Moose Jaw's Crestview Housing Co-operative hosted a mortgage burning tea on Tuesday.

The burning of the senior housing unit's mortgage happened thirty-five years ago to the day since the complex opened.

Ron Richards is the president of Crestview's board of directors and said it was important to celebrate the burning of their mortgage. "I think it just proves to everyone that we've been successful surviving for thirty-five years and being able to pay off the mortgage. It's just a relief. It gives us lots of alternatives on what we can do into the future."

Residents, dignitaries - including Mayor Fraser Tolmie, Moose Jaw North MLA Warren Michelson, and Gwen Beitel from Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski's office - and representatives from both the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation and Canadian Housing Federation were on hand to watch the mortgage burning. 

Tracy Hodel, an SHC Portfolio Management Consultant with the Ministry of Social Services, said they've been dealing with the Crestview Housing Co-operative for the past 35 years. "It was important for us to be here to show them how proud we are, and to set them off on a good foot."

Helen Smith, at 91 years of age, is the oldest resident at Crestview. She's lived at the complex for the past 24 years., and took part in the actual burning of the mortgage. "It was a real thrill. I never thought I'd still be around because it's been my home all those years. It's just really special to be able to do that [mortgage burning]."

The original idea for the complex came about in 1981. At that time, it was to be a housing co-operative for superannuated teachers. The building was completed and occupied in 1984, at which time had a mortgage of slightly more than $2.3 million.

In December 2017, there was a major fire in the west wing of the building.