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New-look board for Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association

Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association (LYHA) has strengthened its board with the appointment of a new chair (designate) and three new board members.

LYHA, which owns and manages over 1,200 properties across Yorkshire, will benefit from the experiences, skills and understanding brought by the new members as it enters an exciting chapter in its history.

Increased focus on asset growth and investment, commerciality, communities, people and health will complement an already strong and successful Board.

A new customer board member has also been appointed in addition to an ambitious new customer committee to maintain transparency and customer focus.  

David Craig will take over as chair in September 2014.

David has been a director of a range of international technology companies for almost 20 years.

He is chief executive officer of Actual Analytics which produces behaviour analysis software for scientists, a commercial advisor to Edinburgh University and has an MBA from Strathclyde Graduate Business School.

He is also a director of Educate the Kids, a charity which builds orphanages and schools in Kenya and the Gambia. David succeeds retiring LYHA Chair Robert Sladdin.

Joining David Craig are Jack Harrington, Matt Bowen and customer board member Adele Rae.

Jack Harrington is a partner and head of the social housing team at Manchester law firm Pannone Corporate.

Jack advises on all aspects of employment law and has acted for organisations in the social housing sector for over 15 years.

He currently provides employment support to a number of registered social landlords across the country.

Matt Bowen leads the policy and research team at the award-winning social enterprise Our Life.

He is responsible for developing Our Life’s research capacity and leads on the audit and evaluation of the organisation’s work.

Matt has over ten years of experience in research and has worked on projects spanning the public, private and academic sectors leading projects for the NHS, Housing Associations, trusts and local government.

Commenting on the appointments, Lisa Pickard, LYHA’s chief executive, said:

“We are delighted to have recruited such high-calibre Board members who wholeheartedly buy into what we are about and share our values, our passion for making a difference locally and, importantly, can help shape us into the future, building on our past and ensuring an exciting future.

“We are committed to ensuring excellence in governance and this is reflected in our top rating for Governance and Viability from the Homes and Communities Agency. I’d like to thank our outgoing Chair Robert Sladdin and members Stephen Bateson and Bruce Collinson, all of whom are retiring from the Board, and who helped us to get to the strong position we are in today.

“The strength of our Board is vital in ensuring LYHA rises to the future challenges we, as a housing association and the wider housing sector, face and I am thrilled to welcome the new members to join us on the next phase of our exciting journey.”

David Craig, chair (designate) at LYHA said:

“I am delighted to be joining LYHA as a Board Member and Chair. Social housing is becoming more and more important, especially in the current economic climate.

“Forward-looking associations like LYHA, by not only being a landlord but by working closely with key programmes like Real Life Reform, will make the difference the sector needs.

“There is a super energetic and focused Chief Executive, Lisa Pickard, who with her team will continue to build upon their successes and I believe deliver a great experience for LYHA customers.

“Chairing the board that will help them deliver that is an honour and I really look forward to the next several years.”

The new board members join LYHA at an exciting time.

The association has plans to build more than 200 new homes and is in the process of securing new borrowing of £13m to support this.

It recently received confirmation of nearly £2m grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency to support 70 new homes.

The association is on site with 27 homes for affordable rent in a £2.2m investment in property in Barnsley, a project which represents the first time LYHA has acquired land for development and then designed and managed the build.

LYHA is also about to complete a regeneration scheme at St Ann’s, Leeds which will provide 15 new homes as well as revitalise existing community space for the benefit of local residents. 

Adele Rae, David Craig, Matt Bowen, Jack Harrington-new LYHA board members
Adele Rae, David Craig, Matt Bowen and Jack Harrington

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