The provincial government has announced that it is no longer moving forward with the plan to convert the Quality Inn at Maple Ridge into a homeless shelter.
The 61-room hotel located at 21735 Lougheed Highway was to be purchased by the government for the intention of using it as a permanent location to house local homeless people.
However, the government backed away after local residents voiced their vehement opposition to having more homeless people living in their neighbourhood. The decision comes ahead of tonight’s public information session, which has been cancelled.
“We will work with the City of Maple Ridge to identify a long-term plan for a new permanent facility,” said Rich Coleman, the Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing, in a statement.
“Addressing homelessness involves the cooperation and support of many partners and we will continue to work with the community to assist those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.”
Currently, Maple Ridge has a year-round, 25-bed homeless shelter at 22188 Lougheed Highway operated by the Salvation Army. Another shelter location, also operated by the Salvation Army, is located nearby and has 15 beds, but it is only open during extreme winter conditions.
The provincial government says it will provide about $15 million to cover the construction and operational costs of a permanent publicly operated facility in Maple Ridge once a location has been determined.