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BC Housing names Vincent Tong permanent CEO

Announcement follows sudden and major overhaul of board members last summer
Tong served as interim CEO and vice president of asset strategies prior to being appointed the permanent position

BC Housing announced Thursday the appointment of its new permanent CEO, Vincent Tong.

Tong has served as interim CEO for the Crown corporation since September 2022. He previously held the role of vice-president of development and asset strategies at BC Housing for roughly a year.

Before working at BC Housing, Tong acted as chief development officer for Toronto Community Housing, the largest provider of social housing in Canada, according to a press release from BC Housing.

He was selected for his experience of leading change in complex organizations and management of large residential development projects, said the release.

The announcement comes after the Crown corporation’s board experienced a major overhaul last summer. The sudden move by David Eby, then the minister responsible for housing, came with the appointment of board members Allan Seckel (chairman), Jill Kot, Sheila Taylor, Mark Sieben and Russ Jones.

“I’m confident that the BC Housing board has made the right decision in selecting Vincent Tong as CEO,” Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon said in a statement.

“He has done a tremendous job leading the organization through a challenging period and I look forward to working with him as we deliver on our government’s commitment to deliver housing solutions for British Columbians all over the province.”

The province is awaiting the release of an external Ernst & Young forensic audit that was conducted and completed last year. Eby had ordered the audit.

The external review, which was initiated in 2021, noted 26 findings and 44 recommendations across issues such as governance, strategic planning, program design and administration.

During his time as interim CEO, Tong has focused on initiatives such as modernizing leadership structure to consolidate accountabilities, recruiting new in-house legal counsel, increasing board management on development projects, strengthening oversight of housing providers, creating more comprehensive standards of conduct policy and creating whistleblower protections, according to BC Housing.

“I’m honoured to have the opportunity to continue leading the transformation at BC Housing,” said Tong. “This is a pivotal time in B.C. where people are struggling to secure affordable housing.”