2023 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count
The 2023 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count found 1,060 people experiencing homelessness in Surrey.
Surrey, BC – The 2023 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count found 1,060 people experiencing homelessness in Surrey. This is a marked increase from the 644 people experiencing homelessness in the 2020 count. The rise in homelessness is not unique to Surrey, as every community included in the count is seeing a surge in homelessness.
“I am troubled but not surprised to see an increase in homelessness in Surrey,” said Mayor Brenda Locke. “Historically Vancouver has received the lion’s share of funds. This count clearly shows that homelessness is not a single city issue and communities, such as Surrey, have long been underfunded and under resourced. It’s time for the province to recognize the inequity and redistribute funding to address homelessness south of the Fraser.”
Addressing homelessness and housing affordability is a priority for the City of Surrey. This year a new Community Services Department with expanded resources dedicated to homelessness and housing affordability was launched. The Department is also in the process of setting up a new Homelessness Services Unit, which will include the City’s innovative Street Smart program that pairs outreach workers with Bylaws officers.
A new temporary 60-unit housing project, Safe Sleep, will be opening next month. As well, the City has partnered with CMHC and BC Housing on three Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) modular housing projects. The first RHI project has been completed providing 44 new units for women The second, a 30-unit youth housing project, is under development. A third project is in the early planning stages, and it will be a 57-60 unit co-ed housing project.
In 2024, a new Surrey Homelessness Prevention and Response Plan will be released that will guide the City’s actions in the coming years.