03/29/2016 08:12 EDT | Updated 03/29/2016 08:59 EDT

B.C. Abandons Plans To Turn Maple Ridge Motel Into Homeless Shelter

KatarzynaBialasiewicz via Getty Images
Homeless man sitting on a street passed by people

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — The B.C. government is abandoning plans for a homeless shelter at an old motel in Maple Ridge, east of Vancouver.

Housing Minister Rich Coleman says the province will instead provide about $15 million for a permanent facility in the Fraser Valley community, once an appropriate location is identified.

The ministry says a public consultation process will take place before any site is confirmed.

Many residents were enraged when the government announced plans to use a motel as a long-term low-barrier homeless shelter that would allow people to bring in their pets and belongings.

Residents were concerned it would be located beside a restaurant popular among seniors.

For now, the ministry says it is working with officials in the city to extend the closing of a 40-bed temporary shelter to the end of June so homeless people will continue to have a warm, safe place to sleep.

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