B.C. housing non-profit at heart of controversy names interim CEO

Nonprofit names new CEO

The Atira Women's Resource Society says it has named a new interim CEO after former head Janice Abbott stepped down amid a conflict-of-interest controversy involving her husband, former BC Housing CEO Shayne Ramsay.

Atira says its new CEO Catherine Roome is an experienced leader in both the public and private sectors and will head the organization until a permanent replacement for Abbott is found.

Atira board chair Elva Kim says recruiting Roome is part of its effort to "restore public confidence" in the housing provider after Abbott's departure earlier this month.

The housing provider says it's committed to rebuilding trust with the government, forming a task force to undertake a review of policies around real estate and conflicts of interest.

It says it's supportive of an upcoming review by auditing firm KPMG, and has also returned nearly $2 million in funding to the provincial government after an investigation of BC Housing found Ramsay had improperly steered funding to his wife's organization.

Roome says in a news release that she looks forward to working to "reset and renew" the situation at Atira, and ensure its work to protect women, children and gender diverse people continues.

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