HACT announces new Board members
Published by r.heydenrych for HACT in Communities and also in Housing
HACT has welcomed four new members to its Board:
• Babu Bhattacherjee, Director of Communities and Neighbourhoods at Poplar HARCA
• Heather Bowman, Housing & Communities Director at Sovereign Housing Association
• Matthew Gardiner, CEO at Trafford Housing Trust Ltd
• Paul Smith, Head of Enterprise and Intelligence at Aster Group
"Over the last twelve months HACT has gone through a major transformation, developing new partnerships and projects focused on the growing importance of housing associations in their neighbourhoods and communities" said Matt Leach, HACT’s CEO. “HACT is delighted to welcome four new board members bringing extensive and diverse experience from across the housing sector to that work."
“HACT has an enviable reputation within the housing world. I am very proud to be part of the organisation - and I’m looking forward to the journey we will be embarking on to provide support and innovation to the housing sector at a time of real change.” said Babu Bhattacherjee, one of the newly appointed Board members.
The new appointments reinforce HACT’s focus on the value of housing within communities. The organisation is currently developing new approaches to social impact measurement; making use of data to inform and prioritise community investment; and has recently signed a knowledge sharing partnership with the Third Sector Research Centre at the University of Birmingham.
“I am excited by HACT's initiatives to assess and drive the wider social and economic impact of housing association activity and look forward to being part of the team taking this forward.” said Paul Smith.
Matthew Gardiner also recognises the value of the organisation’s work “I’m delighted to be joining HACT to help it continue its long tradition of being a bridge between the world of housing associations and that of the communities that we serve. As austerity builds increasing pressures within those communities, HACT’s work is needed more than ever.”
Heather Bowman added “I firmly believe that everyone should be able to enjoy their homes and feel safe, secure and well in them, with a sense of community. Given the current economic and social challenges facing many of our communities, it’s really important housing associations, in partnership with other organisations to step up and take a lead in their communities. And for me, there is a great opportunity for HACT to work alongside a wide range of associations and through innovation and good practice support us to take up this role.”
Tom Murtha, HACT’s Chair said "I look forward to working with Babu, Heather, Matthew and Paul during their three year appointment. All have significant experience and knowledge in the housing association movement which will enrich the organisation. It is an exciting time for HACT and a strong new Board will help catalyse the organisation. We look forward to their collaboration and contribution."
Notes for Editors:
Babu, Heather, Matthew and Paul were appointed on 4 October 2012 for three year terms running initially to October 2015.
Other current HACT Board members are Tom Murtha (Chair), Theresa McDonagh, Gavin Cansfield, Johanna Holmes and Michael Sturge.
Babu Bhattacherjee has worked in the community regeneration field for over 20 years and currently manages the communities and neighbourhoods service for Poplar HARCA. His current initiatives include delivering a neighbourhood level community budget and building a world class youth centre.
Heather has more than 25 years housing experience working for a broad range of housing and customer service organisations. Since joining Sovereign in 2001 Heather has led a number of services areas, including being the Managing Director for Sovereign South+West. With the creation of One Sovereign in autumn 2011, she took on the role of Housing and Communities Director. Heather is also the lead officer for the Residents’ Council.
Matthew is Chief Executive of Trafford Housing Trust and has worked in housing for 30 years. He has held a national policy role for special needs housing, worked as both a manager of existing homes and a developer of new ones, and has been both a provider of finance for housing associations from city institutions and on the other side.
Paul Smith is currently the Head of Enterprise and Intelligence at the Aster Group. Paul’s career includes seven years with the National Housing Federation, Chief Executive of Housing Potential (the skills agency for the sector, now part of Asset Skills) and Director of Consultancy at the Heart of England Housing Group (now part of Orbit). Paul has also worked outside of the housing sector with four years as Chief Executive of the Furniture Re-use Network establishing a national social enterprise arm of the charity.
HACT (formerly the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust) was established in 1960 by George Parker Morris. Initially founded to support the new generation of housing providers emerging in the post-Cathy Come Home era, HACT works in partnership with housing providers and others to maximise the impact of housing providers in their neighbourhoods and communities.