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No. The BC Government has invoked its legislative power of ‘statutory immunity’ over the City of Maple Ridge allowing BC Housing to move directly to the construction of the Fraser Street project bypassing the normal development process and public input, and unilaterally appointing Coast Mental Health to operate it.
Although we do not support the Fraser Street location, we do support addressing the needs of our most vulnerable residents. The City of Maple Ridge wishes to work collaboratively with BC Housing to ensure the strongest service delivery model for Fraser Street becoming a pilot community for the Provincial Government’s Complex Care initiative which means a specialized operator and improved support services for the Fraser Street facility.
This is one of many funding priorities on our list for the BC Housing and the Province of BC to consider so we can provide the best outcomes for our homeless residents, and the neighbourhood.
Addressing the complex needs and issues associated with homelessness – especially those that are associated with our most vulnerable who are experiencing mental health and addiction traumas – is difficult, costly, frustrating, and heartbreaking. This is not easy work for anyone. There are plenty of lessons to be learned, however, from the Royal Crescent housing project.
An integrated design/delivery model to allow for ‘complex care’ supports and services at the Fraser Street facility is appropriate and has the greatest opportunity to yield positive outcomes. Lessons learned must be truly lessons learned. There is no single solution. The City of Maple Ridge’s complete list of requests presented to the Province can be found here.
52 permanent modular homes on two lots on Fraser Street, and a third lot facing 224th Street purchased by BC Housing. These residences are intended to replace the temporary modular housing on Royal Crescent which is at end-of-life. They are to be closed and removed, with Royal Crescent residents moving to Fraser Street.
As BC Housing begins public information meetings about its permanent 52-unit supportive housing development on Fraser Street, the City of Maple Ridge wants to ensure that complex care is part of the plan.
Mayor and Council believe there is an important transparency and competency lens that must be applied rather than a policy of direct awards. Building housing to simply replace Royal Crescent is not enough. Many residents suffer from overlapping problems including addiction, mental health challenges and injuries, so they need “wrap-around” services to be provided. These are our most vulnerable citizens. It’s important that they receive the best services that can be provided
By discussing how we can work with BC Housing to open up the awarding of the operator’s contract to a transparent review and selection process, other agencies – some with local roots right here in Maple Ridge – would have a chance to prove their ability to do the job and provide best outcomes for the residents of the facility and the neighbourhood.
We have a huge demand for a broad continuum of affordable housing in Maple Ridge, and we view BC Housing as our partner in delivering on these important needs. The City of Maple Ridge supports BC Housing’s investments in housing for our vulnerable homeless residents. The City, however, does not support the Fraser Street location for supportive housing as it is not a compatible land use in this part of our community that is designated for densification. The City of Maple Ridge believes it’s important to hear local community voices in any decisions on housing for Maple Ridge.
No. Although we do not support the Fraser Street but we do support addressing the needs of our most vulnerable residents. Given that this decision is bound by the Provincial Government’s authority for ‘statutory immunity’, we still wish to see the delivery of complex care services as the foundation of the new Fraser Street facility.
The City is supportive of the demolition of the modular homes at the Royal Crescent site and will work with BC Housing to ensure the timely development of a seniors-oriented rental housing through the usual City’s approvals process for this project. The City has also pledged to assign priority processing so construction can start as soon possible.
The City has developed a list of housing funding priorities to share with the BC Government to address important gaps in the housing continuum on Maple Ridge. The hope is that the Province will work collaboratively with us to expedite the decision making on these projects. The complete list of housing and supports priorities can be here.
The Province’s recent announcement of 64 rental units at Turnock Manor was good news for our community, and a reminder that Maple Ridge has a number of other identified housing needs that require the support and collaboration of the Province, BC Housing, and our City.
The media release, linked here, reflects the City’s position and desire to work with BC Housing to deliver a continuum of housing supports for the community.