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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

Northern Health records 1st fatality due to COVID-19

Six people died from the novel coronavirus on the weekend, health officials confirm

Police look for vehicle, male driver after incident involving girl, 11

The driver was described as an older Caucasian male with white hair, no glasses, and no facial hair

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Most Read