When they formed in 2003, following a stock transfer from Bradford Council, Incommunities Housing Association set out to improve the housing available to Yorkshire’s residents. 15 years later, they’ve gone on to become one of the largest providers of social housing providers in the UK.
Recently, we were lucky to have the opportunity to sit down with Incommunities’ Chief Executive Geraldine Howley to record the latest in our JGP Podcast series.
Geraldine had a fascinating story to tell about the work that Incommunities are doing in Yorkshire. Having already invested £400m in modernising and building homes, Incommunities are now looking at new ways that they can serve their local residents and the wider housing sector. They recognise the role that research and data has to play in providing housing that actually reflects the needs of their communities. They’ve learnt from the days of half empty tower blocks and delved deep into who their people are and the type of accommodation they really need.
Incommunities also have a firm focus on future-proofing the housing sector, bringing in a new generation of workers and raising the profile of the sector to younger people. Their ground-breaking GEM graduate programme has been highly commended for the work it has done in providing graduates with the opportunity to gain crucial experience, qualifications and earn a wage in high-calibre placements. In the podcast, Geraldine tells us how the scheme has now gone international – stretching as far as Canada and Singapore.
It was a pleasure to speak to Geraldine and hear about the incredible work being done and the opportunities available. To hear all about how Incommunities are improving lives across Yorkshire, as well as securing a bright future for the UK housing sector and beyond – listen below.
*Geraldine Howley began her housing career as a temporary housing receptionist at Bradford Council, having originally intended to pursue a career in teaching. Having discovered a passion for the housing sector, she studied for a qualification with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH). So began an illustrious career that would see her eventually become Director of Housing at Bradford Council before becoming the founding Chief Executive at Incommunities when it was formed in 2003.
During her time at Incommunities, as well as founding the GEM programme, Geraldine has also served as President and Vice Chair of the Governing Board of the CIH. In 2017, she was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for ‘Services to Housing, Young People and the Local Community.