L&Q Chief Executive becomes new G15 Chair

Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Group Chief Executive of L&Q, has today become the new Chair of the G15 group of London’s leading housing associations. Ian McDermott, Chief Executive of Peabody, will take on the Vice Chair role.

Fiona succeeds Geeta Nanda OBE, Chief Executive of Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, who has led the group as Chair for the last two years.

The G15’s members provide more than 770,000 homes across the country, including around one in ten homes for Londoners. Every year, members invest almost £1 billion in repairs and improvement works to people’s homes. Together, members are the largest providers of new affordable homes in London, and a significant proportion of all affordable homes across England.

Fiona Fletcher-Smith, new G15 Chair and Group Chief Executive of L&Q, said:

“G15 members have a broad range of skills and expertise, yet we are all united by a common desire to support our residents and tackle the housing crisis.

“As independent, charitable organisations, we are financially resilient, closely regulated, innovative in nature and driven by our social purpose. We are also no strangers to challenge, but the sheer number of complex issues facing housing associations and our residents today means that working together is more important than ever.

“Our resources and capacity are being stretched to meet the vital costs of building safety, improving property conditions and working towards achieving net zero. The impact of high inflation and interest rates is exacerbated by cuts to grant funding for the building of new affordable homes, government rent policy and financial restrictions on the use of resources.

“During my time as Chair, I will be working with other G15 colleagues to ensure our voices are heard, our work is understood, partnerships are forged, the sector’s reputation is restored and we work collaboratively for the benefit of our residents.”

She added: “On behalf of all members, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Geeta for all she has done during her two years as Chair. I hope to build on her phenomenal work, particularly around the safety and quality of homes, the cost of living crisis facing our residents, and diversity and inclusion in the sector.”

During its term as G15 Chair, L&Q will be supported by Peabody as Vice-Chair.

Ian McDermott, Chief Executive of Peabody and G15 Vice-Chair, said:

“I am pleased to take up the role of G15 Vice-Chair and look forward to working with colleagues on our shared goals.

“G15 members are deeply committed to providing great services and investing in homes, places and local communities. We will continue to work closely with the sector and our local authority partners on these priorities, including on implementing the Better Social Housing Review action plan throughout our organisations.

“There are multiple challenges and strong headwinds facing the sector, and unfortunately there is still a growing housing emergency in the country. Urgent action is required to address the acute social housing supply crisis.

“G15 colleagues continue to regenerate areas and deliver high quality new homes, using our own balance sheets, external partnerships, cross-subsidy from sales, and some public investment to do what we can.

“But demand for social homes far outstrips supply and many people live in an unaffordable and insecure home, in overcrowded conditions, in ageing and unsuitable homes, or are without a permanent home at all. This must change.

“As Vice-Chair and alongside colleagues I will be making the case for a comprehensive social housing strategy to help people in housing need. It will require more public investment to complement our own, but it would be transformative for the country, driving sustainable growth through new homes, retrofitting and regeneration.

“In partnership with councils and others, our work to upgrade homes and provide more social housing will help the economy recover, foster economic inclusion, tackle inequality and poverty and embed wellbeing in the communities we serve.”