Former Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps has found a new role to champion an old cause, and she’ll be doing it just down the road from her previous workplace.
Helps has been appointed as adviser on housing solutions by B.C. Premier David Eby, the government announced Thursday.
In her new role, Helps will work with B.C. Minister of Housing Ravi Kahlon, stakeholders and partners to design and develop the BC Builds program, an initiative aimed at building housing for middle-income families, seniors and others impacted by the current housing crisis.
“The current reality is that many people in our province struggle to find housing, even if they earn a good income. I’m very pleased that Lisa Helps has agreed to use her years of leadership to help us work on innovative solutions, like BC Builds, to make it easier for people to find a good place to live in their communities,” Eby said in a statement.
Helps’ appointment as a special adviser on housing comes after Dr. Penny Ballem was named the premier’s health systems specialist and Doug White was named special counsel on Indigenous reconciliation.
“Doug, Penny and Lisa have tremendous amounts of experience and they are all very motivated to help take concrete action on the issues important to British Columbians,” said Eby.
During her tenure as Victoria mayor, Helps was faced with a significant increase in housing prices and lack of affordable rental supply. She helped push through several initiatives to try to combat the crisis, including championing the Missing Middle housing policy that was set to be vote on by the city’s new mayor and council on Thursday.