The Langley RCMP has been shutting down unlicensed drug recovery homes in the Willoughby area recently.
Insp. Peter Jadis told a Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce meeting Tuesday that there had been a number of the homes, along the 208th Street corridor in older homes in the areas slated for redevelopment.
“We’ve been able to shut the majority of these residences,” said Jadis.
The RCMP have been working with Langley Township bylaw officers on the shutdowns, Jadis said.
“One of the houses, we saw 22 people living in one house,” Jadis said.
The inspector said the RCMP support the use of drug recovery houses, which help addicts get off drugs.
But the recovery houses need to go through the proper processes to operate, Jadis said.
Township Mayor Jack Froese said he doubted the facilities, which first appeared around May, were providing proper services to recovering addicts.
“We question their motives and what was really going on,” said Froese.
He said he didn’t believe the recovery houses were legitimate, and that having them there without permits wasn’t fair to the neighbours nearby.
“There’s always a need for more [recovery facilities],” said Froese. “But it needs to be done properly.”
Bylaws manager Ruby Senghera said the five homes identified have all been closed down.
This was a new issue for Langley, she said, but Surrey has dealt with similar homes on a fairly regular basis.
Jadis said tips from neighbours helped locate some of the unlicensed recovery homes.
There are a relatively small number of licensed drug recovery facilities in the Langleys. When recovery houses are approved, they can be contentious. A Wagner Hills faith-based facility for women in South Langley drew a significant amount of opposition from neighbours before it was approved in 2008.