The first tussle in what is expected to be a wave of controversy over housing the homeless erupted Thursday as south Vancouver residents turned out to argue with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson about a proposed site in their neighbourhood.

At the mayor’s formal announcement about plans to open 80 modular units by January – the first of 600 planned for Vancouver – on an empty site owned by the development company Onni, Ann Mukai accused the mayor of not consulting with Marpole residents before choosing their neighbourhood.

Mike Burdick said the risk was that some homeless people can be violent.

And Mohsen Turki said that while “we’re supportive, we don’t want them on the street,” he was worried about what homeless people will bring into the neighbourhood and Laurier elementary school on the next block.

“The main concern is when homeless come here, they bring drugs, alcohol,” he said.