BC Housing and the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation have been granted an injunction by the B.C. Supreme Court, to prevent protestors from blocking construction of 55 new supportive homes for homeless people in Maple Ridge.
Last week, BC Housing adjourned an initial injunction application after protestors voluntarily vacated the Royal Crescent site. Protestors have since returned, and were occupying the sidewalk in front of 22534, 22548 and 22566 Royal Cres., preventing excavators and workers from moving on and off the site. As a result, construction work had been halted.
The safety of the protesters was a concern, as there is construction debris and exposed foundation on-site, which poses a safety hazard to anyone trespassing on the property.
BC Housing has hosted public information sessions, and presented on multiple occasions to Maple Ridge city council on the growing issue of homelessness in Maple Ridge and the potential solutions. Provided there are no further delays, residents will be able to move into the new homes at Royal Crescent by fall 2018. This project is part of the Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program that is seeing success in other B.C. communities, including the City of Vancouver.
- There is a significant need for supportive housing in Maple Ridge. In the last Metro Vancouver homeless count looking at Ridge Meadows, which encompasses Maple Ridge, 124 homeless people were counted. This is an increase of 48% since 2014.
- Coast Mental Health operations of the modular housing complex will include daily meal services, access to mental-health and addictions treatment, life-skills programming and participation in a community advisory committee, made up of community members and representatives from the municipality, local health authority and BC Housing.