PlaceShapers names Leeds Federated CEO as new chair

PlaceShapers, the community-based social landlord network, has named Leeds Federated Housing Association’s CEO as its new chair.

Matthew Walker was unanimously appointed to the role on Wednesday 10 June by the board of PlaceShapers, which is comprised of over 100 community-based social housing providers nationwide.

Walker was a founding member of PlaceShapers in 2008, having served as chief executive of Leeds Federated since 2004 and having held senior roles in the housing sector since 1991.

Walker succeeds Sinéad Butters, chief executive of Aspire Housing, who had served as chair of PlaceShapers since 2015.

Walker said: “I’m honoured and delighted to take on the role of chair from Sinéad. I’m very much looking forward to spending time with members in order to cement the relationship between our board and members and to build on Sinéad’s great work.

“Our members have powerful local stories to tell which can help provide a clear and compelling picture of the social housing sector on a national level. I want Placeshapers to focus on a number of issues which we will expand upon in the coming months.

“I would like the board to work really closely with members to build more social homes, ensure that our customers have safe and secure homes and to support them and their wider communities.”

PlaceShapers was established in 2008 as an alternative voice for community-based social landlords, with its members focusing on local impact in communities rather than growth.

Together, the network’s members manage 930,000 homes and house around one in four people in a housing association home. They aim to build over 118,000 new homes by the year 2023.

Butters said of Walker’s appointment: I have been proud to lead PlaceShapers for five years, influencing policy and championing the difference made by our members.

“Matthew will be an outstanding leader – he will be leading a Board of committed chief executives from around the country.

“I will always stay connected to PlaceShapers, both through Aspire Housing as a member and through the amazing people I have worked with.”

Walker will continue in post as CEO of Leeds Federated, which oversees around 4,300 properties across Leeds, Wakefield and North Yorkshire.

Photo credit: Leeds Federated Housing Association

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