Our History

With sixty-four years of history behind us, there have been a great number of people and organizations involved in acquiring the 27 income-based, rent-controlled buildings that the Housing Foundation owns and operates.

Following is a timeline snapshot of our work since 1951.

1951 The Community Chest (now the United Way), and Council of Vancouver chaired by Dr. Gordon S. Fahrni, obtains commitments from various levels of government to assist with funding low-cost housing for senior citizens in the city of Vancouver.
1952 The British Columbia Housing Foundation is incorporated as a provincial non-profit organization whose purpose is to plan, design, construct and manage low-cost housing for seniors.
1953 The Coordinating Council of Lions Clubs and the Central Lions Club raise and donate $18,000 to the Foundation to purchase 3 acres of land and provide the capital for the first project. Two buildings were erected and the project was named Lions View.
1960 Completion of 12 additional buildings at Lions View.
1960 Lions Clubs donates seed money to purchase land to build Edward Byers House.
1962 Edward Byers House opens.
1965 Wallace Wilson House opens thanks to funding from an anonymous donor.
1967 With the donation of land from the Burrard Lions Club, Burrard Manor is developed and opens.
1969 Our first high rise, in the West End opens and is named after the Housing Foundation’s founder, Gordon Fahrni House.
1971 The Ladies of the Loyal Orange Lodge initiated the development of the Loyal Orange Manor.
1971 A joint venture between the Soroptomist Club and the Lions Club resulted in the construction of the Soroptimist Lions Manor.
1973 A project for the Western Institute of the Deaf, with support and initial funding by the Kings Daughters group led to the opening of Kings Daughters Manor.
1974 Moreland Kennedy House is built with seed money and land from the Kitsilano United Church.
1977 Alice Saunders House opens.
1987 Negotiations begin with the municipal, provincial and federal governments to redevelop the original, and aging, Lions View buildings.
1992 The partnership with the BC and federal governments sees the development of Wilson Heights Manor on land leased from the Wilson Heights United Church and an expansion of the Foundation’s mandate to include families and people with disabilities.
1993 A partnership with Concord Pacific facilitated the development of Bridgeview Place, accommodating both seniors and families.
1993 Lions View Building I opens.
1994 Lions View Building II opens.
1994 The First Lutheran Church donated land to build a family housing project and day care space called the First Lutheran Court.
1995 Lions View Building III opens. Using partial proceeds from the sale of part of the 3 acre Lions View land, this building is developed without government support so the property can house seniors who do not qualify for low-income government subsidized housing. Lower income seniors can access the SAFER grant.
1997 The Foundation pays out all of the CMHC mortgages on its original properties built between 1962 and 1977, allowing HFBC to move tenants to a rent-geared-to-income rent structure that created a surplus operating balance. This was used to create and to maintain the New Sites/Redevelopment Fund.
1998 Land leased from the City of Vancouver allows the development of Muir Manor, a family housing project.
1999 The Foundation purchased a market rental building, Harwood Manor with its own New Site/Redevelopment Fund and a $1.7 million mortgage. As tenants moved out, units were converted to rent-geared-to-income suites for mature residents.
1999 Coleopy Park was redeveloped in 1993 by its original owners, the BC Corp of Commissionaires.  As this was their only housing project and not their core business, ownership was transferred to HFBC.
2000 Florence Manor was purchased by the Foundation with funds from its New Sites/Redevelopment Fund and converted units to rent-controlled suites for mature residents as the market tenants moved out.
2001 Glynn Manor was opened on land leased from the City of Vancouver to provide housing to younger people with barriers to employment.
2005 Arbutus Court was purchased with funds from the New Sites/Redevelopment Fund and a mortgage. The building has been converted to rent-controlled housing as market tenants move out.
2006 Ken Wright Manor was purchased with funds from the New Sites/Redevelopment Fund and a mortgage. The building has been converted to rent-controlled housing as market tenants move out.
2006 Magnolo Manor was purchased with funds from the New Sites/Redevelopment Fund and a mortgage. The building has been converted to rent-controlled housing as market tenants move out.
2008 Londonderry was purchased with funds from the New Sites/Redevelopment Fund, a mortgage was acquired and grants totaling $250,000 were received from the City of Vancouver and the province.
2013 The Foundation purchased a 46-unit apartment building. The Board of Directors agreed that the building would be named MacLeod Manor in honour of then Executive Director, Barbara (MacLeod) Bacon.
2013 Brightside was asked to manage the Mount Pleasant apartments, previously owned by the Mount Pleasant Housing Society and operated by the Mount Pleasant Lions Club.
2013 Collingwood Tower, a 78-unit high rise built in 1977, was previously operated as affordable housing by the J.W. Smith Foundation until it was transferred to HFBC in 2013. Located on leased land owned by the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation, HFBC was able to purchase the land as well.