For Immediate Release
June 19, 2020
SURREY, BC (Unceded Kwantlen, Katzie, Qayqayt, Kwikwetlem Territories): On Saturday June 20th, residents of Whalley are rallying on 135A Street, the former site of the tent city known as the Surrey Strip, against Mayor McCallum’s plan to push low-income residents out of the neighbourhood and hand Whalley over to the rich.
What: Rally to defend Whalley against gentrification
When: Saturday, June 20 at 2:00pm
Where: 135A Street near 108 Avenue
Two years ago, police and city workers cleared one hundred tents off of the Surrey Strip, moving poverty strategically out of sight. “The real reason they cleared the Strip was to ‘beautify’ the neighbourhood,” says Wanda Stopa, a homeless community leader. “Two years later, we’re still homeless, still policed, still dying. But we’re still here. We’re still fighting.”
Now city planners are bringing developers in to build luxury condos in the neighbourhood. Low-income residents are preparing to fight back. “Surrey doesn’t need any more condos being put up when we are in desperate need of social housing or low-income housing,” says Maggie Anderson. “I speak for myself as a single parent with nowhere to live.”
Surrey City Council recently approved Bosa Properties’ proposal to build 1,200 condo units where Nickerson Place modular housing currently stands, despite strong opposition from modular housing residents and members of the street community.
“The destruction of the mods represents the loss of precious housing resources and a massive transfer of wealth from public to private hands,” says Red Braid member Isabel Krupp. “People tried speaking out at the public hearing, but City Council ignored them. We need to get organized and take action to stop the development, save this low-income housing, and defend Whalley against gentrification.”