Friday, August 12 2022

Construction is underway on a $50 million affordable rental housing project in Guildford that will feature 85 below-market apartments in a four-story building at Kingston Gardens Housing.

The project, at 15243 99 Ave., will replace 24 townhouses that were built in the early 1980s. Jerry Dobrovolny, commissioner and general manager of Metro Vancouver, told the Now-Leader that none of these townhouse residents will be displaced by this redevelopment.

“Because it is a very large site and we knew construction was coming, we held vacancies for a period of time and so people were moved to the site and so no one is moved and we give them options on the site and then once the first building is built, we will move people to the new building and then we will redevelop it sequentially,” Dobrovolny said.

“The site is very large with several buildings, so we can move them inside the site. Not moving residents is a very important issue for us,” he added. “We have a whole range of different units, ranging from around 15% up from around 15%, and then we also have units that are geared to income.”

Federal Housing, Diversity and Inclusion Minister Ahmed Hussen was in Surrey on Thursday afternoon to make the announcement, along with officials from Metro Vancouver and the provincial government.

According to a press release, the aim is to provide affordable housing for “families, individuals and people living with disabilities in Surrey”.

“Every British Columbian should have access to an affordable place to call home,” Hussen said. “Housing is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

Hussen said the federal government is providing nearly $30 million in funding for the project, which will be operated by Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation. It will offer one- to four-bedroom suites “for people with low to moderate incomes, including nine accessible units and resident amenity spaces,” close to supermarkets and schools. “I always say that when we build affordable housing and provide those investments, we’re not just building housing, we’re building communities.

Jagrup Brar, NDP MP for Surrey-Fleetwood, said the provincial government is providing $8.3 million for the project.

‘This development will be very helpful for the people of Surrey who need safe and secure housing,’ he said. “The housing crisis has been ignored for years and is now hurting people, especially those who need extra help.”

Ken Hardie, Liberal MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells, moderated the presser. “It’s a big deal,” he said. “It’s worth celebrating.”

Sav Dhaliwal, Chairman of the Board of Metro Vancouver, said that “with the cost of living higher than ever, we must continue to prioritize access to affordable housing in our region.”

Mike Hurley, chairman of the Metro Vancouver Housing Committee, said what excites him is “hearing hammers” and “hearing machines here”, and workers “starting to build something”. That’s what really excites me.

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