Modular housing site selected for downtown Maple Ridge

Royal Crescent will be location of 55 homes for tent city residents

The Province of B.C. has purchased a site along Royal Crescent in Maple Ridge for temporary modular homes to house people living at the Anita Place Tent City and for others struggling with homelessness.

The site – located at 22534, 22548 and 22556 Royal Crescent – will include 55 modular homes that will be staffed 24 hours, seven days a week, the province announced Monday.

“We cannot pretend homelessness will solve itself, or disappear from sight and sit idly by while people struggle to live for months on end in the snow and the rain,” said Selina Robinson, minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

“Our government is taking action to quickly and safely move forward with supportive housing for the people who need it most. They can’t wait any longer,” she added.

“As an emergency service worker in Maple Ridge, I can tell you there are serious health and public safety hazards at the camp, and elsewhere in the community, where people are experiencing homelessness,” said Chris McKee, president of the Maple Ridge Firefighters Union.

“As firefighters, we treat every patient with dignity and respect, no matter their situation. This is in line with the provincial government’s approach in trying to find effective housing solutions that get people into housing as quickly as possible.”

Community members will be consulted on the look of the temporary modular site that is expected to be ready for occumpancy before the fall of this year.

For any future permanent use of the site, B.C. Housing will seek community feedback to suit the broader housing needs of the community. Permanent use of the site will go through the municipal rezoning process.

However, because of “the urgent need and the prolonged tent city situation, the province has bought the site and intends to move ahead with installing temporary structures,” said a release from the province.

“We’re just thrilled that we’ve got some news,” said tent city volunteer Chris Bossley.

“I think it’s perfect. I drive by there every day and I say, ‘Put it there.’”

Jesse Stretch, though, said B.C. Housing hasn’t been clear about what’s being proposed and wondered who would be operating the modular housing project.

The government still plans on constructing an 80-bed supportive housing project and shelter on Burnett Street.

“All of this stuff that they’re putting up, for heavily addicted people, it’s just perpetuating the addiction and the illness, it’s not helping the problem. All it’s going to do is just keep a bunch of really sick people sick. It’s not going to benefit them and it’s not going to benefit the community,” Stretch said.

There’s always talk about wrap-around services, but Stretch said they don’t exist.

A request for proposals will be issued to invite experienced non-profit organizations to submit their proposals to operate the Royal Crescent site. The operator will provide residents with daily meals, life-skills training and other supports designed to assist residents in meeting their housing goals – including culturally specific programing.

“There are well over 100 people in Maple Ridge that would be able to access this housing immediately and fill the place twice over,” said Christian Cowley, executive director of CEED Society. “This is an important part of the housing strategy that the community has been asking for over the past few years.”

• An information meeting takes place March 15 at Thomas Haney secondary, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. dealing with supportive housing and expanded mental health services for people.

Just Posted

Around the BCHL: Chilliwack Chiefs snag spot in CJHL national rankings

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the BCHL and the junior A world.

Mental health first aid course comes to Chilliwack

The two-day course will take place at the Coast Hotel on Nov. 1 and 2 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Mental fitness questioned of man charged in Chilliwack River Valley shooting

Peter Kampos told his lawyer ‘his dreams are being stolen and turned into drugs’ at Surrey Pre-trial

Jason Lum was the top vote-getter on Chilliwack council

New Chilliwack council will be sworn in at inaugural council meeting on Nov. 6

West Van Highlanders beat Sardis Falcons on last second field goal

The Falcons fell 17-14 on home field and will finish the BC High School football season on the road.

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

Around the BCHL: Chilliwack Chiefs snag spot in CJHL national rankings

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the BCHL and the junior A world.

Rural regions get priority for B.C. referendum mail-out

Ballot security measures aim to protect against voter fraud

B.C.’s natural gas supply could see 50% dip through winter due to pipeline blast

It’s been two weeks since the Enbridge pipeline ruptured near Prince George on Oct. 9, sparking a large fireball

Mega Millions, Powerball prizes come down to math, long odds

Biggest myth: The advertised $1.6 billion Mega Millions prize and $620 million Powerball prize aren’t quite real

2 Canadians advance to finals at world wrestling championships

Olympic champion Erica Wiebe just missed joining them with a loss 3-1 to three-time world champion Adeline Gray of the United States in the 76-kg event

VIDEO: Fire destroys historic small-town B.C. restaurant

Two people were injured as fire ripped through the Hedley restaurant around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday

B.C. town’s mayoral race a tie, come down to luck of the draw

Harry Gough led incumbent Cindy Fortin by one vote on election night Saturday

Outdoor retailer MEC vows to boost diversity after online complaint

Mountain Equipment Co-op was criticized for perpetuating a white-only picture of the outdoors

Most Read