December 5, 2017 10:03 pm

Because of Marpole protesters, homeless people may spend winter out in the cold: city

Protesters outside the proposed site of modular housing near three Vancouver schools say it would bring drugs and crime to the neighbourhood.

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The City of Vancouver and BC Housing have been granted an injunction against protesters in the Marpole neighbourhood who have been physically blocking access to a site that’s set to host a temporary housing project for the homeless.

But it may come too late for a number of homeless people who were set to live on the property – protests have delayed construction so much that the project may not open to tenants before winter’s over, the city said in a Tuesday news release.

WATCH: Stanley Park is the best place for homeless, says Marpole protester

On Monday, the B.C. Supreme Court granted an injunction requiring that no one loiter on the site at 650 West 57th Avenue, or on sidewalks adjacent to the property.

It also states that no one can “obstruct or prevent” access to the site.

The injunction came after the city claimed that protesters were blocking access to the property, such that trucks couldn’t drive up and start building the planned three-building, two-storey project that’s expected to house 78 units.

READ MORE: Marpole protesters block temporary homeless housing, and the city’s not having it

“We respect people’s rights to protest, but blocking the construction of much-needed housing for the homeless is not something the city can accept,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a news release.

Before seeking the injunction, the city had issued infraction notices to protesters who had blocked the sidewalk, but they kept on obstructing the entrances to the site anyway.

The project is expected to house a mix of people — some who currently live in shelters, others who live on the street, the city said Tuesday.

WATCH: Marpole modular housing protest

Units will accommodate people who are 45 years old, or older.

Some will have what the city calls “medium- to high-level service needs,” and that could include individuals who have “significant mobility issues… a chronic disease or those citizens who may require additional assistance with day-to-day life.”

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