A Langley resident spoke out on a supportive housing project planned for Langley. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

A Langley resident spoke out on a supportive housing project planned for Langley. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

Housing for Langley homeless draws opposition

Though some were supportive, most speakers opposed a supportive housing project.

Several hundred people packed a Monday night meeting on a planned supportive housing project for Langley.

A majority of those in attendance were opposed to the BC Housing project, which plans to transform the former Quality Inn hotel on 200th Street near 66th Avenue into 49 units of housing.

Residents stepped up to microphones to speak for more than an hour.

“The problem is the location,” said one, who asked why it was so close to elementary schools.

Other issues raised repeatedly were policing and drugs, public safety, and proximity to a nearby liquor store.

“I’m worried it will cause severe problems for our safety,” said another resident of nearby areas.

Several people asked whether it would bring more homeless people into the community.

The project is being spearheaded by BC Housing, which is seeking to rezone the building. Langley Township council will ultimately have final say on whether it goes ahead.

If approved, local group Stepping Stone Community Services will manage the building 24/7, with at least two staff members at all times, said the group’s executive director, Janet Burden.

“It’s getting more and more challenging to get people into market housing,” Burden said.

Some residents were in favour of the project.

“I am wholeheartedly in favour of this, it’s about bloody time,” said one.

“If that was your brother, or your sister, you’d want them to have a place to go,” said another neighbour.

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There were more than 200 homeless people counted in Langley during the last homeless count, earlier this year.

The number of people living on the street or in shelters had more than doubled in three years since the previous homeless count.

Representatives from BC Housing, Fraser Health, Stepping Stone, and the RCMP answered questions from the crowd. Comments will be sent to Langley Township.