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

Langley cheerleaders climb their way to the Summit

A team from Langley Cheer & Athletics is on their way to Florida to compete in early May.

UPDATE: IHIT investigating suspicious death in South Surrey

Roads closed at 12 Avenue and 28 Avenue

Sound wall under construction at 216th Interchange

Work is picking up steam at the new interchange crossing site.

Throwback Thursday: April 26, 2018

Help us caption a photo from Langley’s past!

Cloverdale fourth grader wants to take learning to the next dimension

Riley Markowsky-Qadir wants his classmates to be able to learn in 3D

WATCH: Small fire at Langley spa manufacturer creates big plume

Black smoke from a Thursday evening fire at a spa maker could be seen for miles.

NAFTA talks hold Foreign Affairs Minister in Washington, substitute heads to NATO summit

NAFTA talks keeping Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, sends substitute to NATO summit

Britain gives long-lost Franklin expedition ships to Canada, Inuit

Deeds to HMS Erebus and HMS Terror signed over to Canada and Inuit Heritage Trust

Grief over deadly Toronto van attack sinks in

Three days after rampage, people still gathering at memorial to lay flowers and honour victims

Liberals urged to tax e-commerce services like Netflix

Trudeau has been adamant that his government wouldn’t increase taxes on online subscriptions

Why some B.C. daycares didn’t opt in to subsidy program

Deadline passes for program aimed at laying foundation for universal child care

WATCH: Moms Stop The Harm respond to opioid crisis

Someone asked her if she does the work for her son. McBain said: “No, actually. I do it for your son.”

Been a long day? Here’s cute puppies in training

Group is training next batch of assistance dogs at Vancouver International Airport

B.C. skydiver lands safely after cutting away main chute

Greater Victoria emergency services called after witnesses saw spiralling chute

Most Read