Still no site for modular housing in Maple Ridge

Mayor and tent city leaders critical of B.C. Housing

A temporary modular housing suite is visited by the public while on display in Robson Square in downtown Vancouver. (Canadian Press/Ben Nelms)

Neither the City of Maple Ridge nor Anita Place Tent City residents know if B.C. Housing has a site in mind for modular housing.

Both Ivan Drury, Alliance Against Displacement, which represents the camp, and Mayor Nicole Read expressed frustration that nothing seems to be happening.

The silence is “becoming suspicious,” Drury said.

“There seemed to be some urgency around it in December, but two months later there is nothing,” he added.

“We worry the province is giving up on the idea.”

He fears the province will consider a homeless camp like Anita Place – equipped with a warming tent and washroom facilities on city property off the Haney Bypass – as a new part of the B.C. Housing service model.

When Maple Ridge was seeking an injunction to have the camp removed, B.C. Housing indicated in court documents that modular housing could be set up in four to six weeks, and the goal was to have it set up by April 1.

To meet that timeline, the government would need to have a site now, Drury said.

The injunction was later withdrawn.

Drury said the plan for Maple Ridge was to have bunkhouse-style units that are used in remote work camps.

“They’re not getting the showroom model of modular housing.”

Drury is also critical of the NDP government for adding no new resources for homeless in Maple Ridge other than those announced by the previous Liberal government.

“It’s a years-old plan at this point,” said Drury.

His group had asked for 200 units, where the government is planning just 55.

Drury said that would still leave people on the streets.

“We want to actually end the crisis, and not just the visibility.”

Read is also frustrated with the lack of action on modular housing.

“We still have not been advised of any site,” she said. “It’s very concerning.”

In November, Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Bob D’Eith reported the province was looking at 20 sites for modular housing.

Reached this week, D’Eith’s office referred the issue to B.C. Housing.

Read said the city fire department is still fighting with camp residents to ensure compliance with safety rules there, and there are unsanitary conditions, including a rat infestation.

“These people have not been in good circumstances for the better part of a year,” said Read.

The Anita Place camp formed in its present location at the beginning of May 2017.

Read said B.C. Housing said it would host a second public information session early in February, addressing the proposed Burnett Avenue homeless shelter, modular housing and other issues. There has still been no date announced.

City staff have requested a meeting with B.C. Housing for an update, said Read.

B.C. Housing said it is still searching for a site.

“We are working to secure a site for temporary supportive modular housing and will release those details as soon as they become available,” said Andrea Coutts, senior communications specialist with B.C. Housing.

Coutts added that a second public information session is in the works.

”We received a significant amount of feedback after our first public information session. B.C. Housing is in the process of going through all the feedback while planning for the next information session,” she said.

“We will be sharing the date, location and other information regarding a second session once those details have been finalized.”

B.C. Housing has said the site must be close to transit and community services. It will be staffed 24/7, and occupants will be able to live there for up to two years while more permanent housing is built.

Just Posted

Alouette River partnership still alive

Only one meeting since being formed to lobby BC Hydro

Maple Ridge’s swim clubs ‘decimated’ by pool closure

Leisure centre scheduled to reopen Feb. 3

Letter: Lowest taxes nothing to be ashamed of

‘Develop a balanced budget.’

Food banks see food cost rising, more demand for help

Maple Ridge has an increasing number of agencies providing charitable meals - Robson

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla Highway

Up to 25 cm of snow is expected to fall in the region by Thursday

Prolific offender nabbed at Surrey SkyTrain after police say he skipped paying fare

Officers arrested Reginald Simon at Scott Road SkyTrain after discovering he had 11 outstanding warrants

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Most Read