society, plan to build and operate the six-storey Green Timbers Way Housing Facility, located north of the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre.

homelessphoto

RainCity Housing and Support Society representatives George Simpson, left, and Catharine Hume during the groundbreaking for the Green Timbers supportive housing project. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

RainCity co-executive director Catharine Hume said the society’s vision “is a home for everyone.”

“As an organization, we have and we continue to work to offer welcoming, safe, affordable housing to people who experience and often continue to experience various forms of marginalization,” Hume said.

RainCity, she said, currently operates a housing first intensive case management in Surrey, as well as a peer-driven harm reduction service in the community.

In the last 2014 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count, 602 people were identified as homeless. Of those, 399 were in shelters, 44 were in Extreme Weather Response shelters and the remaining 203 were on the street.

Although, those figures are widely recognized as an undercount.

This new facility has been in the works for years. In 2015, a memorandum of understanding between the city and BC Housing was brought to council “to secure a partnership to lead to the delivery of a new purpose-built low barrier shelter and transitional housing facility in the Surrey City Centre area.” According to the agenda, the memorandum was signed on Nov. 16 and 19, 2015.

Council previously gave its blessing to rezone the property. At the April 18, 2016 council meeting, there was a recommendation to rezone two city-owned properties at 9900-140th Street and 14150 Green Timbers Way. Both properties received third reading for the rezoning in May, 2016.

The land has since been subdivided, creating the new address, 9810 Foxglove Dr.

The province, according to a release from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, has provided nearly $30 million through Building BC, a supportive housing fund.

– with files from Amy Reid

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

Just Posted

Anita Nielsen and a group of her neighbours argued last year that a proposed four-storey apartment building would destroy the historic character of Elm Street, as well as bringing increased traffic, blocking ocean views and causinge parking issues along the street and Beachview Avenue in White Rock. (File photo)
Elm Street OCP designation changed by White Rock council

Motion aimed at keeping historic pocket ‘as it is’

Surrey Vaisakhi parade crowd in Newton, pre-pandemic. (Photo: Crystal Scuor)
Surrey Mounties urge Vaisakhi, Kissan celebrants to heed public health orders

Report violations to the City of Surrey Bylaw call centre at 604-591-4370 or the Surrey RCMP non-emergency line at 604-599-0502

A woman crosses 176th Street in Cloverdale April 12, 2021. 176th will not host Cloverdale Market Days this year as the popular street fest is just the latest casualty in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Cloverdale Market Days cancelled again

Organizer says popular street fest will return in 2022

Residents of 15156 Victoria Ave. say they’re at risk of losing their affordable housing, from left, Elizabeth Soper, Jack, Jane, Dan, Anthony. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock tenants, landlord to go to RTB hearing over ‘renoviction’

Low-income tenants dispute claim they must relocate for work to be completed

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

Paper Excellence took over Catalyst Paper operations in B.C. in 2018. (Paper Excellence photo)
Archibald bowl near Chilliwack. (Submitted)
Cheam First Nation ‘shocked’ over all-season mountain resort proposal near Chilliwack

For five years the band has been working on a gondola project of their own

The plane blasted through an airport fence and down a hill, before stopping before a cement barrier on Highway 5A, right in front of a school bus. Photo submitted.
Student pilot crashes plane onto Highway 5A almost hitting school bus

Aircraft hit pavement right in front of school bus

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Eight-year-old Piper and her family were raising money to help Guinevere, the bearded dragon, get a gynecological surgery. Sadly, the reptile didn’t survive the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Lizard fails to survive surgery, GoFundMe dollars help Langley family offset medical bills

Guinevere, a pet bearded dragon, underwent an ovariectomy on Tuesday

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Road rager fails breathalyzer on busy B.C. highway in vehicle he shouldn’t be driving

Saanich police say man was operating vehicle without required ignition lock

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Most Read