Living on the “edge of the suburbs” of Vancouver: A case study of the housing experiences and coping strategies of recent immigrants in Surrey and Richmond

This study examines the housing experiences and coping strategies of low-income recent immigrants in Richmond and Surrey, two fast-growing outer suburbs of Vancouver where the immigrant population has increased rapidly in the last two decades and where there is a limited supply of affordable rental housing, including public and social housing. The study draws on data from seven focus groups with 88 recent immigrant renters and interviews with 15 key stakeholders, conducted in Vancouver, Richmond, and Surrey in 2010. The evidence indicates that these newly arrived immigrants face numerous difficulties in the rental housing market, such as high rents, overcrowding, and poor-quality housing. Most of these immigrants were spending more than half of their monthly household income on housing, putting them at risk of homelessness. The study's findings suggest that the housing crisis affecting Surrey and Richmond—due to a limited supply of affordable rental housing and high housing costs—makes these two cities challenging regions of Vancouver for newcomers to settle in.

Publication Date: 
In Press
Journal Name: 
The Canadian Geographer
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada