THE NDP said on Thursday that if it was up to B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson, there would still be a tent city in Maple Ridge.
Wilkinson has opposed the temporary housing that the City of Maple Ridge says was necessary to shut down the tent city: “The remaining residents of the camp were provided with priority access to the new Garibaldi Ridge temporary modular housing facility, located on Burnett Street, resulting in the closure of the camp.” (Sept. 13 2019)
Homelessness in Maple Ridge skyrocketed by almost 50% between 2014 and 2017 while Wilkinson sat at the cabinet table and watched it happen, said the NDP.
The NDP asked: “Is Wilkinson’s alternative to shut down the supportive housing and let the tent city grow all over again?”
The NDP said its work resulted in the closure of the tent city. “We continue to work with the city to build permanent supportive housing,” they added.
The NDP said it recently announced increased supports for people and communities struggling with homelessness:
- New psychiatrist-led ACT teams (Assertive Community Treatment) teams in 6 communities (Maple Ridge, Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Cowichan Valley) – Existing ACT teams have reduced problems with street disorder by 71% and violence by 36% by providing 24/7 specialized care for people with severe mental health issues (Vancouver Coastal Health).
- $100M in new grants to help local governments address the challenges posed in local communities by homelessness, and community concerns with street disorder and safety.