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Marpole association concerned about housing for homeless in their neighbourhood

Last Updated Nov 28, 2017 at 6:15 am PST

The area near where new modular housing in the Marpole neighbourhood is expected to be built. (Courtesy Google Maps)
Summary

'We warned the city, we warned them, we said this is not going to be good': Marpole Residents' Coalition

Marpole community group disputes Gregor Robertson's claim about consultation

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The City of Vancouver is approving 78 temporary modular housing units in the Marpole neighbourhood.

However, some people living there think it’s a bad idea.

The Marpole Residents’ Coalition has been airing their grievances with the city’s plan for the past few months, and Mike Burdick with the coalition sums up his neighbourhood’s mood with this housing in three words.

“They’re not happy,” he says. “We warned the city, we warned them, we said this is not going to be good,” he continues. “You guys, you’re doing everything all wrong, once again.”

He says his group isn’t opposed to housing for the homeless in Marpole, just somewhere else in Marpole.

“I know what everyone wants to say is that these people are NIMBYS and everyone else has these types of residences, but that’s not the case,” he adds.

He thinks the Pearson-Dogwood site in Marpole on Heather Street isn’t appropriate because it’s a transit black-hole, with no grocery stores, or medical facilities, and it’s too close to schools.

“We want these people off the street as much as anybody, in a safe and warm environment,” he says. “But there has to be other land in Marpole whereby they can put these two buildings and house these people.”

In a statement, Mayor Gregor Robertson says his office has been listening closely to residents, but Burdick retorts that’s not the case.

“There is no certainty of what’s going to happen,” he says. “When you don’t tell people anything and say what’s going to happen, that’s not very good, because it could change the face of the community.”

The city plans to open the first building by February 2018.