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February 2, 2024, 11:26 am

Surrey Action Plan Aims to Increase New Housing by 27.8%

City of Surrey
SURREY -  The City of Surrey is launching a three-year Action Plan to address the delivery of housing and support affordable housing projects that aims to increase the number of new housing units delivered by 27.8%, to an average 4,283 issued dwellings per year. Supported by $95.6M through the federal Housing Accelerator Fund, the Action Plan includes a number of initiatives to increase housing supply, including helping support below-market and affordable rental housing projects.

“The federal government’s support for Surrey’s Action Plan will help eliminate barriers to building the housing that the City needs,” said the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. “By working with cities, mayors, and all levels of government, we are helping to get more homes built for Canadians at prices they can afford.”

“Surrey continues to be a favoured destination for people seeking a new home, which is why it is vital that we support the development of completed communities that are sustainable and inclusive,” said Mayor Brenda Locke. “Thanks to this investment through the federal Housing Accelerator Fund and our streamlined land development approval process, Surrey will be able to deliver affordable housing faster. As a leader in the region in supplying affordable housing, Surrey will now expand on this success by creating more safe, stable, and accessible housing for our ever-growing population.”

Surrey’s Action Plan allows for faster development of higher density, multi-unit housing projects through the improvement of development approval processes. The City is also adjusting zoning to increase housing density, especially around rapid transit lines. Initiatives include policy changes to expedite development of below‐market housing, expanding the use of professional reliance for faster approvals, expanding the guaranteed permitting timelines program, and leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to facilitate faster development and permit approvals.

Work is already underway, including development of the Building Inquiry Chatbot, Digital Compliance Project, continued expansion of end‐to‐end Digital Permitting capabilities, and policy work to respond to the new Provincial housing legislation and targets.
Staff are prioritizing several actions, including:
 
  • Hiring of additional staff to support implementation of the Action Plan and continued application processing;
  • Drafting the terms of the Development Incentive Program for Council consideration;
  • Developing AI-powered tools to assist improved communication and quality of development and building permit submissions; and
  • Refining the Spending Plan to ensure that investments are focused on unlocking housing supply.

Learn more about Surrey’s Action Plan at surrey.ca/housingaccelerator.


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