Vaughn Palmer: What Atira wanted from B.C. Housing, it got
VICTORIA — On Jan. 5 of last year, the executive management committee of B.C. Housing met to discuss another sweetheart deal with Atira, the well-connected non-profit that was its No. 1 provider of social housing.
The agenda called for B.C. Housing to transfer the subsidy for one project, the Colonial Hotel, to ease Atira’s purchase of another, a 74-room single-room occupancy hotel at 303 Columbia St. in the Downtown Eastside.
B.C. Housing had already rejected the purchase the previous year, concluding the asking price for the 100-year-old SRO was well above the assessed value.
But everyone at B.C. Housing knew how things worked. What Atira wanted, Atira tended to get. B.C. Housing CEO Shayne Ramsay was married to Atira CEO Janice Abbott.
If the husband CEO didn’t intervene on behalf of the organization headed by his wife, the wife CEO would successfully lobby B.C. Housing on behalf of Atira.
Leave a Reply