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Maple Ridge scraps Lougheed Highway shelter plan

Last Updated Feb 17, 2017 at 4:57 pm PST

(iStock photo)
Summary

BC government closes temporary shelter, opens more beds at Salvation Army facility

Controversial proposed shelter doesn't get the green light in Maple Ridge

MAPLE RIDGE (NEWS 1130) – The City of Maple Ridge is shifting gears on its homeless housing plans and scuttling a controversial proposed shelter on Lougheed Highway.

In a news release, the province says following extensive consideration and public feedback, they’ve chosen instead to open more beds at the Salvation Army shelter, close the temporary shelter run by Rain City Housing, and put more money into the recovery services, affordable housing for seniors, families and youth and rent subsidies.

The city originally agreed to buy a $1 million plot of land at 21375 Lougheed Highway beside Ridge Meadows Hospital and BC Housing would build a $15 million shelter. The plan was met by outrage from dozens of local residents.

The site’s future is now in question, and both levels of government will discuss what to do with it, including building affordable housing for seniors or families.

The province says it’s still committed to building a permanent shelter and will form a community committee to identify an appropriate location while another $252,000 will fund up to 40 rent subsidies for at-risk people.

Thirty extra spaces will open at the Salvation Army shelter for the next six months and will target people transitioning out of the temporary shelter. BC Housing will also work with the Fraser Health Authority to help those at the temporary shelter with services and rent supplements.

The Hope for Freedom Society recovery home will receive $50,000 for a new kitchen while $11 million has been earmarked for 80 senior and family affordable housing units in a new development at 11907 228th St. The safe house for youth, Iron Horse will also get $1 million more.