Riekie Armstrong, with Protecting Maple Ridge, wants Royal Crescent, to be used for seniors housing. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

B.C. residents against housing for homeless camp out in protest

Campers want BC Housing to consult on temporary supportive housing

A new protest camp has been set up in Maple Ridge, this one on Royal Crescent, where B.C. Housing wants to build a 55-unit temporary modular housing complex to house the city’s homeless.

“We’re occupying the land in favour of seniors residences,” said Riekie Armstrong, with the Facebook group Protecting Maple Ridge.

A handful of protesters moved on to the site Thursday, hours after the old Mussallem house was hauled away to the Maple Ridge Cemetery, where it will serve as a caretaker’s house. Bylaws and police have both stopped by and are OK with the camp.

Armstrong opposes B.C. Housing’s plan to build the modular housing complex.

“We’re going to keep the place nice and clean. There won’t be any garbage.”

She added that Maple Ridge has housed many people.

“We’ve done enough.”

She said many seniors live in the area.

“This is no place for a campful of drug addicts.”

B.C. Housing intends to build modular homes and provide 24/7 supervision and will offer access to mental health and addiction treatment and life skills programs.

The modular home facility will be operated by Coast Mental Health, which also operates Alouette Heights, second stage housing in Maple Ridge.

Ahmed Yousef, with Burnett Street Neighbours, the group that opposes an 85-unit supportive housing complex and shelter proposed for at 11749 Burnett St., wants B.C. Housing to consult with the public before it starts construction of the temporary modular homes on Royal Crescent.

“We’re now here to occupy the space to ensure that the province goes through the … proper public consultation before moving ahead with anything else that will go into our city and our community,” Yousef said.

B.C. Housing wants the modular homes open by the fall so that the residents of the tent city can move in before winter. It held an open house in March, but isn’t seeking approval because of the urgent need of those in the tent city.

Anita Place Tent City, just south of Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge’s downtown, has been open for a year, just prioer to the 2017 provincial election.

Just Posted

Dust advisory issued for Williams Lake area

It is anticipated high concentrations of dust will persist for another 24 hours

POLICE: ‘Don’t leave children unattended in vehicles’

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Williams Lake hires corporate engagement officer

Guillermo Angel, 28, was working at RBC and when the opportunity to work for the City emerged, he said he jumped at the chance

Bill passes to make Sept. 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday

Residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad and CRD Area F director Joan Sorley were in Ottawa for the vote

Williams Lake celebrates its 90th birthday

Day celebrated with cake and tea

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

B.C. public insurance includes funding enforcement, driver licensing

B.C., feds accused of ‘environmental racism’ over Site C, Mount Polley

Amnesty International Canada says governments failed to recognize threats to Indigenous peoples

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Number of homeless deaths more than doubled in B.C. as opioid crisis set in

New data shows trend between more overdose deaths and the number of people dying in the street

Four people spat on in ‘random, unprovoked’ assaults: Vancouver police

Police ask additional victims to come forward after woman in a wheelchair spat on

Most Read