Master Plan for Housing the Homeless
Learn what the City is doing to address homelessness in Surrey.
Adopted by Council in 2013, the Master Plan for Housing the Homeless in Surrey is the City's response to the need for long term housing and support services for individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The Master Plan focuses on the provision of additional supportive housing units, as well as the need for emergency shelters and related services.
Homelessness in Surrey
In 2020, the Metro Vancouver homeless count identified 644 individuals who were homeless in Surrey. Of these, 471 were sheltered and 173 were living on the streets.
Due to the limitations of counting the Surrey homeless population, it is widely accepted as an undercount.
The City of Surrey will continue to work collaboratively with BC Housing and Fraser Health, and the community agencies that serve people that are homeless in order to address homelessness and the related issues of mental health and addictions.
- 2020 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver: Final Data Report
- Master Plan for Housing the Homeless in Surrey
- Master Plan Appendix A: Situation Report
- Master Plan Appendix B: Good Practices
- North Surrey Homelessness Resources
- The Homeless and the Vulnerably Housed in Surrey: Exploring Variations in Needs and Experiences (2014)
- At Home in Surrey? The Housing Experiences of Refugees in Surrey, BC (2009)
Current City Actions and Partnerships
Shelters and Supportive Housing
We've used our influence and resources to partner with BC Housing and non-profit organizations in Surrey to address the need for more supportive housing and improved emergency shelter facilities.
New purpose-built shelter and supportive housing projects
- 250 new units of supportive housing: Learn more about the Province's commitment to build 250 units of permanent supportive modular housing at up to five sites in communities across Surrey.
- Green Timbers Purpose-Built facility: in 2015, a new Memorandum of Understanding was signed with BC Housing and the City to build a purpose-built low-barrier facility with 96 supportive housing beds and 27 transitional housing units as well as spaces for health care, counselling and other services. The City is contributing the land and will waive all municipal development costs and fees. Read the Corporate Report.
- Options’ “Bill Reid” Shelter in Cloverdale: this new purpose-built facility opened in May 2018, providing 16 shelter beds and 12 transitional housing units
Additional temporary shelter facilities
In response to the increase in the homeless population in recent years, the City has partnered with BC Housing to provide three temporary shelters.
- The Guildford Shelter in Guildford: 40 beds
- The Parkway Shelter in City Centre: 40 beds
- The Cove Shelter in City Centre: 42 beds
- The Olive Branch in City Centre, 46 beds
- Temporary shelters are open 24 hrs / day, 7 days / week. Clients are provided meals and connection to services. The goal is to transition clients to permanent housing.
Read more about the Guildford Shelter in the Corporate Report.
Surrey Homelessness & Housing Fund
In June 2007, Surrey City Council approved the creation of the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Fund; $9 million from the City’s Affordable Housing Reserves was used to establish the Fund. The fund is used to support Surrey-made solutions to homelessness and affordable housing issues in Surrey.
Completed City Actions and Partnerships
Shelters and Supportive Housing
In 2008, the City of Surrey signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with BC Housing to develop new supportive housing in Surrey. Our involvement is triggered by our priorities related to homelessness and affordable housing in Surrey.
To date, we've contributed the land and waived all development fees and charges for 3 MOU projects. These projects have created 152 units of supportive housing for women and children, men and women recovering from addictions, and individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The three MOU projects are:
- Alder Gardens - A 36-unit supportive housing project in Newton for single women with dependent children, who are living in Surrey and are at-risk of homelessness or in core housing need. It is operated by the YWCA. Families began moving into Alder Gardens in late February 2012.
- Quibble Creek Health and Phoenix Transition Housing Centre - A health services and housing project for men and women recovering from addictions is located adjacent to Surrey Memorial Hospital. The facility accommodates an addictions and mental health clinic, a 25-bed sobering centre, Surrey Substance Use Services and outpatient counselling, 15 short-term recovery beds, and 52 transitional housing units.
- Timber Grove Apartments - Located in City Centre, Timber Grove welcomed its first residents in October 2011. It includes 52 studio apartment units for individuals who are homeless or at-risk-of-homelessness. This supportive housing project is operated by Coast Mental Health.
Under the terms of the partnership agreement with BC Housing, the City has committed to lease the sites at a nominal rate for 60 years, and to waive all municipal development costs and fees. In addition, the non-profit sponsors of the housing projects may apply on an annual basis for a property tax exemption. The City expedited the approval process for these much needed housing projects.
Capital and operating funding of the housing projects were arranged though BC Housing and other partners. The YWCA committed $1 million toward their project.