Canada announces support for rapid housing in Surrey

Surrey, British Columbia, December 2, 2021

Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for affordable housing and led to rising levels of homelessness. The Government of Canada created a national strategy to build hundreds of thousands of units and provide affordable housing to people across the country. By continuing to make investments in affordable housing, the federal, provincial, and municipal governments are working together to building stronger communities, creating jobs, and growing our middle class, while fighting homelessness and helping vulnerable Canadians.

Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, along with Doug McCallum, Mayor of Surrey, announced details of a $13.8 million federal allocation to support the creation of 30 new supportive homes for young people in Surrey through the Cities Stream under expanded Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI).

Bruce Ralston, MLA for Surrey – Whalley, announced that the B.C. government will support the new housing with annual operating funding. This funding will build off the provincial investments made in Surrey since 2017, which are supporting the construction of nearly 1,500 new homes for a range of people who are struggling to find a place to live.

The project will be operated by the Pacific Community Resource Society (PCRS), will be located at 13102 112A Ave in Surrey, B.C., and will feature 30 new homes with 24/7 support young people aged 17 – 24 years, many of whom will be transitioning from government care. All of the housing units will be allocated to vulnerable and homeless youth, with a further breakdown allocation of 25% Indigenous, 25% LGBTQ2+, 25% young women experiencing violence, and 25% newcomer youth. This project features modular construction and will be completed in winter 2022.

This is in addition to the Government of Canada’s previous investment of $16.4 million through the Major Cities Stream of the first phase of the RHI to support the creation of up to 44 new affordable homes in Surrey.

In its initial round, with funding of $1 billion announced in October 2020, the RHI exceeded its original target of 3,000 permanent affordable housing units and achieved 4,700 units nationally. Due to this success, an additional $1.5 billion for the RHI was recently announced to create 4,500 new units of permanent affordable housing across the country. Thanks to this expansion, this initiative will now create over 9,200 affordable homes for the most vulnerable Canadians across the country.

This new investment will create thousands of good jobs in the housing and construction sector, grow the middle class, and build back stronger communities, while getting us closer to our goal of eliminating chronic homelessness in Canada.

Quotes:

“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Today’s funding through the Rapid Housing Initiative will go a long way to support those who need it most by quickly providing 30 new affordable homes for Surrey’s most vulnerable Youth populations, to keep them safe. This is one of the ways our National Housing Strategy continues to ensure no one is left behind.”— The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion

“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. This investment into improving affordable and supportive housing in our city is facilitating real change for our young populations that need it most. These projects are a result of great partnerships, coming together to respond to a grave housing need in Surrey. This is the Rapid Housing Initiative at work.”— Randeep Sarai, Member of Parliament for Surrey Centre

“Young people in Surrey and across B.C. should never have to worry about finding a safe and secure home. This project is a great example of what we can accomplish when all levels of government work together. A special thank you to the Pacific Community Resource Society for working with us to bring these 30 much-needed new homes to Surrey.”— Bruce Ralston, MLA for Surrey – Whalley

“Creating housing rapidly to address BC’s housing crisis is a priority for our Government. This funding is part of our commitment to addressing severe housing needs, both here in Surrey, and across the country. It will provide immediate support to create safe and stable housing to our most vulnerable populations, including youth.”— Sukh Dhaliwal, Member of Parliament for Surrey-Newton

“Today’s announcement will support young people in our community who need a safe and supportive home as they transition into adulthood. Surrey has the largest youth population in the province. This project will ensure that all our young people have the opportunity to thrive. It will deliver on the critical and urgent need for housing for vulnerable youth who are or at risk of being homelessness, including youth who are transitioning out of the government care system. Homelessness is an evolving challenge and real solutions can be found when all levels of government work together.”— Doug McCallum, Mayor of Surrey

“For over 30 years, PCRS has provided core support services to young people living in Surrey. As one of the largest youth housing providers in BC, we know that ensuring youth, especially those leaving care, have the best start means they have a safe and stable place to live. We are excited to partner with CMHC and the City of Surrey to offer 30 new homes for Surrey’s vulnerable and homeless youth.”— Michelle Shaw, Director of Operations Fraser South, Pacific Community Resources Society

Read the full announcement here.

For information on this release:

Mikaela Harrison
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
Mikaela.Harrison@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
media@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Ministry of Attorney General and Responsible for Housing
Media Relations
778-678-1572

BC Housing
Media Relations
media@bchousing.org