Mission facing same task as Maple Ridge in finding spot for shelter

Municipality, community groups, BC Housing working on a location, to be announced

New $6-million

New $6-million

Mission is getting a $15-million, 40-bed shelter and transitional housing complex, but like Maple Ridge, the big question is, where does it go?

BC Housing announced the project early last week also saying that another 15-bed shelter run by Mission Community Services, could also be part of the new building.

Maple Ridge has struggled to find a location for its promised $15-million, 60-bed shelter and supportive housing complex. Liberal MLAs Doug Bing and Marc Dalton last year rejected two proposed locations and have now turned the task over to a citizen’s committee.

In Mission, BC Housing, community partners, local groups and the municipality will search for a suitable site.

“BC Housing will ensure that the proper rezoning and public consultation occurs before construction starts,” says a release from that agency.

The new building should be ready by late 2019.

Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Marc Dalton said the project is part of the government’s commitment to provide housing supports “for those who need it most.”

Dalton said the intent in Mission is to make sure the community supports the location for the shelter.

“There will certainly be community engagement and they want to make sure there is that support.

“And that was the challenge we had here, in Maple Ridge, we just didn’t have that support for the locations (Quality Inn or 21375 Lougheed Hw.) that were chosen.”

People in Maple Ridge also didn’t like the low-barrier approach to running shelters, he added.

“The (Mission) district is going to take their time, to find a location, go to the community get that approval and find a site and also the right provider for the community and we’ll go that direction,” Dalton said.

In Maple Ridge, the MLAs will have the final say on where any shelter is located, following a statement by Premier Christy Clark last September.

Meanwhile, a low-barrier supportive housing building opened Friday in Abbotsford in the downtown. That four-storey, wood-framed building only cost $6 million and has 30 self-contained suites and is funded by the province, said a release.

It will have a caretaker suite, lounge, kitchen, laundry room and bed-bug sauna to kill bed bugs. Residents also will have access to onsite health and support services – such as mental health, addictions and medical services, employment readiness programs and meals.

The City of Abbotsford provided the land worth close to $600,000 and equity of approximately $350,000.