Surrey staging all-candidates meeting on affordable housing, homelessness and poverty

Susan Sanderson of the Realistic Success Recovery Society said invitations sent to all Liberal, NDP and Green Party candidates in Surrey.

Surrey staging all-candidates meeting on affordable housing, homelessness and poverty

SURREY The Surrey Homelessness and Housing Task Force is staging an all-candidates meeting to hear from local MLA candidates on their plans to address issues of affordable housing, homelessness and poverty in this city.

Susan Sanderson, executive director of the Realistic Success Recovery Society, said invitations have been sent out to all Liberal, NDP and Green Party candidates in Surrey.

“It’s a huge number,” she said Wednesday. “We’ve have one Green candidate say yes.”

The event is on Thursday, April 20, between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Crystal at York, at #210-12888 80th Ave. in Newton. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

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Sanderson noted that it used to be that people lived in Surrey and worked in Vancouver to benefit from lower housing cost but “Surrey is no longer affordable even in the same way if was three years ago.”

“It’s really a struggle” for many people, she said. “The rents for basement suites are increasing.”

Sanderson said she’s heard of people lining up for a chance to rent a basement suite in Surrey and the person offering the most cash succeeds.

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She added that many “adult children” are unable to move out of their parents’ home because they can’t find a place to rent.

The Surrey Homelessness and Housing Task Force is comprised of 30 government and community groups who work to help homeless people and those at risk of being homeless.

The provincial election is May 9. Sanderson said affordable housing and the issue of homelessness is a “huge” issue for helping agencies, the homeless and those seeking affordable accommodations. “For the rest of the province and folks who vote, I don’t know.”

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com