Vets Grand Opening – 1986

The Veterans Memorial Manor officially opened on August 27th 1986, below is an article from Legion Publication No. 8, September, 1986.

vet's housing opens

An official ribbon-cutting ceremony took place August 27th At Veterans’ Memorial Manor, 310 Alexander st. a residence sponsored by the Veterans’ Memorial Housing Society.

On hand to celebrate the opening were the Honourable George Hees, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Mayor Michael Harcourt, Deputy Mayor Harry Rankin and approximately 200 invited guests.

Platform guests included Albert Bianchini – Dominion president ANAF: Anthony Stacey – Dominion president Royal Canadian Legion; Fred Winn – Provincial president of the Legion and Warren Matheson – B.Bc. president of ANAF along with Legion Padre Harry Lennox.

M.C. at the happy event was Stewart Kelly – president of the Society.  The $4.5 million project is the joint effort of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Army Navy Airforce Veterans in Canada.

The development, the first of its kind to be constructed for veterans has received support and funding from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Veterans Affairs Canada and the City of Vancouver.

As Canada’s housing agency, CMHC will provide annual assistance, which will reduce the effective mortgage interest rate from market rates down to two percent.  CMHC will also provide mortgage insurance for this loan under the provisions of the National Housing Act.

When reached for comment the Honourable Stewart McInnes, Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said, “I am very proud the CMHC has been able to participate with the Veterans Memorial Housing Society and the other agencies involved in making the unique project a reality.”

Veterans Affairs Canada also worked very closely with the Society throughout the development phase.  Over the next five years they will provide approximately $50,000 annually to assist with staffing costs at the residence.

The City of Vancouver has assisted the Society by writing down the value of their 41-year land lease to 75 per cent of market value.  They will also provide a grant to “The 44” facility, a drop-in activity centre and cafeteria, to be located adjacent to the residential complex.

Veterans’ Memorial Manor at 310 Alexander Street and comprises 94 bachelor units and 40 hostel beds.  The residents will be drawn from the more than 900 veterans living in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.

Stewart Kelly said, “The Society is very pleased with the project.  We expect that the new residents will begin moving in next month.”

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