The province announced major changes to BC Housing Friday night in a decision that immediately upended the makeup of its board of commissioners after an external review concluded last month. In a statement released at 6:35 p.m.
The province announced major changes to BC Housing Friday night in a decision that immediately upended the makeup of its board of commissioners after an external review concluded last month.
In a statement released at 6:35 p.m. Friday evening, Housing Minister David Eby said British Columbia would immediately put the new board into effect – which includes new members Allan Seckel (chairman), Jill Kot, Sheila Taylor, Mark Sieben and Russ. Jones.
Seckel, Kot and Taylor were originally scheduled to begin their terms on July 18 – as announced on June 30 when the province released the results of a year-long external review of BC Housing into its ability to “deliver on its expanded budget and mandate taking into account the government’s historic $7 billion investment in affordable housing over 10 years and the rapid growth of the Crown corporation.
Sieben and Jones were not mentioned in the June 30 announcement, which then included two other new board members: First Nations leaders Clifford White and Doug White. The two are still expected to join BC Housing’s board on July 18.
It’s unclear why Eby put the new board appointment into effect immediately, more than a week ahead of schedule. The provincial statement released Friday evening only mentioned that the new board “will continue to oversee the governance of the organization and ensure the implementation of best practices given the external review recently released by Ernst & Young.”
The external review, which was launched in 2021, found 26 findings and 44 recommendations on issues including governance, strategic planning, program design and administration. Among the most critical findings are criticisms leveled at BC Housing’s ability to provide proper oversight of funding to nonprofit service providers – as well as the lack of integration, transparency and jurisdiction in risk assessment during project management.
“Project administration processes are largely undocumented and do not apply a risk-based approach,” the report said. “In some cases, the subjective assessment may be better documented. Risk mitigation can be improved to create additional capacity within the organization through the implementation of the recommendations outlined in this report.
“…Systems do not meet the needs of functional areas and there is no formalized data governance in place, which limits BC Housing’s ability to optimize technology and increases efforts to perform analytics and create reports,” the report concludes. “BC Housing delivers 80-85% of services through non-profit housing providers and current monitoring processes for these providers are manual in nature with limited ability to objectively assess provider performance. [financial and non-financial] and manage overall risk.
Seckel replaces Cassie Doyle, who had been president of BC Housing since 2017. Other board members replaced immediately include Barb Carle-Thiesson (appointed 2018), Joanne Granek (2019), Penny Gurstein (2018), Kerry Pateman ( 2020), Susan Russell-Csanyi (2021), Sonia Sahota (2020) and Perry Staniscia (2018). All were appointed to their posts when Premier John Horgan’s NDP government came to power in 2017 and their terms were due to end by 2023 or 2034 before Friday’s announcement.