The BC government has announced plans to build three temporary modular-housing projects in Surrey this spring, for a total of 160 living units.
The units will include individual rooms with private bathrooms, meal service, counselling and medical offices, 24/7 staffing, as well as “life and employment skills” programming.
“It is critical that we move quickly to provide housing and support services for people who have been living on the streets and in unsafe conditions for far too long,” said BC’s minister of municipal affairs and housing, Selina Robinson.
“Our new modular program is a swift and effective housing solution that will help people struggling with homelessness.”
The government noted that the eventual plans are for the modular housing to be replaced by 250 units of permanent affordable housing, “once additional sites have been identified” and the additional modular homes with support services have been built.
Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner welcomed the news.
“Today’s announcement addresses all aspects of our comprehensive Rapid Response Housing Plan for Surrey,” she said.
The creation of the units, she added, “will provide important housing solutions and begin to address the urgent need for housing and supports for street-entrenched homeless people.”
The modular housing will be located at three sites, including 10662 King George Blvd. and 13550-105 Ave. The third site will be confirmed at a later date, the province said.
The homes will be operated by Lookout Housing and Health Society.
“We are excited to operate this new transitional accommodation and provide support to some of the most vulnerable individuals in Surrey,” said Shayne Williams, executive director, Lookout Housing and Health Society.
“This minimal-barrier accommodation has been so badly needed to help individuals stabilize and get connected to services they need.”
To assist homeless people with severe substance disorders, Fraser Health – in partnership with Lookout Housing and Health Society and BC Housing – will operate an intensive case management (ICM) team out of one of the modular-housing sites.
A public information session on the modular housing plan is scheduled for Tuesday, January 23.