Dean Fortin, former Victoria mayor, to head social housing group

Former Victoria mayor Dean Fortin has been named the executive director of Pacifica Housing effective Aug. 24.

Fortin, mayor from 2008 to his defeat by 89 votes last November, will provide strategic oversight and leadership to Pacifica, which provides affordable homes to more than 1,500 people. Pacifica operates 32 buildings with 842 units in Greater Victoria, Duncan and Nanaimo.

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Fortin was executive director of Burnside Gorge Community Association for 17 years before serving as mayor and brings more than 20 years of expertise in social housing and community development to his new post.

The new position is a good fit, given Fortin has been “instrumental in raising the profile of housing affordability,” said Deborah George, Pacifica’s board chairwoman, in a statement.

Pacifica Housing also runs youth groups, community gardens, meal programs and Greater Victoria’s Streets to Homes Program that moves adults coping with chronic homelessness into long-term, private-market housing, along with the supports to ensure they stay housed.

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