Terrie Alafat confirms CIH retirement date

Alafat will leave in November with deputy Gavin Smart taking over.


Terrie Alafat has announced she is to retire as CIH chief executive from CIH at the end of November, with current deputy chief executive Gavin Smart taking over.

“It has been a privilege to lead the CIH through a period of significant change, and I’m pleased to say we are now in the best shape in years,” Alafat said.

Alafat’s announcement comes with CIH now on a sustainable financial footing, with accounts this year showing a £50,000 loss, compared to more than £1m the previous year.

In the second half of the year CIH returned to profitability, achieved by growing revenues and profits in events, conferences, and learning.

The UK regional network is strong, and there is a fast-growing presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

With a “a stronger than ever” position on policy, CIH has launched successful membership initiatives with an emphasis on encouraging young people to work in housing and join the profession, and we have a stronger than ever position on policy and being the voice of the profession.

Alafat said: “It is always hard to make a decision about moving on – there is never a perfect time, and I will miss not being able to see the organisation grow from strength to strength.

“I intend to stay involved in housing and I will certainly continue to support CIH in every way I can.”

Alafat added: “I am looking forward to having a bit more time for my family – I have a new grandson. And I leave CIH in good hands.

“Gavin will be an excellent chief executive, and we have a strong senior team and governing board, who I know will support him as they have me,” Alafat said.

Alafat took over at CIH in 2015 after roles in central and local government.

Geraldine Howley, who chairs CIH’s governing board, said: “Terrie has been a truly transformative chief executive and an exemplary professional.

“Her contribution to CIH and the housing profession has been and will continue to be immeasurable.

Howley continued: “She confirmed her plan to retire some months ago, and with the financial results we will post this year she’s certainly going to end her time at CIH on a high note.

“Not just everybody at CIH but everybody in the whole of housing owes her a huge debt.

“Myself and the whole board look forward to continuing to work with Gavin as he assumes his new role. We’re confident he’ll make a great chief executive, and he’ll have our full support,” she said.

Smart said he was “delighted” to have been appointed as CIH’s next chief executive.

“As a housing professional to be asked to lead your professional body is an honour and a privilege,” he said.

“I’m determined to repay the trust that the governing board has placed in me and to build on the fantastic work that Terrie has done.

“On behalf of everyone at CIH, I want to thank Terrie for the huge contribution she’s made to the organisation. CIH as it is today is a tribute to her vision and energy.”

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