Proposed housing for homeless in Maple Ridge just a ‘band-aid solution: advocate

Many of the city's homeless have been living in a makeshift camp known as 'Anita's Place.'.
Many of the city's homeless have been living in a makeshift camp known as 'Anita's Place.'. Global News

BC Housing is holding an information session about newly proposed housing options and support programs in Maple Ridge on Monday night.

This comes after the provincial government announced funding to address the issue of homelessness in the city, following years of public pressure and a recent battle over the Anita’s Place homeless camp.

But Listen Chen with Alliance Against Displacement says one problem with the proposal is that there are only 40 units of supportive housing going in.

READ MORE: Province announces plan for new housing, support for homeless in Maple Ridge

“As we know from the homeless people count, that the Anita Place residence did back in October, that there are about 200 homeless people in Maple Ridge,” they said.

Chen calls it a band-aid solution, adding that supportive housing is a failed model.

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“It institutionalizes poor people, it’s a mode of surveillance, they give up their tenancy rights, their privacy, their autonomy, and it’s a dehumanizing approach to trying to help poor people and homeless people,” Chen said.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge residents protest planned homeless shelter

So what would the group prefer to seer instead?

“100 per cent social housing at welfare and shelter rates and at least 200 units of that to be constructed immediately, alongside 200 units of self-contained modular emergency housing,” Chen said.

There will be a second open house hosted by BC Housing in early February.