The history of the Vancouver East Housing Co-op began in 1979 when the Grandview Neighbourhood Improvement Committee began discussing the need for a co-operative housing project. The idea of forming a co-op out of several scattered sites within a few blocks of each other was a new concept in Vancouver, but one that made sense for this neighbourhood, enabling the co-op to rehabilitate existing buildings while adding some new units as infill.
A coordinating committee comprised of potential members, the Neighbourhood Improvement Program and the Inner City Infill and Rehabilitation Housing Society was set up. They brought some experience to the project, having already launched the Grandview Co-op at MacLean and Napier.
In the Fall of 1979 two sites were acquired – Victoria/Napier, a five-plex, and Venables, which would be the site of a new four-plex. Over the next ten months four more sites were acquired with a capital budget of $1.5 million. Sites were chosen for their ability to provide both family and single accommodation, their ease of rehabilitation or infill construction and their affordable price.
In the summer of 1980 the co-op was officially opened, with a backyard celebration at the Grant St. site. Some of the original founding members are still living here today.