BC Government Bypasses City of Maple Ridge in Supportive Housing Facility Decision and Location

The City of Maple Ridge has at times in recent years disagreed with the BC NDP government on how to address homelessness.

Article content

A unilateral decision by the British Columbia government to locate a supportive housing facility in Maple Ridge has a city councilor questioning the process but appreciating the project if, as promised, it helps residents recover from addictions.


Article content

The City of Maple Ridge has at times in recent years disagreed with the BC NDP government on how to address homelessness in the city of 82,000 and support people in recovering from addictions.

In announcing its decision to build a 52-unit housing facility late Friday, the provincial government noted that the province, BC Housing and the city couldn’t find a mutually agreeable site .

The province said that given the need to replace temporary housing units at a nearby location in Royal Crescent, it was accelerating the project directly to construction under legal authority that it says gives the province the right to do so.

Earl of the town of Maple Ridge. Ahmed Yousef said he was not sure how or why the province made the decision to go ahead with the project without the cooperation of the city. He did not know that the province was making the decision and said that it was possibly their way of doing things, rather than going through the municipal bureaucracy.


Article content

Yousef said that if the project is as proposed, where there will be supports and rehabilitation for the residents of the new homes, and it will also lead to new senior homes on the old site, he doesn’t see why anyone would oppose it.

“This sounds good … I like what I’m reading,” Yousef said after examining the British Columbia government statement on the project.

In a written statement, Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden said Saturday that the timing of the announcement was “very unexpected,” noting that he, British Columbia Attorney General David Eby, who is responsible for housing, and others members of the local community had been working together to do supportive housing in the city.

He said he had many questions but was reserving further comment until the council had a chance to meet Tuesday.


Article content

No price tag has been set for the project that will be built in lots on Fraser and 224th streets, just south of downtown Maple Ridge. The new 52-unit installation is due to be completed in summer 2022 and will replace temporary modular units at the Royal Crescent site less than three blocks away. The 53 temporary units at Royal Crescent were built to house the homeless, including from a camp called Anita Place that closed in 2019.

In the past, Maple Ridge has fought with the provincial government over the construction of housing for the homeless. More than 10,000 residents signed a petition in 2019 against a provincial homeless housing project. And the city presented a successful resolution at the British Columbia Union of Municipalities convention calling for the province to respect municipal autonomy.


Article content

Morden had said in 2019 that the addicts were “raping and looting” in the city.

On Friday, Eby said the new 52-unit facility was a response to the urgent need to close the temporary modular housing at Royal Crescent. He said it was necessary to “move those residents to a more stable environment to continue their recovery journey and pave the way for senior housing in Royal Crescent so that more seniors in Maple Ridge have a safe and affordable place to call home.” .

The province said the project would support the safety of residents and the neighborhood, including with 24-hour staff on site.

According to BC Housing, the nonprofit organization The Coast Mental Health group will manage the housing project and provide services such as a meal program, life skills training, job skills training, and access to on-site health and clinical supports.

In a separate case this year, the British Columbia government overruled the Penticton city council’s wishes to keep a homeless shelter open. The city of Penticton is challenging the province’s powers to do so in a lawsuit in the BC Supreme Court.

[email protected]




Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civilized discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to moderate before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications – you will now receive an email if you receive a response to your comment, there is an update from a comment thread you follow, or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Principles for more information and details on how to adjust your E-mail settings.


Leave a Comment