"To provide and manage a range of housing options for the residents of Queen Charlotte/Daajing Giids.”
Statement of Values
The Staff and Directors of the Societies value:
Dedication to duty
History and Background
The Queen Charlotte Heritage Housing Society (QCHHS) and the Queen Charlotte Housing Development Society (QCHDS) are sister societies in Queen Charlotte, Haida Gwaii.
They have been providing subsidized and affordable housing in the community for many years. The Queen Charlotte Heritage Housing Society (QCHHS), a non-profit Society, was incorporated in 1982. Sister society to QCHHS is the Queen Charlotte Housing Development Society, QCHDC, which owns and operates Martin Manor, and was incorporated in 2005.
The mandate of both societies, who share the same Board of Directors, is to provide affordable housing for seniors, people with disabilities and those with low-incomes in Queen Charlotte, Haida Gwaii.
In addition to a small, dedicated staff, the Societies are operated by a recently re-invigorated Board of Directors, which includes people with a variety of skills. They are long time members of the community with a wealth of knowledge of the health care system, construction, non-profit process, government workings and other skills invaluable for running a housing society. The Boards are hard-working volunteers. There is also a contracted administrator/bookkeeper in charge of day to day operations. Maintenance on all buildings is done by a contracted maintenance person. One of the Heritage House tenants takes care of the gardening and janitorial services at Heritage House.
Board of Directors
Greg Martin, President
Since 1970 Greg has been a full-time resident of Haida Gwaii, as well as a community activist and part time volunteer for a wide variety of community organizations. These ranged from food Co-ops to Boy Scouts to health care. Greg has also been active in community governance since 1988, having first served under the Regional District system. Greg was actively involved in the process to incorporate Queen Charlotte as a municipality, and spent 13 years on Queen Charlotte Village Council, the last 4 years as Mayor. Greg holds a Masters Degree in Education from SFU and joined the housing society in 2017. He understands the importance of safe, stable housing and food as being the fundamental basics for the success of our most challenged members of society. Greg currently serves the Societies as president.
Debby Gardiner, Vice President
Debby become a director on the Housing Society in 2017, and currently serves as the vice president. She is committed to providing low income housing for those in need and for finding solutions to homelessness. Another one of her volunteer projects is the Christmas Food Hamper Program, which provides for those in need during the holiday season.
As an artist Debby is very involved in the arts community in Haida Gwaii, organizing exhibitions, teaching, promoting the arts, and encouraging and supporting young people to be creative.
Debby moved to Haida Gwaii in 1981 and spent her career working in resource management. She retired from Parks Canada in 2017. Boating, kayaking, exploring the intertidal area and watching the ebb and flow of the tides continue to be favourite pastimes.
Debra Uliana, Treasurer
Debra joined the Queen Charlotte Heritage Housing Society as a board member in Oct. 2002. She has served as the Treasurer for both the Queen Charlotte Heritage Housing Society and Queen Charlotte Housing Development Society since 2007.
Debra has worked in finance since 1971, starting with the Royal Bank. In 1988 she moved to Queen Charlotte City and worked for Northern Savings Credit Union. In 1990 she established her own bookkeeping practice and had many small business clients. She also developed and taught a beginning bookkeeping course for small business owners. In 2001 she began working full time for the Queen Charlotte/Skidegate Landing Management Committee and was awarded the position of Financial Officer when the community incorporated in 2005 as The Village of Queen Charlotte. In that position she was responsible for all budgets, payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable, grant applications and financial reporting, reserve funds for the municipality and all financial reporting requirements to the Province of British Columbia. She continued her training, attended annual Provincial Financial Officer Conferences and obtained a Certificate in Local Government Administration from Capilano University. She retired from that position in 2016 and is now semi-retired and living in White Rock, B.C. She has continued to act as the Treasurer for the housing societies, attending meetings by telephone. She also works part time for the “Seniors Come Share Society,” a non-profit society that provides seniors day programs and other outreach services. Non-profit work continues to be a passion for Debra and she is very excited about the current housing projects in Queen Charlotte.
Mecca Huston, Director
Mecca is currently employed by three local organizations:
She is employed by the Northern Health Authority in an administrative support role at the Queen Charlotte Primary Care Clinic. She works closely with community clinicians to ensure residents receive well-rounded and continuous care;
Mecca works at a local whole-foods store, Isabel Creek Store, selling organic and natural foods including that provided by local farmers and producers;
She is in an administrative support role for the Hecate Strait Streamkeepers, a local non-profit society that strives to restore the local salmonid population to productive numbers in healthy habitats, as well as educate local students and volunteers in stream health and salmonid biology.
Before working for Northern Health, Mecca worked for 3 years as a Project Manager for a construction consulting company in Wellington, New Zealand. She was involved in large-scale projects with Wellington City Council aimed at upgrading their portfolio of social housing complexes. These projects were managed from concept to completion and overlapped with other smaller upgrade projects for commercial enterprises. The primary objective of these projects was to renovate older buildings to meet modern building codes and expectations, with a focus on
In her spare time, Mecca enjoys exploring the natural beauty of Haida Gwaii and chasing after her young child.
Liz Wouters, Director
Liz moved from Victoria to Haida Gwaii in October, 2015 to begin her Practice Support Coach position with the Northern Health Authority. She soon learned of the limited rental housing opportunities facing Haida Gwaii newcomers and long-term residents. After hearing about the Queen Charlotte Housing Society’s longstanding positive presence and achievements, she joined the Board of Directors.
Liz brings years of experience working in government, not-for-profit and small business and skills in coaching, conflict resolution, stakeholder relations and human resources. She is a former registered nurse and freelance journalist. She has always been an advocate for those whose voices and choices are diminished. She is moved by the reminder, “There but for the grace of
God, go I”.
Liz was also a Board member for the Islands Wellness Society, based in Queen Charlotte, BC.
Now living in Comox, BC, Liz continues to serve as a Director for QCHHS. She is nourished by the forests, ocean and mountains, improvisational singing and dancing, art-making, photography, and playfulness and wonder.
Erik Holl, Director
I moved to Haida Gwaii in 2016 with my partner and our dog Lucy. My partner had gotten a job here and we jumped at the opportunity to move to the Islands. We love the outdoors, living on the coast; walking the dog, fishing and exploring the beauty of these islands. I had previously lived in Petersburg Alaska and am very happy to return to the familiarity of a small coastal community and outdoors.
I worked in maintenance for BC Housing in the Lower Mainland for three years. It was challenging and enjoyable. Interesting and varied work and interesting and varied people. Shortly after arriving on Haida Gwaii I got a position with the QC Housing Societies doing their maintenance. More interesting and varied work and people. I am currently working in property management for the Government housing on Haida Gwaii.
I feel that these years of experience contribute to my value as a director of the two QC Housing Societies.
Barb Rowsell, Executive Director
Barb has been a resident of Haida Gwaii since 1975. Since then she has gained considerable experience working in both the business and non-profit sectors and has engaged in strategic planning exercises in both domains. Barb has initiated business and non-profit enterprises in tourism, environmental and industrial areas. Her strengths include strong organizational and communication skills, leadership, an understanding of small business regulations as well as working with government agencies.
The housing sector is relatively new to Barb’s portfolio. She previously worked where she could indulge her passion for exploring the natural beauty of these islands. Barb has found it to be a great privilege and challenge to help maintain and grow housing opportunities for our island
The shared love of Haida Gwaii provides a strong foundation of common purpose and trust for partnering with the public, tenants, contactors, staff and funders in improving our lives here.