Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden

‘Inappropriate service provision’ at modular housing, says Morden

Maple Ridge Mayor calls for ‘right model and operator’ for new supportive housing

Mayor Mike Morden was made aware of a list of people who have died in Maple Ridge’s supportive housing facilities, with allegations of wrongdoing, neglect and incompetence by the staff from Coast Mental Health.

On Feb. 7, city hall issued a press release about the new 52-unit supportive housing complex on Fraser Street, which called for collaboration with BC Housing on the city’s housing priorities, including complex care for residents of the new facility.

“Residents at Fraser Street supportive housing require the right model and operator, with on site professional healthcare services to ensure the best possible outcomes,” said Mayor Mike Morden in the release.

In correspondence with Morden, The News asked whether the city press release hinted at dissatisfaction with Coast Mental Health, and whether if he has concerns.

We asked the mayor for comment on Dierdra Lucas’ social media list of people who have died in supportive housing over the past two years, and whether the city knows the actual number of people who died in these facilities.

“Citizens have shared a number of posts and images from online forums and social media highlighting conditions at the modular housing on Royal Crescent and other low barrier facilities in the community,” he responded. “Data shows there has been ongoing consistent calls for service to these locations by fire, police and EMS services. The details pertaining to specifics at the site, including health outcomes, are not provided to the City by BC Housing, Fraser Health or the operator, Coast Mental Health.”

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“There are individuals living within these locations with varying challenges from physical and/or mental health, trauma, and substance misuse. Additionally, there are those on disability or fixed low incomes that do not have these problems, save and except they simply can’t afford a home.

“Housing lower income persons with those demonstrating significant complex problems impacts the collective residents, operator and the surrounding neighbourhood.

“It is evident that currently there is inappropriate service provision based on assessed client needs. More details are needed on the recently announced complex care model, which may go a long way to better supporting those who need a higher level of care. Poor outcomes are avoidable which raises a lot of questions as to why many residents have not progressed, tragically with some passing away living in these facilities.

“We understand the urgency to replace the Royal Crescent facility. A key request of council is for the city to have input into a transparent process in the selection of qualified operators for housing projects serving those with complex care needs. This comes from a genuine desire for collaboration to ensure the best possible outcomes for the people living there, the operator, and the broad community.”

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