The groundwork is being laid for a new homeless housing facility using lots on Fraser and 224th Streets in Maple Ridge.
When it was originally announced by David Eby, back when the premier was housing minister in November of 2021, work on the 52 units of supportive housing was to begin “immediately.” Site preparation started in April.
The new building is to replace the temporary housing facility at 22548 Royal Cr., called The Royal Crescent Mods. The modular housing opened in October of 2018 as a temporary solution, intended for up to three years. In 2021, the Mods were described by government as “at the end of their lifespan.”
The new site is nearby, located on lots 11685-11695 Fraser St. and 11686 224th St.
“Residents are expected to move to the new building by summer 2022, at which point the Royal Crescent site will be shut down and the modular units removed,” government announced at the time. “Once the Royal Crescent site is vacated, BC Housing will explore new affordable rental housing development options at Royal Crescent for seniors in the community.”
The new date of occupancy, according to BC Housing, is spring of 2024.
That timeline sounds ambitious to build 52 units, but they are pre-fabricated units that are lifted into position crane – for a building like the supportive housing at Burnett Avenue.
Keir Macdonald is the CEO of Coast Mental Health, which will operate the new facility for BC Housing. He said residents watching the building units being “craned” into place will be impressed at how fast the building is put together.
“I’m always amazed by how quickly – in days you can have a housing site,” said MacDonald.
Coast is operating the Royal Crescent facility, and will manage the movement of residents from the modular housing into the new supportive housing.
He acknowledged the government is working on a “revised timeline,” due to logistical problems.
The new seniors housing that will be built on Royal Crescent is still in the planning stages, but the project was given first reading by Maple Ridge council in September 2022. It was described as a six-storey apartment building, that would provide approximately 98 units. About 93 would be one-bedroom units, and the rest two-bedroom units.
The funding would allow for a mixed income approach, and 50 per cent would offer rental rates geared to income, 20 per cent will be heavily subsidized, and 30 per cent will rent at low-end market prices, using the Maple Ridge market.
The site is just over an acre in size.
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