Housing minister says there’s no more room to expand modular housing complex at Royal Crescent. (THE NEWS/files)

B.C. housing minister rejects city’s plan for Maple Ridge homeless encampment

Will proceed with supportive housing on “expedited” basis

Burnett Street is one location B.C. Housing is considering for new temporary modular housing after rejecting Maple Ridge’s social housing plan, passed Tuesday.

“We’re looking a range of properties. Burnett is certainly part of the mix. I have staff out looking for the best fit right now,” Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson said Wednesday.

B.C. Housing owns two lots in the 11700-block of Burnett Street, a location which sparked controversy last year when it was proposed for a permanent supportive housing site.

The city’s social housing plan called for the expansion of the temporary modular housing complex on Royal Crescent to accommodate residents of Anita Place Tent City.

But Robinson said late Tuesday that Royal Crescent can’t be expanded from its present 56 units because of physical limitations and slope of the site and that she told that to the city before council’s decision.

“I was clear with the mayor last week, and again when we spoke today, that inaction was not an option for the community of Maple Ridge, as this situation has been allowed to continue for too long,” Robinson added.

She said the city hasn’t identified a workable solution so the ministry will move forward with building temporary supportive housing on an expedited basis, “to get the camp closed down and to house the people experiencing homelessness in Maple Ridge.”

Residents returned to the camp on 223rd Street this week after an evacuation order by the provincial fire commissioner following a series of fires and explosions there.

Robinson also wants to work with the city on other types of housing for seniors and for recovery homes, as outlined in the social housing plan.

“But we cannot ask the people of Maple Ridge to wait any longer for the housing that is needed to enable us to close the camp down and bring its residents inside, into the supportive homes they need,” Robinson said.

More details on the location and design for more temporary modular housing, including public education sessions, are expected in weeks to come, Robinson said Wednesday.

Residents will be able to register for a community advisory committee.

As for a permanent location, the city’s social housing plan said it wants a “made-in-Maple Ridge,” abstinence-based supportive housing facility.

Robinson said the government, with Fraser Health involvement, is open to looking at what’s possible for a facility that helps those who’ve already gone through detox or treatment.

“But right now, we know that Housing First works, so we just make sure that people have a Housing First opportunity. We know that there’s a shortage of that.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Delta mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

White Rock dog poop conspiracy picks up steam

Opponent says theory is a ‘load of crap’

Surrey MLA slams NDP poverty reduction strategy plan

Liberal MLA Marvin Hunt says the NDP’s poverty reduction plan is ‘underwhelming’

Father thanks Surrey Mountie for shooting hoops with kids, ‘changing perspectives’

‘We’re just like everyone else,’ says Surrey officer who stopped to play basketball with kids

Noted Spanish guitarist in Surrey with VSO and Rodrigo’s ‘beautiful concerto’

‘I love playing it,’ Pablo Sáinz Villegas says of famous composition ahead of Bell concert date

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

Teacher reprimanded after incident with Grade 11 student in school gym

Gregory Norman Brock was teaching at a high school in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

Avalanche control tomorrow on Highway 1

Expect closures of up to two hours east of Revelstoke

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Kids found playing darts with syringes in Vancouver Island park

Saanich police is urging people to throw out their syringes properly and safely

Most Read