People living in the Anita Place camp and others living on the streets in Maple Ridge will soon be able to move into new temporary homes and shelter spaces.
Fifty-three self-contained units of new temporary housing are opening on Royal Crescent in the coming weeks — with support services operated by Coast Mental Health.
The province of B.C. is also providing 20 spaces at a new winter shelter at Maple Ridge Baptist Church through the Hope For Freedom Society, and 40 rent subsidies to help people ready for independent housing find rental homes.
The province, city of Maple Ridge and its partner agencies will start moving people on Oct. 18 in a transition that’s expected to take five days.
“Our goal is to offer everyone at the Anita Place camp and those who are living on the streets in Maple Ridge a warm and safe place to call home and a chance to rebuild their lives,” said B.C.’s minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Selina Robinson, in a media release.
WATCH BELOW: The City of Maple Ridge has reached a deal that will see the Anita’s Place tent city stay in place
Maple Ridge city council voted unanimously to remove the Anita Place homeless camp in October 2017. A month later, the city reached an understanding with the lawyers representing camp residents — and agreed to stop the injunction against the camp while the province developed a plan to provide housing solutions for its residents.
The last Metro Vancouver homeless count revealed homelessness in Ridge Meadows, which encompasses Maple Ridge, has increased 48 per cent since 2014.
After the B.C. municipal elections on Oct. 20, the province says it will also be reaching out to the city of Maple Ridge about working together to expedite the development and construction of new permanent supportive and affordable housing in the community.
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.