THE Government of British Columbia and BC Housing will resume preparing a site for temporary modular housing for people who are homeless in Maple Ridge after protesters voluntarily vacated the site, prior to the court application to have them removed.
“We are thankful that the protesters are co-operating by moving off the site. As we have committed all along, we will work with the city to consult with residents around how we can best use the opportunity this site provides for permanent housing,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, on Wednesday. “It’s clear that homelessness has a heavy impact on the entire community of Maple Ridge, and we are glad to be moving ahead with these much-needed homes once again.”
A group of protesters who oppose the project had set up a camp at 22534, 22548 and 22566 Royal Crescent, a Crown-owned property scheduled for construction of temporary supportive housing for people currently living at the Anita Place homeless camp and other Maple Ridge residents who are experiencing homelessness.
BC Housing had filed an injunction application for a court order to have the protesters removed from the site after they ignored trespass notices and continued to prevent construction.
The Province and BC Housing have been clear there will be additional consultation with the City of Maple Ridge and its residents regarding permanent use of the site. In the interim, approximately 55 units of temporary modular housing will be placed on the site for up to three years. This project, to be operated by Coast Mental Health, is part of the Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program that is having success in other B.C. communities.
The Royal Crescent facility is expected to be ready to welcome residents by fall 2018.
* In the last Metro Vancouver homeless count looking at Ridge Meadows, which encompasses Maple Ridge, 124 homeless people were counted – an increase of 48% since 2014.
* Of the people who were identified as homeless, 60% have lived in the area for 10 years or more.
* The Province will ensure increased supports are provided for Maple Ridge residents, including those in new modular housing through the Intensive Case Management team.
* The team has capacity to serve additional clients so that people in need in the community have access to a broad range of supports, including mental health and addictions care.