September 13, 2017 10:09 pm

Surrey mayor says Whalley strip ‘urgently’ needs supportive housing

Homeless people gather on Whalley's so-called "strip," along 135 A Street.

Global News

Surrey’s mayor is demanding the provincial government come up with the money to build 150 units of supportive housing to get people out of tents along the Whalley Strip.

Linda Hepner said housing is “urgently” needed.

READ MORE: City takes steps to address ‘Surrey Strip’ public health and safety concerns

“Once those tents are gone we can talk about supportive services that need to happen,” Hepner said.

“I don’t want to necessarily move someone off the street into a shelter or into a housing unit where they are not getting the support services.”

WATCH: City of Surrey takes on “the strip”

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She said support services for treatment and addiction are also desperately needed.

“I really want to be clear that I need the support services where the housing is. I don’t need the people being shifted into a place to sleep and then all the support services back on 135A Street.”

Hepner has toured the strip with Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy.

READ MORE: Petition calls for water fountain for Surrey homeless

Hepner said the issue of homelessness is one of the reasons she plans to run for another term as mayor.

“I really want to make some significant impacts on social and affordable housing and taking care of that 135A issue (Whalley strip). That has been longstanding in the city since the 80s but has escalated more recently in the last couple of years.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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