Anita Place Tent City was evacuated March 2 upon orders of the fire commissioner. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

Social housing plan underway in Maple Ridge

Council given Friday deadline by minister

Maple Ridge council is following up on the provincial government’s order to come up with a social housing plan, but it’s going to miss the deadline by a few days.

On Tuesday, council told staff to prepare the plan that will address social housing options for the city and to present it at a March 12 meeting.

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson had asked for the plan to be ready by this Friday, or the province would proceed on its own, including plans for a supportive housing complex.

She added that if the province proceeds unilaterally to build a supportive housing complex, it would use land within the city that is currently owned by the province, but wouldn’t give further details.

Mayor Mike Morden said there needs to be a full range of supports, not just one component.

Morden said that over the past several weeks, police and firefighters have been dealing with “public safety nightmares,” trying to enforce a court order for safety improvements at Anita Place Tent City.

“The community is being held to ransom by 14 people, and I find that to be very troubling,” Morden said.

Coun. Gordy Robson hopes the city and province can come up with a model to house homeless people that both can agree on.

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