New report highlights BC Housing expansion, new board members announced
VICTORIA - The Province has released the findings of an external review of BC Housing's organizational capacity and financial systems, in consideration of government's historic $7- billion investment in affordable housing and the rapid growth of the Crown corporation.
The review was initiated by the B.C. government in 2021 to ensure that BC Housing can deliver its expanded budget and mandate. The agency's breadth and scope of activities and funding levels have increased substantially since 2018, when the Province released Homes for BC: A 30- Point Plan for Housing Affordability in British Columbia and committed to work with partners to provide 114,000 new homes over 10 years.
Conducted by external consultant Ernst and Young, the review identifies 26 findings and 44 recommendations across five themes: governance, strategic planning and business integration, human resources, program design, and project administration processes.
The findings identify opportunities to become more efficient and expand capacity within BC Housing to match organizational growth. The findings also outline how BC Housing's overall service delivery and accountability structures can be improved amid its rapid expansion.
The recommendations in the report point to the need for greater clarity in governance roles, structures and processes, as well as more detailed policy direction on program outcomes and greater collaboration between government and BC Housing to integrate strategic policy direction with program design and delivery.
The Province is working with BC Housing to develop an implementation plan that will outline how it will respond to the recommendations.
To support BC Housing in the delivery of government's ambitious housing commitments, David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, is appointing five new members to the BC Housing Board of Commissioners. These new members will bring the total number of board members to 12. Two of the new board appointees are Indigenous commissioners, to ensure that urban and rural Indigenous perspectives are reflected in communities throughout the province. Adding new positions to the board will support the organization's expansion and improve governance oversight, strategic planning and other strategic decisions required of what is one of North America's largest housing developers.
Allan Seckel is being appointed chair of the board, which oversees policy implementation and provides strategic guidance to BC Housing. Seckel is being appointed to a one-year term beginning July 18, 2022.
Seckel replaces current board chair Cassie Doyle, who has served as chair of BC Housing since 2017. As chair, Doyle has overseen development and delivery of the Building BC housing programs and extraordinary measures to house people during the COVID-19 pandemic, forest fire and flood seasons, and the 2021 heat dome. Doyle did not seek reappointment of her four- year term, which ends July 18, 2022.
A backgrounder follows.
To read the review of BC Housing, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/crown-corporations/bc-housing
New members join the BC Housing Board of Commissioners
The following five new members are being appointed to the BC Housing Board of Commissioners, bringing the number of board members to 12:
Allan Seckel - chair of the board
Allan Seckel, QC, is a consultant through Advisory Services. Seckel was deputy minister to the premier and deputy attorney general for the B.C. public service. He also was a partner for Russell and DuMoulin/Faskens. Active in his community, Seckel is a board member of the Legal Services Society, Access to Justice BC Leadership Group, ICBC and chair of Covenant House Vancouver. Previously, he was a member of Lift Philanthropy Partners, Telus Vancouver Community Board and Founding Co., and chair of the Canadian Centre for Court Technology. Seckel holds a master of laws from Cambridge University, bachelor of laws from the University of Victoria, and a bachelor of arts with honours from Simon Fraser University. He also holds ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Nees Ma'Outa (Clifford White) is Hereditary Leader and has served as elected chief councillor of Gitxaata Nation. White is a commissioner at British Columbia Treaty Commission and special projects contractor at Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society. Previously, he was chief executive officer of Nawaabm Enterprise and executive director at Allied Indian and Métis Society (now the Circle of Eagles Lodge). White is vice-chair of First Nations Liquid Natural Gas Alliance, chair of Northern Nations Cooperative and on the board of BC Infrastructure Benefits. He was previously chair of the Indigenous Workforce Development Advisory Group, president for the Prince Rupert Indigenous Housing Society, and a board member at Native Education College and the First Nations Trust.
Douglas White is a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation and a lawyer at Doug White Law. He is the former chief and a councillor for the Snuneymuxw First Nation, and a task group member for the First Nations Summit. White is member and chair of the BC First Nations Justice Council, director and secretary-treasurer for the Petroglyph Development Corporation, and a former director for Vancouver Island University. He holds a bachelor's degree with distinction from Vancouver Island University and a juris doctor degree from the University of Victoria.
Jill Kot has more than 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors, including 14 years at the executive level in the B.C. public service where she served as deputy minister of strategic initiatives in the premier's office and as deputy minister of citizens' services. Prior to those roles, she was an assistant deputy minister for ministries serving in the areas of information technology, education and social services. Kot holds a bachelor of science in computer science from the University of Calgary, and she completed the Royal Roads Leadership program. Active in her community, Kot is a director of the Tula Foundation, an independent charitable foundation rooted in British Columbia but with global interests in health, habitat protection and life sciences.
Sheila Taylor has many years of senior executive experience in the B.C. public service. Her roles have included deputy minister of social development and poverty reduction, associate deputy minister and chief operating officer of the Ministry of Finance, assistant deputy minister for medical services and health human resources, and executive financial officer and corporate secretary for the BC Transportation Financing Authority. Taylor has experience with capital projects and served as the deputy chair for the BC Medical Services Commission, commission member for the Financial Institutions Commission, trustee for the Municipal Pension Board and as director for the Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission. She holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Marriott School of Management and a certificate in leadership from Royal Roads University.
These five new board members join seven current board commissioners:
- Barbara Eileen Carle-Thiesson
- Joanne Granek
- Kerry Pateman
- Penelope (Penny) Cheryl Gurstein
- Perry Staniscia
- Sonia Maninder Sahota
- Susan Russell-Csanyi