Tuesday, April 16, 2013

City of Vancouverf Chief Housing Officer

During the 2008 Municipal Election, I remember debating with Geoff Meggs and Ellen Woodsworth whether Vancouver should create a Housing Corporation to oversee development on City owned lands, etc. Having worked with the Vancouver Housing Corp in the 70's (remember Morris Jerroff?) and once being offered a similar position by then Mayor Mike Harcourt (it was never put in writing!) I have often thought about the need/benefits of a Housing Corporation led by a qualified individual.

During the debate, I remember being a bit ambivalent.  If the City hired the right person, who could withstand the substantial political pressure to often do things that didn't make economic or social sense, then it might be worthwhile. But if a Housing Corporation was created with the wrong person at the head, then it could be a very expensive and questionable endeavour.

I recently had a call from the headhunter hired by the City to find the right candidate. No, he wasn't calling because he thought I was the guy for the job. He knew much better!  But he did ask me for names, and I provided a few.  However, in case anyone who reads my blog thinks they're the right candidate, or might know someone, below is the Job Notice.  Good luck....for all of us!

Chief Housing Officer
City of Vancouver
The City of Vancouver is the largest city in British Columbia and recognized internationally as one
of the most livable cities in the world. It has an annual operating budget in excess of $1 billion, and a
staff count of almost 10,000. As one of the most d
esirable cities in the world constrained by
geography and faced with a rapidly increasing population, Vancouver faces significant housing
challenges. As a result, providing housing options that are affordable, accessible and suitable for all
income levels
and residents has been identified as a key mandate and poses one of the biggest
challenges facing the City of Vancouver.
The City of Vancouver recently developed a 10 year strategic housing plan with the goal of ending
street homelessness and increasing
affordable housing choices. There now exists an opportunity for
a senior leader with relevant experience to take on the critical and high profile role of Chief Housing
Officer and make a lasting impact on the City of Vancouver.
In this strategic role, th
e Chief Housing Officer’s mandate will be to lead
the various departments
and groups across
the City in the achievement of its housing goals and objectives. This will not be
an administratively focused role; rather, the role will focus on
identifying strat
egic partners and
opportunities, assessing the economic metrics for success of each,
providing high level oversight to
current and potential projects, and seeking out additional
examples and options for reaching our
The CHO will be tasked
with working with a wide variety of stakeholders including developers, not
for profits, and internal City resources to facilitate and execute on opportunities for housing. Over
time, the goal is for the Chief Housing Officer to help define, set up and eventually lead a new City owned housing authority
that can
enhance the ability of the City to
effectively and efficiently deliver
on its housing mandate.
The ideal candidate will
bring experience from areas such as real estate, development, construction
ance, ideally with the private, public and non
profit sectors. They may be a
residential/commercial developer or a senior executive with an organization focused on housing or
land development. Strategic and creative, they will be a
business or professiona
l leader
who is able
to lead, primarily through influence, and build strong, trusting partnerships with external
This is a unique opportunity to lead a broad, high profile and complex portfolio, create something
new, make an impact, and bri
ng creative application.
For more information
, please call Lorraine Scrimshaw,
Barbara Morrison,
Derrick Chow or Lisa
Kershaw at 604
0261 or  416 366 1990  or via email to
To be
considered for this position, please submit your resume and related information online at: