Surrey society offers up $1 million for housing projects


The Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society is celebrating its 10th anniversary by offering up $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 approximately $250,000 a year in grants to organizations for projects aimed at reducing homelessness. It’s given out a total of $3.5 million since it was formed in 2007.

Villeneuve said the grants typically come from the interest earned from the foundation’s money, but they will be dipping into the foundation’s reserves to offer up more grants for the anniversary.

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 where the money could give them a final push toward becoming a reality.

“We’re gong to look across the board at the proposals,” said Villeneuve.

There is no deadline for the proposals.

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Source:: Vancouver Sun

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