Housing bosses bag New Year Honours

A current chief executive and a former chief executive receive CBEs for services to the sector.



Two of the housing sectors longest servers feature on the New Year honours list – both receiving CBEs.

Former Peabody chief executive Stephen Howlett gets his ‘gong’ as a salute to a 42-year career – 13 0f which as boss at the Peabody Trust.

The award citation for Jo Boaden, chief executive of the Northern Housing Consortium (NHC) and chair of Your Homes Newcastle, salutes services to housing providers in the North.

Howlett grew London’s oldest housing association into one of the capital’s largest developers of new homes, overseeing mergers and the historic move to bring Thamesmead into Peabody’s portfolio.

The organisation is now a major provider of work and training programmes for young people in London whilst investing £200m into Peabody’s decent homes renovation work.

Running Peabody, Howlett also became an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, chair and pro-chancellor of the University of Greenwich between 2013 and 2017, and a trustee of Open City, London’s leading architecture charity.

Since retiring in July 2017, Howlett has taken on a diverse range of roles including deputy lieutenant of Greater London and chairing London South-East Colleges.

He is also co-chairing the implementation of the Greenwich Fairness Commission’s recommendations and chairing the working group on housing.

Howlett said he was “hugely honoured” to receive a CBE, paying tribute to his family, Peabody and “amazing” colleagues over the years.

Boaden spoke of surprise at her CBE – an award, she said, that underlined the significance of housing and the increasingly influential role of the NHC.

She became chief executive of the NHC in 2010 following a number of senior roles across the North and recently took up the position of chair of Your Homes Newcastle.

NHC chair, Tom Miskell, said: We are delighted that Jo has been awarded a CBE, reflecting her passion for, and commitment to, improving the lives of people in the north through housing.

“This award is a great achievement and we are proud of her and the recognition that this gives to housing issues.”

A CBE also goes to Andrew Robertson for services to veterans, healthcare and affordable housing in Glasgow and the west of Scotland.

Robertson, a lawyer, has been chair of the LAR Housing Trust since October 2016 and spent almost 40 years at TC Young, one of the leading social housing and charity law practices in Scotland.

He was chair of the Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS board for eight years.

Marc Vlessing, chief executive of Pocket, which has developed compact homes for sale to middle income Londoners receives an OBE.

There’s an MBE for Peter Andrew, deputy chair of the House Builders Federation, and for Jane Clarke, the former chief executive of the Churches Housing Association for Dudley and District.