New chair brings business and social housing expertise to board of North Devon Homes
With a commercial background in financial services and having spent the last six years as the chair of a large social housing group, Colin Dennis has taken on the role as the new Chair of the Board of Members at North Devon Homes.
Knowing the difficulties facing the housing sector, Colin is hoping his skills and experience will help to drive the organisation forward. Whilst the new Chair officially began his role in April, he has spent the last few months getting to know the team, the housing stock and the location as he explains.
“It’s been great to get to know the team here at North Devon Homes and see how community is at the heart of the work of everyone here, and what a strength that is. I know there are many challenges facing the sector and I hope my experience will add to the skills already on the board to help meet the needs of local people.”
Colin joins the Board which consists of 10 highly skilled and experienced members who work together to protect the social housing assets and ensure that the charity delivers its vision of ‘working together to create communities were people want to live’.
“Our number one objective is to provide homes for local people who need them and to continually maintain and upgrade our existing homes; we won’t lose sight of that whilst I am here,” Colin adds “There is a huge need for more housing in all tenures across North Devon and grants for building new homes are difficult to get. It’s great that North Devon Homes have proactively set up Anchorwood as a subsidiary to build market sale homes where all the profits are redirected back to the organisation to help fund future affordable housing.”
When Colin took early retirement from leading commercial businesses in the financial and later the aviation sectors, he decided to use his skills and experience to get involved in the housing sector. This was first as a Non-Executive Director of a medium sized housing association before taking other board and Chair roles. He believes it’s the collective skills of a board that helps the executive to make the right strategic decisions.
“No one individual brings all the skills to the Board and collectively it is the team that has the skills to help drive the business forward,’ he concludes. “I bring a background of finance, culture change and growing organisations, together with my experience of chairing the board of a social housing group. As a board, we need to play our part is helping to solve the challenges and deliver more affordable housing for our future generations.”