Premier John Horgan speaks during a press conference in Maple Ridge on Wednesday afternoon. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

Horgan talks homelessness and affordable housing

Premier visits Maple Ridge on Wednesday

As Premier John Horgan announced $3 million for seismic upgrades at two Maple Ridge schools on Wednesday, one of the first responses on social media was “what about the homeless …”

Whether because it has been a hot political topic in Maple Ridge, or because it is Homeless Action Week (Oct. 8-14), the issue is never far from the public conscious.

The premier was ready with an answer.

“We announced at the Union of B.C. municipalities 2,000 modular homes – not just the capital cost and construction, but operating costs for those for the next three years,” Horgan said at Fairview elementary.

“Vancouver took us up on that with 600 units, Surrey 150 units, and Smithers and other communities are applying to get access to these modular homes,” Horgan said.

The province will build the 2,000 units over the next two years, he added.

“They can be built quickly, they can address the hard to house, and I believe it’s a good step in the right direction.”

The modular homes have been identified as an option for Maple Ridge, in meetings between city officials and B.C. Housing.

Last month, the province announced the 600 modular housing units in Vancouver. Each will have its own kitchen and bathroom, while laundry and amenity spaces are shared. The province has committed $66 million to the buildings alone.

Horgan also talked about housing affordability, the Residential Tenancy Act, and the practice of renovictions, which has come to Maple Ridge, where tenants are mass evicted, buildings renovated, and rents hiked beyond the annual limits set by government.

“The renoviction issue is a critical one, when we have a housing supply crisis. That puts inordinate pressure on tenants,” he said.

“So we need to make sure we’re doinn more rental purpose buiding in British Columbia. That’s part of our plan, and we will be announcing those in the month ahead.”

He said his government is trying to “re-balance” the residential tenancy office.

“We need to find a balance between landlords and tenants. That hasn’t existed in British Columbia, in my view, and we want to right that, and make sure everyone is getting fair access – both landlords and tenants.

Horgan said government has a role to play in affordability.

“We have many more housing announcements to come – not just on affordable housing, but also housing affordability as well, on demand and supply, both of those need to be addressed and we’re going to be working as hard as we can to make sure that everyone who wants to be in a home can be in a home as quickly as possible.”

Just Posted

Petition started to stop Maple Ridge road straightening project

Petition in response to proposed plan to straighten section of Fern Cres. towards Golden Ears Park.

VIDEO: Burned Jeep matches suspect vehicle in two shooting incidents

Police discovered vehicle on fire overnight in Yorkson neighbourhood in Langley

Two wounded in South Surrey shooting

It happened in the 14300-block of Crescent Road

VIDEO: One man suffers serious injuries in crash that closed Fraser Highway in Langley (updated)

One vehicle ends up in ditch after car and SUV collide, air ambulance called in

VIDEO: Drive by shooting in Langley (updated)

Truck and house damaged in attack

Maple Ridge BC SPCA hosts pumpkin carving party

Little ones also ejoyed a costume and colouring competition at the Maple Ridge branch.

Justin Timberlake invited back to Super Bowl halftime show

A ‘wardrobe malfunction’ with Janet Jackson caused a national controversy during his last appearance

A scary box office weekend for everyone but Tyler Perry

‘Boo 2! A Madea Halloween’ scared up a healthy $21.7 million in its first weekend in theatres

Even as long-form census data returns, Statcan readies for day without it

Wednesday’s release is expected to show immigrants making up a larger share of the population

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Flames win makes it three straight

Top Junior B teams clash in Abbotsf0rd on Saturday tonight

Most Read