Amid simmering tensions over a long-running homeless camp, the City of Maple Ridge has voted to develop a social housing plan.
The vote came Tuesday night, after homeless campers and supporters from the Anita Place tent city staged a demonstration that was at points tense.
The motion directs Maple Ridge city staff to “assemble a plan to submit to the B.C. Government to address social housing options within Maple Ridge.”
That plan is to be considered at an open council meeting on March 12.
“From the discussions last week in Victoria I know that there is a lot of common ground on which to build and implement meaningful solutions,” said Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden in a media release.
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“I appreciate the patience of the public and emphasize that Council remains focused on our objectives of creating a safe community for everyone while ensuring the Province delivers the housing and health services people need.”
The move comes just days after Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson decried the “frustrating” pace of the housing file, and spoke of “roadblocks” when dealing with the municipality.
The mayor met with key cabinet ministers in late February, and has requested $60 million for social housing and to address costs associated with the Anita Place homeless camp.
The Anita Place camp was evicted over the weekend, after three fires broke out in less than a week.
The province opened Maple Ridge’s first modular housing project in October of last year, which provided 53 units of supportive housing.