Work has started on Burnett Street housing with completion by fall. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

Second Maple Ridge summer protest over housing

Concerned about Burnett Street project

A scenario that played out last summer on Royal Crescent is being replayed on Burnett Street.

As work crews started on the 51-unit temporary supportive housing complex on Burnett Street, in central Maple Ridge last week, they were being watched from across the street by opponents.

“You cannot give these guys housing first. It’s got to be treatment,” Dave Anderson said Friday.

He lives next to the 53-unit supportive housing unit on Royal Crescent that opened in October and protested its construction last year, and was arrested briefly doing so.

With the Royal Crescent facility now operating, Anderson said he doesn’t hear much from his basement suite, but still doesn’t like the idea of low-barrier housing. He now opposes B.C. Housing’s second temporary complex on Burnett Street.

Terry Asunma, who lives on Burnett Street, has the same perspective.

“I’m all about treatment and clean housing,” he said.

The new facility is supposed to house those who had been living in Anita Place Tent City, which was evacuated for fire safety reasons on March 1.

Asuma said the provincial government is trying to just house people without spending the money for treatment.

He’s lost a patio chair from his condo at the end of Burnett Street, while his neighbours have had propane tanks stolen.

Asunma said he’d been at the Burnett site since Tuesday and plans on being there all summer.

A few houses north of the site, Herb Smyth was also concerned, adding that his vehicle has been broken into three times. He said that money should be going to provide more psychiatric treatment and rehabilitation for those with mental health or addiction problems.

Another resident on Burnett Street, though, favoured the housing, adding that it’s the first step in helping people.

Coast Mental Health, which will operate the building, will form a community advisory committee to deal with issues raised by neighbours. There will also be security at night and a phone number for residents to report problems.

Neighbours who have concerns can attend one of eight B.C. Housing meetings, but registration by e-mail is required.

READ MORE: Sign up for BC Housing small-group meetings on Burnett Street housing

A year ago, the previous Maple Ridge council defeated a B.C. Housing supportive housing proposal for the same property.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing said in March that the facility will have 24-hour supports, while Fraser Health will provide clinical support services “on an as-needed basis.”

Counselling, life skills and employment services will also be offered.

MLA Bob D’Eith (Maple Ridge-Mission) said earlier that the supportive housing complex is temporary because that site is slated for a permanent, affordable senior citizens residence, once another permanent site is found for supportive housing.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Ridge Jr. B Flames making additions

Four players sign, two coaches join mix.

UPDATE: Two-vehicle incident on Abernethy Way, Maple Ridge

Road near 227th Street reopens in both directions.

Maple Ridge elementary protest to protect against climate change

Grade 7 Albion students march in front of municipal hall.

Maple Ridge teacher celebrated as inclusive education champion

Carissa Keenan teaches at Harry Hooge elementary.

Haney Rotary ups bursary amounts

Total is $19,000 this year, up from $11,000 in 2018.

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Burnaby facility to dispose of 1,500 tonnes of Canada’s trash from Philippines

All 103 containers will be disposed of properly within Canada before the end of the summer

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Man wants guilty plea revoked in 2012 collision in Abbotsford that killed Chilliwack woman

Michael Larocque was charged in relation to crash that killed Eileen Kleinfelder

High-risk sex offender released into Surrey

Earon Wayne Giles, a Newton “tag-team rapist,” was released from prison Friday and is now living in Surrey

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

UPDATE: Vancouver man dies after crash between motorcycle, transport truck

Police believe speed was a factor in Thursday collision

Trial slated to start Monday for accused killer of Abbotsford cop

Oscar Arfmann faces first-degree murder for death of Const. John Davidson

Most Read