South of the Fraser

Surrey, Delta, White Rock and Langleys

Olympic legacy housing opens in Surrey

Timber Grove Apartments front and centre. It's hard to believe these were converted from portables.


It's pretty quiet on the outside. 

Timber Grove Apartments doesn't have any signage on the outside. It doesn't look like an apartment building, more like some sort of government building. It has a pleasant post-modern "Whistler" feel with the external wooden details and multi-coloured panels. 

You'd never guess walking by that it's part of Olympics legacy program. It was built from modular dorm housing for athletes for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and is now for rental apartments for seniors and people with disabilities.

There were some fears before it was constructed from the neighbours that the residents could be bad apples -- you know, the kind of neighbours you really don't want: loud, disruptive, perhaps prone to pushing into other people's personal space.

On the other hand, the bush that used to be there was a campground for precisely those types of people. So anything would be an improvement.

People have been living there for a few months now, but the official opening for Timber Grove Apartments was on Friday March 16, 2012.

Here's the press release from Fraser Health :

$13.2-million Olympic Legacy Housing opens in Surrey

 March 16, 2012

SURREY – Modular housing that once provided accommodation to athletes during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Whistler has been relocated and converted into 52 affordable rental apartments for seniors and people with disabilities at risk of homelessness in Surrey.

Timber Grove Apartments, located at 13922 - 101 Ave. in Surrey, is a partnership project between the Province, the City of Surrey, Fraser Health and Coast Mental Health.

  • The total capital cost of this project is approximately $13.2 million:
  • The Province contributed approximately $10.5 million and is also providing approximately $488,000 in annual operational and support services funding.
  • The City of Surrey provided the land, valued at approximately $2.3 million, waived $306,506 in municipal fees and contributed $22,835 toward landscaping work for the project.
  • Fraser Health provided $90,000 toward the construction of a commercial-size kitchen, and annual operating funding for clinical support services.

Coast Mental Health will manage and operate the three-storey building. They will also provide a number of onsite services including a meal program, job skills training and support services that include 24/7 staff, delivered in partnership with Fraser Health.

Temporary modular units from the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games created 156 new affordable housing homes in Chetwynd, Chilliwack, Enderby, Saanich, Sechelt and Surrey.


Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Social Development and MLA for Surrey-Panorama 
"These affordable homes represent another major investment by the Province, reflecting the strong partnerships we have developed both with the City of Surrey and our great community partners to collectively help British Columbians most in need.”

Dave Hayer, MLA for Surrey-Tynehead 
“All the partners on this project had a common vision, to increase the number of affordable homes for seniors most in need in Surrey. I am extremely pleased to see this vision fully realized today and to know that Timber Grove Apartments are making a real difference for our community and for the individuals who call Timber Grove home.”

Dianne Watts, mayor, City of Surrey 
“The City of Surrey is a proud supporter of new housing developments in our community that help out our most vulnerable citizens. These new apartments provide seniors and people with disabilities who are at risk of homelessness with a safe, affordable housing option along with support services that address their needs.”

Lois Dixon, executive director, Mental Health and Substance Use Services, Fraser Health 
“We know safe, affordable and supportive housing is one of the basic fundamental needs for good health, and that without it, recovery and maintaining good mental health is not possible. Timber Grove has provided a new opportunity for our clients to live in self-contained apartment units and pursue greater independence while still receiving the on-site mental-health care and support they need to be successful.”

Dr. Peter Gibson, board chair, Coast Mental Health
“Our organization is extremely pleased to celebrate the official opening of Timber Grove Apartments. Our tenants now have access to the housing, care and most importantly the support they need to help regain their independence and rebuild their lives. We are thankful to the Province, the City of Surrey and Fraser Health for their partnership and dedication towards this project.”

Quick facts

  • Over the last decade, the Province has invested $2.8 billion to provide affordable housing for low‐income individuals, seniors and families.
  • This year, more than 95,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services.
  • In 2011-12, the Province will invest over $32 million to provide subsidized housing and rent supplements for nearly 7,000 Surrey households.
  • Coast Mental Health was created in 1972 in response to the growing need for services in the community for people recovering from a serious mental illness. Since its inception Coast has not only focused on services, but has also placed emphasis on participants being members of Coast who have a role in determining priorities and how services are provided. Coast's mission adopts the concept of community as the foundation of what Coast does.

...and from the Provincial government.

Here's the Government's Youtube video of the Honourable Rich Coleman introducing the project.

From the back: the apartments are at the end of a cul-de-sac and back onto the Quibble Creek Greenway 



Here's what the various politicos tweeted about the opening:

DaveHayerMar 16, 7:59pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®f
In Surrey opened 52 affordable rental apartments for independent seniors & people with disabilities who are homeless or risk of homelessness

DaveHayerMar 16, 7:49pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®
Thank you for joining us at Timber Grove Apartments, 52 affordable rental apartments for independent seniors + people with disabilities

CllrMMartinMar 16, 7:47pm via Twitter for iPad
Was at the opening of Timber Grove apartments today. Wonderful facility for those who are our most vulnerable. @tomsgill@JudyVilleneuve
DaveHayerMar 16, 1:52pm via Twitter for Android
The Timber Grove Apartments provide affordable housing for independent seniors and people with disabilities. Learn
DaveHayerMar 16, 11:18am via Twitter for BlackBerry®
This housing project is a great example with how prov.govt works with partners- city of#surrey, Vanoc , Coastal Mental Health & many more

DaveHayerMar 16, 11:14am via Twitter for BlackBerry®
Timber Grove Apartments are part of the Olympic Legacy #surrybc #bcpoli

DaveHayerMar 16, 11:04am via Twitter for BlackBerry®
At the official opening of the Timber Grove Apartments, 52 affordable rental apartments for independent seniors and people with disabilities



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