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

High-risk sex offender released into Surrey

Earon Wayne Giles, a Newton “tag-team rapist,” was released from prison Friday and is now living in Surrey

Pedestrian seriously injured in Surrey traffic crash

A 54-year-old man was hit by a car early Thursday evening while crossing Highway 10 at 152nd Street

VIDEO: Nature provides practice space for North Delta musician

Terry Lee has become a fixture over the years playing his cornet in and near the Delta Nature Reserve

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say body found after fire at Whalley homeless camp

Police say the body was found inside a shed after firefighters extinguished a blaze

BC Hydro replacing hundreds of old power poles in Surrey

More than 10 per cent of BC Hydro poles are at least 50 years old

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Man wants guilty plea revoked in 2012 collision in Abbotsford that killed Chilliwack woman

Michael Larocque was charged in relation to crash that killed Eileen Kleinfelder

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parent’s cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

UPDATE: Vancouver man dies after crash between motorcycle, transport truck

Police believe speed was a factor in Thursday collision

Trial slated to start Monday for accused killer of Abbotsford cop

Oscar Arfmann faces first-degree murder for death of Const. John Davidson

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

RCMP probe hit-and-run of Richmond senior

The man, who is in his mid-70s, was walking with his wife when he was allegedly struck

Most Read