Track record green light to board chair appointment

“Dedicated housing professional” with over 30 years experience makes a top table comeback within a month of retirement.

Mike Owen’s track record is a green light to his latest appointment.

Cardiff Community Housing Association (CCHA) has appointed Owen as its new Chair.

Owen will take over from Duncan Forbes who will be stepping down in September, and has been Chair at CCHA since June last year.

Forbes was quick to salute his successor as a “dedicated housing professional” whom he had known for  many years as a colleague Chief Executive within Wales.

“Mike has extensive experience in the housing sector at board and executive level, having worked in housing for more than 30 years.

“(He) encompasses all the values that CCHA has at its heart, and I know he will continue to ensure that CCHA is developing and learning to the benefit of our diverse communities and stakeholders, ensuring its ongoing success – CHA will be in good hands,” Forbes said.

Owen said he was “honoured” to be appointed as Chair to support CCHA reach its full potential.

“I believe that housing associations play an important role in Wales; as investors in regenerating communities, creating employment and opportunity and supporting local authorities in housing the most vulnerable.

“I am deeply committed to high quality social housing and believe that this is best achieved by giving tenants a strong voice in decision making – I am looking forward to supporting the Executive team and board, and creating a culture of doing the right thing.”

Praising Forbes for his support through a “difficult time” for CCHA, chief executive Hayley Selway said Owen was a “perfect fit”  for the provider’s plans going forward.

“Under Duncan’s leadership, the organisation has made huge strides forward, including receiving a revised Regulatory Judgement and with the support of the board, executive team and dedicated staff has ensured that tenants are our top priority,” she said.

Owen has worked in housing since 1982 and retired in April having won a “lifetime achievement award” last year for his contribution to Welsh Housing.

He was also identified as one of the 10 most influential people in UK housing by 24housing and has regularly contributed on housing policy in particular on issues such as rent levels, poverty and social justice.

His most recent role was as Chief Executive of Merthyr Valleys Homes (MVH) which became the first Tenant and Employee mutual in Wales.

Following this work he was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts. 

Along with colleagues he helped establish the National Federation of ALMOs in 2003.

Other roles include:

  • Chair of Procurement for Housing that has a turnover of £9m a year and returns over £500,000 per annum to the two shareholders the CIH and NHF
  • Member of the Valleys Task Force Project Board, a significant Welsh Government initiative whose remit is to transform the whole south Wales valleys area
  • Appointed by peers in the housing profession to the first Governing Board of the Chartered Institute of Housing leaving after a 3 year term in 2016
  • Housing advisor to the LGA and a member of the Lord Richard Best Inquiry into Housing in 2009

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