A long-term low-barrier housing solution for Maple Ridge is now several years away.
After protests from area residents, the province has decided to back away from plans to purchase a Quality Inn on Lougheed Highway for 5.5-million dollars to create 61 units.
Area residents were worried the shelter would scare local seniors, despite the province insisting it would be staffed 24/7.
Minister Rich Coleman says at a certain point, moving ahead with a project can cause too many problems..
“Sometimes what happens is a few people decide that they’re going to turn it into a an issue, and basically sometimes with false information turn a community against a project. Or even sometimes it’s just straight NIMBY-ism. Each one of these is different, but each one is difficult.”
The government is instead committing $15 million to find a location for a new purpose-built shelter.
It’s a process that could take several years.
Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read says the Quality Inn turned out to be the wrong decision for her community, but there are consequences.
Around 30 people will be left hanging in the balance.
“So right now we are concerned with this announcement about where those people are going to be placed, because they can’t stay in a shelter until the purpose built housing comes along. They need housing solutions.”
In the short-term, the province hopes Maple Ridge extends a temporary shelter until the end of June.