‘Crisis’ forum to address housing issues

An NDP-led forum will delve into the extent of Surrey and White Rock’s affordable housing problem.
The forum, Homelessness: A Crisis in Our Community, focuses on the rising costs of buying a home.
Set for 2:30-4p.m. Jan. 21 at Semiahmoo Public Library, the forum invites residents to share input on government plans to address the issue of affordable housing and homelessness in this area.
Surrey Coun. Judy Villeneuve, Sue Hammell, NDP MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, and Ruth Chitty of the Peace Arch Community Services Food Bank will be panelists at the event.
Sheila Davidson, member of the NDP South Surrey White Rock constituency, which organized the forum, said rising house prices on the Peninsula are shutting more low-income residents out of the property market.
“It’s a problem that’s growing in South Surrey and White Rock – you can see it in the recent house assessments,” Davidson said.
“If I was looking to buy, this isn’t an area I will go.”
Hammell said developers should be including smaller units and more density to provide more affordable housing in their plans.
“That’s one way to accommodate low-income buyers,” Hammell said.
“When people become alienated from owning a home, that makes them feel further from their community,” she added.
The library is at 1815 152nd St. For information, call 604-531-8767.