Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai. (File photo)

VIDEO: Liberal Surrey MP holds news conference on gangs and housing

Randeep Sarai speaks about gang-fighting and housing funding and what it means for Surrey

SURREY — Liberal Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai held a press conference Friday morning to speak about gangs and housing.

Sarai spoke about the federal funding to tackle gun violence and gang activity and the National Housing Strategy.

Housing announcements

On Wednesday (Nov. 22), the federal Liberals announced a $40 billion housing strategy with the goal of reducing chronic homelessness and protecting Canadians from losing their homes.

With the announcement, the federal government wants to quadruple the number of housing units built under federal programs when compared to the ten-year period between 2005 and 2015.

They also want to repair three times the number of units when compared to the same time period.

See also: Feds plan to spend billions on housing strategy

See also: Feds announce housing help in Surrey

See also: B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Most of the money from this announcement won’t be spent until after the next federal election in 2019.

That includes $4 billion which was set aside for the ‘Canada Housing Benefit’ plan, which will be launched in 2020.

The Canada Housing Benefit is intended to give $2,500 per year to ‘each household recipient.’ At least 300,000 families will benefit from the announcement, according to the feds.

Fleetwood-Port Kells MP Ken Hardie also sent out a press release that affects a local co-op development in Guilford.

The MP said today that 34 housing units at Surrey’s Arboretum Housing Co-Operative will be repaired and upgraded: $368,000 will be allotted for this project.

That money comes out of the 2016-18 Social Infrastructure Fund, which provided $574 million for such projects over a two-year period.

Gang-fighting funds announced

On Nov. 17, the federal government announced it would spend $327.6 million over five years – and $100 million every year after that – to reduce gun violence and gang activity.

So far this year, there have been at least 45 shots-fired incidents in Surrey, most of them connected to the drug trade.

See more: Feds will spend $327.6 million a year to fight guns and gangs

See also: An interactive timeline of shootings in Surrey dating back to 2014

The Government of Canada will also bring together experts, practitioners, front-line personnel, and decision makers for a Summit on Criminal Guns and Gangs in March 2018.

The national summit will focus on the challenges, solutions and best practices in the fight against gun crime and in combating the deadly effects of gangs and illegal guns in communities across Canada.

The government says it hopes to hear from key stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, community and mental health organizations, Indigenous groups, government and non-governmental organizations.

To government also announced it will provide $10 million in urgent support to the Province of British Columbia to help address the opioid crisis.

-With files from Black Press



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

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