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Atira Women's Resource Society names interim CEO

Embattled B.C. housing provider Atira Women’s Resource Society has named an interim CEO, a move the board says is part of its work to rebuild trust following a damning report and the former leader's resignation earlier this month.

Catherine Roome is taking the helm to usher in a "new phase" for the organization, according to an announcement Tuesday, which describes Roome as an experienced leader in both the public and private sector.

"I am eager to help Atira conduct the hard but necessary work to reset and renew while ensuring the organization’s important work—serving and protecting women, children and gender diverse people and providing much-needed housing—continues,” Roome said in a statement.

Former CEO Janice Abbott resigned her position on May 15, a week after the province announced the findings of a third-party review of BC Housing and ordered Atira's funding to be frozen and all of its buildings to be inspected pending the outcome of a government-led review.

The review found numerous examples of the Crown corporation's former CEO Shayne Ramsay, who is Abbott's husband, breaching conflict of interest rules when it came to awarding funding and contracts to Atira.

The announcement of a new CEO, Atira's statement says, is one of the steps the provider is taking in response to the findings–on top of conducting its own review, co-operating with the government's financial and operational review, allowing a government representative to act as an observer on its board of directors, and returning a surplus of nearly $2 million.

"Atira is committed to rebuilding trust with government and the communities it serves," the statement announcing Roome's appointment said.

Atira operates 2,969 units of housing in B.C.'s Lower Mainland and received $74 million from BC Housing in 2022. Top Stories

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