New continuum of housing coming for people in Maple Ridge

November 12, 2021 at 3:55 pm  BC, News, Politics

The Province, through BC Housing, is working on a range of new housing in Maple Ridge, including two new projects to ensure people previously experiencing homelessness in Maple Ridge are supported with stable housing and more seniors in the community have affordable homes.

“The housing needs of people in Maple Ridge were ignored for far too long and people were priced out of their community. Our government is making different choices: moving people experiencing homelessness inside, building hundreds of homes, and proposing to work with the city to build even more housing for people in Maple Ridge, including recovery housing,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. “At the same time, we’re responding to the urgent need to close down the temporary modular housing at Royal Crescent, move those residents into a more stable setting to continue their recovery journey and paving the way for seniors housing at Royal Crescent so that more seniors in Maple Ridge have a safe, affordable place to call home.”

In addition to 115 units delivered since 2017 and 243 homes currently under development, the Province is also working on plans for a family housing project, more shelter and supportive housing spaces, and a youth housing project.

As discussions progress on that continuum of proposed new housing, the Province is moving ahead with new purpose-built supportive homes, located on lots 11685-11695 Fraser St. and 11686 224th St. The project will provide 52 new units of permanent housing with supports for people currently living in the temporary housing at 22548 Royal Crescent. Construction will start immediately on these new purpose-built supportive homes that are easier to operate safely and better able to provide care for residents.

Given the urgent need to replace the aging temporary units at Royal Crescent, which are at the end of their lifespan, the Province is accelerating the project straight to construction using its authority under the Interpretation Act. This is commonly known as statutory immunity. The Province, BC Housing and the City of Maple Ridge worked together in good faith to find an alternative site but were unable to find a mutually agreeable site in time.

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. 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. In the coming months, BC Housing will submit a rezoning application to the City of Maple Ridge for the seniors housing and will host community engagement sessions.

BC Housing will also host a series of virtual information sessions where community members can learn more about the new supportive homes at Fraser Street and 224th Street. Dates and registration will be shared in the next few weeks on BC Housing’s Let’s Talk Housing page: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/maple-ridge-fraser-and-224th

The new supportive homes will support the safety of residents and the neighbourhood through:

  • 24-7 staff on site;
  • secure entry via fob access and a front desk to help better manage the people in the building;
  • private and enclosed outdoor space for residents to gather as a community;
  • a new amenity space; and
  • a range of on-site supports and care.

Quotes:

Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission –

“We’re building more housing for more people in Maple Ridge. We’re moving quickly on one part of this to meet urgent needs, and we’re working with the city on a whole range of new proposed housing for Maple Ridge – like new recovery-focused homes. After years where the old government ignored housing for people in Maple Ridge and let encampments grow, our government is making progress delivering new housing and services for people in Maple Ridge.”

Lisa Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows –

“People in Maple Ridge deserve a place to call home. We can’t afford to go back to a time when there were big encampments in our community. Royal Crescent was an emergency solution that helped us close down the Anita Place encampment, but we always said it was temporary. I’m proud we’re fulfilling on our promise today with a plan to close down the Royal Crescent modulars, provide better permanent homes and care for people, and build new affordable rental homes for seniors at Royal Crescent.”

Quick Facts:

  • Budgets for both the new Fraser Street and 224th Street purpose-built supportive housing and new seniors housing at Royal Crescent will be determined over the coming months as designs are finalized.
  • The new supportive housing building will provide residents with support services, including:
    • daily meals;
    • mentorship, skills-training programs, employment assistance and counselling;
    • physical and mental health resources and assistance with medical appointments; and
    • access to treatment and recovery services, including a nurse on site regularly to help residents access mental health or addiction treatment programs.

Learn More:

A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/

A backgrounder follows.

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