$1 mil­lion of­fered for hous­ing so­lu­tions

Vancouver Sun - - CITY - JEN­NIFER SALTMAN

The Sur­rey Home­less­ness and Hous­ing So­ci­ety is cel­e­brat­ing its 10th an­niver­sary by of­fer­ing $1 mil­lion to help fund in­no­va­tive hous­ing so­lu­tions in Sur­rey.

The re­quest for pro­pos­als, is­sued on Thurs­day, comes af­ter this year’s Metro Van­cou­ver home­less count found the num­ber of home­less peo­ple in Sur­rey in­creased by nearly 50 per cent over the past three years, to 602 from 403.

“We’re all aware of the opi­oid cri­sis and the lack of hous­ing to move peo­ple off the streets, so the time is now to do some­thing and our so­ci­ety wants to make an im­pact,” said Sur­rey Coun. Judy Vil­leneuve, who chairs the so­ci­ety’s board.

When the so­ci­ety started 10 years ago, it kicked off with a $1-mil­lion grant to help start the Maxxine Wright Cen­tre, which pro­vides sup­port­ive hous­ing for women and chil­dren. Since then, it has given out roughly $250,000 a year for projects aimed at re­duc­ing home­less­ness.

The $1 mil­lion could all go to one project or be di­vided between mul­ti­ple projects, depend­ing on the pro­pos­als the so­ci­ety re­ceives. Vil­leneuve said they’re look­ing for “shovel-ready” projects.

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