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 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.
To read the review of BC Housing, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/crown-corporations/bc-housing
A backgrounder follows.