Skip to content

Surrey, White Rock lists 20 BC cities receiving housing targets

“We know that in Surrey, in Delta, there are 12 to 14 people living in two-bedroom suites”: Kahlon

Surrey and White Rock make up two of 20 communities on the province’s list of ‘priority’ communities that will receive housing targets for the next five years.

Announced Tuesday morning (April 23) by the BC government, the communities selected in the Housing Supply Act are in high-growth and high-need areas of the province, the news release said. The provincial government will set housing goals for each community listed, with an expected timeline of five years for the goal to be achieved.

“Our goal for the next twenty communities is to build on the work they are already doing as they continue to implement the recent provincial legislative changes. This group includes communities that are doing well on housing and some that need to do more,” Housing Secretary Ravi Kahlon said in the release.

READ ALSO: Surrey, Kelowna and Prince George added to B.C.’s housing hit list

The first set of priority communities was released in May last year, with ten municipalities listed. With the additional 20, the province says it will work with each region to ensure the targets – which will be announced this summer – are met.

“We know there are a lot of people living in Surrey right now who are underhoused,” Kahlon said in a scrum with reporters on Monday.

“The challenge for Surrey is not providing housing for the people who come, but providing housing for people already living in the community, and that is a real challenge. We know that in Surrey, in Delta, there are 12 to 14 people living in two-bedroom suites, so there is a big problem in Surrey.”

The city of Delta was on the first priority list.

Kahlon noted that the issue of housing shortages in Surrey is often brought to his ministry and that the mayor, Brenda Locke, is well aware of the problem.

READ ALSO: Surrey council approves budget with 6% property tax increase

“We’ve provided $180 million between us (provincial) and the federal government just for infrastructure for the city of Surrey, but we haven’t seen where those dollars have gone yet. I certainly hope they make public where those infrastructure dollars will go.”

Peace Arch News has contacted Locke for comment.

Meanwhile, White Rock Mayor Megan Knight said city staff will work with the province in the coming weeks to determine goals for the city.

“We look forward to working with the province to identify housing opportunities within White Rock, while recognizing our local context and sharing our community’s housing issues and expectations with the province,” Knight said in a news release.

“Affordable housing is a priority for the municipality, and we hope to work with the province to find solutions to meet our local housing needs in a way that is appropriate for White Rock.”