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Decision on temporary housing for homeless in Richmond put over to Friday night

Last Updated May 18, 2018 at 1:35 am PDT

The site of the proposed modular housing, at Elmbridge and Alderbridge (Courtesy Googlemaps)

The modular building is intended to be in operation for a maximum of five years and will house 40 people

Nearly 100 people have signed up to speak on the matter

RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) – After hours of listening to dozens of speakers, Richmond City Council has decided to put off its vote on a temporary modular housing project for Elmbridge Way and Alderbridge Way.

Nearly 100 speakers had signed up to address council, but only roughly half were heard Thursday night.

“We cannot pretend that these folks do not exist. Their circumstances may be different than mine. But they are human beings, not inconveniences,” said a woman who kicked off the hearing.

“Lots of hotels, tall buildings, luxury cars, and very delicious restaurants around there. The poor people can’t enjoy them,” said another woman, wearing a large badge on her chest reading Save our Society.

Vancouver is in the midst of setting up seven sites for temporary modular housing. One site that had been controversial is now operating in Marpole.

A man who addressed council says a friend who lives in Marpole recently presented some concerning information. “He was shocked and showed me the pictures on his phone where the temporary modular housing is in the neighbourhood, he came across many used needles and lots of garbage.”

“Is this supportive housing allowing drug addicted tenants a place to comfortably feed on their addictions, or actually attempting to help them get clean and independent?” asked a woman.

The 2017 homeless count identified 70 people who had no permanent shelter in Richmond.

The modular building is intended to be in operation for a maximum of five years and will house 40 people.

Tenants would have access to meals, laundry facilities, and programs that address life skills.

The lot is owned by the city, but Raincity Housing would operate the site and programs.

The hearing will resume Friday night.