The VHA was established in 1942 for the purpose of housing an influx of employees to the aluminum and shipyard industries during World War II. During that time, the VHA built 1,000 permanent homes and 11,396 temporary units capable of housing 50,000 people. When the war was over the temporary units were sold to buyers who agreed to dismantle and remove them. The land was then re-developed into some of Vancouver's best-planned neighborhoods.
In the 1960s the VHA assumed the primary role we still hold today, providing subsidized housing for low-income families, elderly, and disabled people. As a low-income housing provider, we have partnered with various community groups along the way, resulting in the creation of Columbia Non-Profit Housing in 1981 and the Council for the Homeless in 1989.
In the early 1990s the VHA became a diversified housing authority by purchasing our first Workforce Housing property. As we continue to serve extremely low-income families, elderly, and disabled people, investing in workforce housing and community development allows the VHA to reduce our dependence on federal funding sources and meet local policy goals.
Into the new century the VHA has continued to develop workforce housing and community development properties.
VHA History Booklets Available for Download
Housing in War and Peace, written circa 1972, provides a lot of history on the WWII war housing era and the redevelopment of McLoughlin Heights in the 1950s, with a brief history of the beginnings of VHA's subsidized housing programs. (20 Mb download)
A Tale of Six Cities, written circa 1959, provides a history of the of the WWII war housing years and the redevelopment of McLoughlin Heights. The booklet contains several pictures and discusses the six large housing developments built during WWII. (10 Mb download)
Fifty Years of Progress, written in 1992 for the VHA's fiftieth anniversary, provides a brief history that covers the WWII era, also reaches into VHA's affordable housing work.