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Leading housing chief to retire after seventeen successful years

Incommunities Group Chief Executive, Geraldine Howley has today announced her plans to retire at the end of 2020. It comes at a time when the organisation has built a strong platform to deliver its strategic ambitions to 2040.

Geraldine was appointed CEO at the time of the stock transfer from Bradford Council in 2003 and has overseen successive business transformations during her time at the helm.

Her leadership has been marked by building a ‘can do’ culture which has focused the minds of everyone on improving people’s lives and their neighbourhoods.

In 2008 she led the rebranding of Bradford Community Housing Trust to Incommunities Group, in conjunction with a major governance review and implementation of a new executive structure to mark the beginning of the organisation’s modernisation. Since the successful achievement of Decent Homes Standard in 2010, she has overseen the delivery of multi million pound improvements to local homes which has transformed the neighbourhoods in which Incommunities operates.

In 2013 she led the review of the company’s office accommodation around the district and the acquisition of its headquarters at The Quays, Shipley.

Geraldine has overseen the growth of Incommunities through mergers, stock acquisitions and new build developments which has expanded the organisation’s reach beyond Bradford District into West, South and North Yorkshire.

During her time in charge she has ensured Incommunities has retained the highest levels of Regulatory Judgement (G1 and V1). More recently she played a vitally important role in the refinancing of Incommunities in 2019 with a successful bond issue and securing a Standard and Poors A+ credit rating.

In 2020 she has led Incommunities’ response to Covid-19 and has also played a key partnership role in the district’s handling of the pandemic.

Incommunities Chair, Jan Ormondroyd praised Geraldine’s leadership: “During seventeen years as CEO, Geraldine has successfully led the changes which have ensured Incommunities thrives in a challenging environment. We are a forward looking organisation and she leaves us with a strong platform to achieve our future ambitions. We are a growing organisation and we will now begin the search for a successor who will continue our transformation and deliver our vision for Incommunities to 2040.”

Geraldine Howley said “Incommunities is in great shape which means the time is right to move on to the next stage in my career. I’ve loved my time at Incommunities and delivering our vision of improving people’s lives has always been my mission as CEO.

“Incommunities has so many talented and great people working for it who are committed to our social purpose and we now also have the financial infrastructure to support our long term growth. It’s a fabulous organisation and now is the right time for a new leader to take Incommunities on the next stages in its journey.”

Geraldine has worked in housing for over forty years. She is Chair of Chartered Institute of Housing Governing Board, Chair of the UK Housing Partnership Board, Chair of the Centre for Partnership and GEM Programme and CBI Regional Council member. She was formerly Chair of the Northern Housing Consortium and Regional Chair of Yorkshire and Humberside, National Housing Federation Board.

In 2016 Geraldine was made an honorary doctorate by the University of Bradford for her outstanding contribution to housing across the district and a year later was awarded an OBE for her services to housing, young people and the local community.

Geraldine also won the Landmark Achievement prize at the national 2016 Women in Housing Awards for her inspiring leadership and outstanding work in the sector over many years.

As the elected President of CIH in 2015-16 Geraldine’s agenda was focused on encouraging and investing in more young leaders in the sector. In the next stage of her career she will continue to bring her leadership experience to key roles as Chair of CIH Governing Board, the GEM Programme and The Big Conversation to ensure the talent needed to future proof the housing sector and the built environment.

The recruitment process for a new Group Chief Executive will start over the coming weeks.