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LETTER: Maple Ridge resident wary of politicians taking credit for homeless camp closure

Province gets the credit for closing Anita Place, writer says
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Former city of Anita Place Tent City was closed and the site has been turned into a park. (The News files)

Dear Editor,

Maple Ridge First’s claim they closed Anita Place Tent City.

False.

After several failed attempts to work with the City to build housing to close Anita Place Tent City, Minister of Housing Selina Robinson gave council a deadline of March 8, 2019, to provide her with its Social Housing Plan based on guidelines provided by the province.

Minister Robinson specifically advised Mayor Morden that additional units could not be placed on the Royal Crescent site due to physical limitations and the slope of the site.

On March 12, 2019, council unveiled its “made in Maple Ridge” Social Housing Plan, which included a recommendation to place additional units on the Royal Crescent site.

On March 20, 2019, Minister Robinson announced that the province would unilaterally proceed with the construction of temporary supportive housing at 11749 Burnett St. on an expedited basis “to get the camp closed down and to house the people experiencing homelessness in Maple Ridge.”

The province owned the property, so it did not require the City’s approval to proceed.

In September 2019, the new 51-unit Garibaldi Ridge supportive housing building on Burnett Street opened, the remaining residents of Anita Place Tent City moved in, and the camp was closed.

Chris Bossley, Maple Ridge

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• READ MORE: Anita Place camp closes

• READ MORE: Maple Ridge increases taxes to cover camp costs

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