New leadership at CMHC amidst housing crisis

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Sean Fraser, Canada's Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, has announced the appointment of Coleen Volk as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Don Iveson as Chairman of the Board. The appointments, announced alongside a number of new board members, come against the backdrop of an acute housing crisis that has recently become the focus of government action.

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CMHC, a publicly owned corporation, plays a central role in Canada's housing strategy and financial system, conducting research, developing programs and engaging in commercial activities to ensure the sustainability of the country's housing market.

Volk previously spent nine years at CMHC, where he held a variety of positions, including Assistant Vice President of Finance. Prior to CMHC, Volk served as an Assistant Minister in the Government of Alberta, an Assistant Minister at the federal level, and worked in the Corporate Treasury at CIBC.

According to Infrastructure Canada's press release, Iveson, who served as mayor of Edmonton from 2013 to 2021, is known for his leadership in promoting housing supply and regulatory reforms in favor of densification.

Minister Fraser expressed his enthusiasm for the new hires, saying, “I look forward to working closely with Ms. Volk and the CMHC Board in the years to come to advance the government’s efforts to meet Canada’s housing priorities.”

In response to his appointment, Iveson stated, “I am honoured to join the CMHC Board as Board Chair and to work with Coleen Volk, the new President and CEO. Along with my new board colleagues, I hope to bring my experience and passion for housing to ensure that every person living in Canada has a place to call home.”

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Coleen Volk replaces CMHC CFO Michel Tremblay, who served as acting president and CEO since late last year when former president Romy Bowers left for a new position at the International Monetary Fund. In a statement, Volk said she is thrilled to return to CMHC and looks forward to leading the organization in supporting Canada's housing system alongside CMHC's dedicated group of employees. “Together, we will work on the challenges of today to build the housing system of the future.”

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