Chair and Chief Executive Designate announced

Affinity Sutton Group and Circle Housing Group announce the appointment of the Chair Designate and Chief Executive Officer Designate

The Boards of Affinity Sutton Group and Circle Housing Group approved a business case to merge in December 2015. Work to complete the merger during 2016 has been progressing and today the first Designate Board and Executive appointments are being announced.

  • Chair Designate – Sir Robin Young, currently the Chair of Circle Housing Group
  • Deputy Chair Designate – Neil Goulden, currently the Chair of Affinity Sutton Group
  • Chief Executive Officer Designate – Keith Exford, currently the Chief Executive Officer of Affinity Sutton Group
  • Deputy Chief Executive Officer Designate – Mark Rogers, currently the Chief Executive Officer of Circle Housing Group.

Keith Exford commented; “The merger of Affinity Sutton and Circle provides a unique opportunity to create a truly national housing organisation with increased capacity to respond to the housing crisis and build more homes; contribute to the regeneration agenda and deliver major projects, at the same time as enhancing the lives of our residents and delivering excellent services.

“With the support of Sir Robin Young, Neil Goulden and Mark Rogers I believe we can successfully bring our two groups together and deliver on our shared ambitions.”

Sir Robin Young commented; “This is a pivotal moment for both our organisations, as we combine forces to create a new type of group that will play a critical role in building more homes and investing significantly more in our communities. Together we can help more people to prosper and we can rise to the challenge set to all housing associations by the Government to make the best use of our resources and deliver more for less.”

The new appointees will lead on progressing with the merger and will be complemented by a further series of Designate Board and Executive members in due course. No final decision to merge has yet been taken, and both organisations continue to remain as separate entities with their own Boards and Executive teams.

The coming together of Affinity Sutton Group and Circle Housing Group will enable the new group to deliver ambitious plans to help combat the country’s housing crisis and increase investment in local communities.
The proposed new group will:

  • Deliver 5,000 new homes annually, with 50,000 homes being built in the ten years from 2019, making it one of the largest housebuilders in England.
  • Build homes across all tenures and a range of price points with a focus on delivering homes for subsidised rent and low cost home ownership for people in housing need.
  • Lead on major neighbourhood transformation projects, generating support from both local and national government.
  • Through its charitable foundation, become one of the country’s biggest providers of employment services, supporting 4,000 residents into work annually. 
  • Help 200 young people into apprenticeships each year and support 15,000 children to make a better start in life, for example through partnerships with local schools.

Affinity Sutton and Circle Housing will soon commence consultation with their respective residents on the merger. Both Boards will then fully consider the feedback, before making a final decision to progress. If the merger progresses the social housing regulator, the Homes and Communities Agency, must be satisfied that it is in the best interests of the organisations, residents and the sector.

Should the Homes and Communities Agency give approval the proposed new group will become one of Europe’s largest housing associations with 127,000 properties providing homes for nearly 350,000 people.