Update: March 23, 2016
Here are responses to questions that are being asked by a number of citizens.
What is the status of the ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MOU) relating to the operation of the BC Housing’s proposed supportive housing project at the Quality Inn?
Staff from BC Housing and the City are currently in the early stages of drafting the MOU.
What are the tax implications of a change in use of the Quality Inn?
The property is currently taxed at the Business Class Rate. Generally speaking, Provincially-owned properties are tax exempt.
Will the MOU become public?
As is the normal process, the MOU will come before Council at a Committee of the Whole Meeting. After questions have been answered by staff, Council could refer the MOU back to staff for revision or forward it to the next Regular Council Meeting for debate. There are ‘Public Forums’ as part of the Committee of the Whole and Council meetings where the public can ask questions. The agendas for these meetings are posted on the City website on the Friday preceding the meetings. Questions can be directed to staff prior to the meeting and we will do our best to reply.
Recent comments in the media indicate that this has changed from a permanent supportive housing facility to a temporary project as a bridge to a purpose built facility. Does the Province have the power to proceed with this project without the typical city zoning process?
Generally speaking, senior levels of government are not required to follow municipal regulations and processes. BC Housing has indicated that they will go through the typical rezoning process which includes a public hearing component. Whether the Province will be bound by the decision of Council is a question that should be posed directly to them as part of the March 29, 2016 public information session.
How can I get answers on the details of the BC Housing proposal for the Quality Inn and clarification about the housing model, the operator of the facility, health supports and whether this is a temporary or long term project?
BC Housing is hosting a community information session on Tuesday, March 29 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Maple Ridge Baptist Church. Citizens are encouraged to attend this meeting to hear the presentation on the proposal and seek answers to specific questions relating to the proposal.