THE Legion Veterans Village (LVV) project has reached yet another development milestone with the Province, through BC Housing, approving 91 affordable housing units for the mixed-use, multi-purpose project that will provide housing, healthcare and Legion facilities dedicated to serving the needs of Canadian veterans and first responders.
Led by the BC/Yukon Command of the Royal Canadian Legion, together with Whalley Legion Branch 229 and Lark Group in Surrey B.C., this unique $312-million, two-phase, multi-purpose social infrastructure project is envisioned to be the first of many such projects across Canada.
“Our veterans have sacrificed so much and they deserve a safe and affordable place to call home where they can get the services they need,” says David Eby, Attorney General and minister responsible for housing. “Our government is committed to building more affordable housing and this project in particular will be an important centrepiece in Surrey.”
Inspired by the forms of the iconic Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France, the centre piece and phase one of the LVV development is a 20-storey mixed-use building which includes the newly approved 91 affordable housing units to be managed by the Vancouver Resource Society (VRS), to compliment an additional 171 market housing units in phase one, 325 market housing in phase two, with priority for the affordable units given to Canadian veterans, first responders, Legion members and their families.
“British Columbia places great importance in providing affordable housing, healthcare services and innovation to the province and there are no other projects that combine these elements so efficiently under the same umbrella as the Legion Veterans Village,” says Bruce Ralston, MLA for Surrey Whalley. “We look forward to seeing this project succeed in Surrey especially here in Whalley so the rest of Canada can look towards this as a model and beacon for veterans and first responders with PTSD.”
“Legion Veterans Village is a truly unique project and we are proud to be the first city in Canada to host such a comprehensive multi-purpose development that serves and supports our veterans and first responders, as well as our community at large,” says Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. “The demand for more PTSD and mental health programs has never been higher, especially during these COVID-19 times. The healthcare innovation and clinical research from LVV will help meet this demand and serve our vulnerable communities.”
Phase one of LVV will also include Canada’s first Centre of Excellence for veterans and first responders focusing on post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mental health, and an Innovative Centre for Rehabilitation, offering clinical rehabilitation services, research and the delivery of health care programs, services and trauma counseling for PTSD and mental health. It will also feature a new 10,500 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility for the Whalley Legion Branch 229, that will include a cadet assembly hall, banquet facilities, an industrial kitchen, coffee shop and bar/restaurant area, and underground parking.
Phase two of LVV, and complement to the Veterans building, is a new 26-storey building that consists of 325 additional market housing units. The current phase designs are by Neil Banich of WA Architects Ltd.
“VRS is responding to the needs of the City of Surrey by meeting the demands of the growing list of seniors, families, and persons with disabilities who require accessible and affordable housing,” says Ken Fraser, Executive Director of the Vancouver Resource Society. “We are excited to partner with the Legion Veterans Village to bring affordable housing to veterans, first responders and their families in Surrey as well as access to a continuum of healthcare services, PTSD and mental health treatment and rehabilitation programs, with Legion and Cadet facilities all within the same development.”
Located at 10626 City Parkway, Surrey, the 91 affordable housing units in phase one will include a mix of studio suites as well as one and two-bedroom suites, with 10 units designed specifically to meet VRS requirements for accessibility.
“We have been serving our Whalley community in Surrey since 1960 and this new Legion Veterans Village will be the catalyst for change for our Legion to not only better support our members, but also ensure our future legacy,” says Tony Moore, President of the Whalley Legion Branch 229.
Construction for Legion Veterans Village is underway with phase one to be completed in late 2022.