Peaks & Plains confirms new chief executive

The Cheshire-based social housing provider Peaks & Plains Housing Trust has appointed Mark Howden as its permanent chief executive.

Howden had been serving as the social landlord’s interim chief executive since November 2019 when it self-notified to the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) and was subsequently rated as non-compliant.

During the last eight months Howden has faced the tricky task of leading Peaks & Plains through the challenges of COVID-19 and its drive back to compliance.

Howden boasts over 20 years’ experience in urban regeneration and economic development, having joined the trust in May 2019 from Balfour Beatty where he’d served as its director of place.

Howden said: “Over the last 12 months, we have made transformational changes and overcome many adversities, and I believe we are a stronger organisation as a result – one which I am honoured to have been appointed to lead forward as chief executive.

“Looking ahead, my focus is to continue to build a robust, well-managed trust that will uphold its social purpose above all else – addressing the local housing need and ensuring resident welfare is paramount.”

Peaks & Plains, based in Macclesfield, manages over 5,000 homes across East Cheshire and the High Peak and was downgraded to non-compliant G3 for governance by the RSH back in March this year.

The RSH downgraded the trust after identifying weaknesses in the trust’s financial reporting, as well as health and safety compliance issues.

Since the regulatory judgment Peaks & Plains has sought to freshen up its board, appointing Jane McCall, former executive director of neighbourhoods at Trafford Housing Trust, as its new chair in May.

McCall commented on Howden’s appointment: “Mark’s experience and passion for improving communities made him a very strong candidate.

“Myself and the board have also been really impressed with his purposeful focus on both residents and our workforce – a clear sign that he’s the right person to lead the organisation forward to address immediate priorities and steer the trust’s long-term strategy.”

Image: Mark Howden, Peaks & Plains’ new chief executive. Credit: Peaks & Plains.

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