Pete Woodrow, with Anita Place Tent City, and Listen Chen with Alliance Against Displacement, issued new statement on decampment Thursday. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

Maple Ridge’s tent city renews vacating plans

Wants social housing, not supportive housing

Anita Place Tent City council is doubling down on its demands for social housing as a condition for clearing the camp at the bottom of 223rd Street in Maple Ridge.

In a statement Wednesday, the group said it wants 250 units of tenant-run social housing to be built as one of the conditions for clearing the camp. That’s up from 200 sought last year.

Listen Chen, with the Alliance Against Displacement, said that residents want traditional social housing, where tenants are covered by the Residential Tenancy Act and where they can have a say in the operation of the building.

Chen added that some residents don’t want to live in a supportive housing facility, such as the modular housing project on Royal Crescent.

“First of all, it’s not covered by the Residential Tenancy Act,” Chen said of supportive housing.

Residents are subject to eviction and surveillance in such facilities.

“They fold in social work into your actual living space,” adding that supportive housing is a relatively new concept of housing.

The refusal of the provincial government to recognize that is a major sticking point to decampment, Chen added.

Tent city residents also want a doctor and nurse to visit the camp every week, and first-aid supplies and mattresses that can keep people from having to sleep on the ground.

Chen said that the tent city is serving as a form of emergency housing, adding that residents want an interim location for such housing to be found, followed by a redevelopment of the Anita Place site for permanent social housing.

So far, nothing has been heard from the City of Maple Ridge about clearing the camp.

“It’s been oddly quiet,” Chen said.

About 40 people are living in the camp, Chen added, after 25 moved into the supportive housing complex on Royal Crescent.

“As more and more trailer parks and low-income rental units are replaced with condos and housing for rich people, homelessness will continue to rise. So long as the city and province fail to deal with the root causes of the housing crisis, Anita Place will remain open,” tent city said in a news release Wednesday.

Residents also object to being classified as “hard to house,” the release said.

Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden said that the newly elected council is currently working on a community safety plan for the tent city.

“You just can’t tackle this all in one shot and say we’re going to bring the bulldozers in. It’s not like that. We want to put together a respectful, all-encompassing plan and that’s in process as we speak,” Morden said.

Tent city volunteer and former Maple Ridge council candidate Chris Bossley, however, called on the province to build another 100-bed temporary supportive housing complex on the Burnett Street and Lougheed Highway location, which was rejected last spring by the previous council.

Bossley said B.C. Housing should act without seeking the city’s permission, as it did for the 53-unit modular housing complex that just opened on Royal Crescent.

“Surrey got 160 and they cleared the Surrey strip,” Bossley said.

She added that the Burnett Street complex would be temporary until a permanent supportive housing and shelter is built on the current site of Anita Place Tent City.

Afterwards, Burnett could be used for another housing option.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

(Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS) Pete Woodrow, with Anita Place Tent City, and Listen Chen, with Alliance Against Displacement, issued new statement on decampment Thursday.

Just Posted

Maple Ridge Bears posted “big bear hugs” to everyone who has worked toward better co-existence this year. (Facebook)
Ten fewer bears have been shot in Maple Ridge

Conservation group celebrating success this year

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

A giant pumpkin is rolled onto the scale to be weighed. (Steve and Pascale Shaw/Special to The News)
Pumpkin weighing 197 kilograms takes first place in Maple Ridge contest

Trevor Halliday wins second annual Whonnock Giant Pumpkin contest.

Fraser Health is promoting that everyone get a flu shot, which are now available.
Flu shots more important during pandemic

Symptoms of flu and COVID-19 overlap, and so do precautions

Maple Meadows Station’s new Bike Parkade. TransLink photo
TransLink to remove abandoned or discarded bicycles from Bike Parkades

Rules at Maple Ridge’s Maple Meadows Station ask customers to use facilities for single day use only

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Officers with the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team were at a White Rock home Tuesday (Oct. 20) to assist Vancouver Police Department with execution of a search warrant. (Contributed photo)
ERT, VPD response to White Rock home connected to homicide: police

Search underway in the 15800-block of Prospect Crescent

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

Most Read