The minister of municipal affairs and housing, Selina Robinson, issued the following statement tonight:
“I am disappointed in the outcome of the Maple Ridge city council meeting tonight.
“The city brought forward a proposal that they knew was not workable, and which would not provide the housing needed to close down the Anita Place camp and bring people indoors. City staff were told last week that the Royal Crescent site couldn’t accommodate any additional units due to the physical restrictions and slope of the site, and I reinforced that fact this afternoon when speaking with Mayor Morden. I was clear with the mayor last week, and again when we spoke today, that inaction was not an option for the community of Maple Ridge, as this situation has been allowed to continue for too long.
“We have tried and would prefer to work collaboratively with the city. However, as the city has not identified a workable solution, we need to move forward with building temporary supportive housing on an expedited basis to get the camp closed down and to house the people experiencing homelessness in Maple Ridge.
“The other elements of the city’s proposal—seniors housing and recovery housing—address other housing needs for the community, and I am eager to continue working with the city to move those projects forward.
“But we cannot ask the people of Maple Ridge to wait any longer for the housing that is needed to enable us to close the camp down and bring its residents inside, into the supportive homes they need.”