The 55 temporary modular homes on Royal Crescent will be ready for occupancy by the middle of October, B.C. Housing said Tuesday.
B.C. Housing gave the update as crews prepared the downtown site for installation of the movable accommodation.
The housing is intended to provide homes for residents of Anita Place Tent City on St. Anne Avenue.
Coast Mental Health will be operating the facility.
That agency will create a good-neighbour strategy, with input from the City of Maple Ridge.
As well, a neighbourhood advisory committee will also be established, which will include representatives from the community, Coast Mental Health, B.C. Housing, Ridge Meadows RCMP, and the city.
“We are working to provide a full spectrum of housing options and supports to help people in Maple Ridge who are struggling with homelessness and those living in unsafe conditions,” said Andrea Coutts, with B.C. Housing.
“We need to get people, who are living without shelter and supports at the Anita Place camp and elsewhere in Maple Ridge, into secure housing where they can begin the transition to more permanent housing, which in turn, helps the broader community.”
B.C. Housing also reaffirmed that it still will pay 100 per cent of the capital and operating costs for the other 85-unit supportive housing and shelter complex proposed for Burnett Street. Maple Ridge council rejected that project in May.
Instead of a Housing First operating model for the complex, council wanted a more health-focused operating model and wanted Fraser Health to run any new facility.
Coun. Gordy Robson said recently it’s possible that the government could change the way it runs supportive housing facilities.
However, Fraser Health in a July 10 letter to Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read, reiterated its support for Housing First, as an “established best practice … which provides a roof over a person’s head and safe place, so they are then able to address other issues in their lives, such as health, rehabilitation, and employment.”
Fraser Health also detailed the health services that it would provide at a proposed supportive housing complex. It said that residents would have access to a nurse practitioner; the intensive case management team which helps people with “severe substance use disorders;” consultation and assessment with psychiatrists; first-line treatment for opioid addiction; harm reduction; including needle disposal and naloxone provision; and home health services, to help with medical care and medication.
The NDP representative for Maple Ridge-Mission, Bob D’Eith, also backed the Housing First model.
“I continue to support the evidence-based Housing First model that B.C. Housing applies to supportive housing projects,” D’Eith said by e-mail Wednesday.
“The most recent research shows that this approach is the best way to help people get back on their feet, and on the road to recovery. B.C. Housing works with skilled housing operators in partnership with local health authorities, such as Fraser Health, to provide the best possible care.”