Esther de Vos

Associate faculty

Humanitarian Studies

Public policy

Housing policy and research

Planning and reporting

Esther is passionate about improving policy frameworks and systems for the benefit of marginalized populations and has been working in various capacities towards that goal for her entire career.

Esther moved into the social housing sector after 10 years of working in the justice system in a variety of legal, operational and strategic policy and service delivery positions. She recently completed her Doctor of Social Sciences with RRU, focusing on how to design a social housing system which prioritizes tenant wellbeing. 


With more than 15 years in public policy, Esther currents serves as the Executive Director, Research for BC Housing.

Her experience with service delivery, operational and strategic policy in the justice and social housing systems compliments her current work.

Memberships and Committees
  • European Network for Housing Research (2021-present)
  • Canadian Sociological Association (2017-present)
  • Chartered Institute of Housing Canada (2016-present)


Doctor of Social Sciences

Royal Roads University

Foundations in Somatic Abolitionism

Education for Racial Equity

Master of Public Administration

University of Victoria

Bachelor of Laws

University of Alberta

Bachelor of Arts (with Distinction)

University of Alberta

Certified Housing Professional

Chartered Institute of Housing Canada

Active Engagement: The Practice of Mindful Leadership



Award for Policy Excellence

IPAC Edmonton Region

Educational Achievement Award

Alberta Justice and Solicitor General

Team Award of Excellence

Justice Services Division Reaching Our Full Potential Task Team

Award for Contribution

Child Support Recalculation Program Team

Certificate of Merit, 1999/2000

Department of Sociology Essay Award Competition, University of Alberta


Research interest

Social housing


Public policy


Severson, M. & de Vos, E. (2021). Social sustainability in social and affordable housing. In S. Tsenkova (Ed.), Cities and Affordable Housing: Planning, Design and Policy Nexus. (pp. 259-273). Routledge.

Collins, D., de Vos, E., Evans, J., Severson Mason, M., Anderson-Baron, J., Cruikshank, V. & McDowell, K. (2021). “When we do evict them, it’s a last resort”: Eviction Prevention in Social and Affordable Housing. Housing Policy Debate, DOI: 10.1080/10511482.2021.1900890

de Vos, E. (2020). Understanding community housing in Canada: How intersectionality can help. In S. Tsenkova (Ed.), The Future of affordable housing: Planning and design innovation. (pp. 203-210). University of Calgary.

de Vos, E. & Moore, I. (2019). Mixed income housing: The model in a Canadian context. In S. Tsenkova (Ed.), Housing partnerships. (pp. 225-238). University of Calgary.