A Midlands-based social landlord has appointed three new heads of service within its asset management function. Platform Housing Group – one of the UK’s largest social landlords – has appointed Samantha Evans as Head of Strategic Asset Management; Martin Woods as Head of External Contracts and Stephen Edwards as Head of Sustainability. The roles – which are all new within the organisation – are part of an ongoing development of the business area.
As the new Head of Strategic Asset Management, Samantha Evans’ role is to develop operational plans to future proof Platform homes; she will also be responsible for asset performance evaluation, identifying risks and areas of low performance and developing strategies and standards to address these. Sam will head up a team that is responsible for monitoring the condition of Platform’s homes and planning for the improvements that are needed to keep them safe, affordable and desirable for our customers.
Prior to joining Platform, Samantha was Asset Manager at Citizen Housing for 14 years.
Samantha said : “I am delighted to join Platform at this stage of its journey to deliver an ambitious programme of change. My aim is to implement an integrated active asset management approach which will place Platform as the ‘go to’ organisation for the service. Having spent my career in social housing, I am passionate about the impact our sector has on improving our customers lives. I see asset management as much more than just bricks and mortar; it is about providing our customers with desirable, safe and affordable homes, a foundation for life. Our duty is to manage our assets by being socially motivated and commercially minded in order to re-invest surpluses into delivering our social purpose and improving the life chances of our customers.”
Martin Woods – who has joined Platform Housing Group as Head of External Contracts – was previously Head of Asset Management at Lincolnshire Housing Partnership where he was responsible for planned maintenance, building safety, asset management as well as development and sales delivery. In his new role, Martin will head up a team responsible for the delivery of maintenance work that is not delivered by Platform Property Care.
Martin said : “It is such an exciting time to be joining Platform; the asset team is at the beginning of a journey that looks set to impact significantly on the way we work and deliver services to our customers. Social housing is more important than ever, as the population continues to grow and people find it increasingly difficult to purchase a home outright. Our role is to drive up the quality of social housing as much as possible to create communities where people want to live and feel safe. I am looking forward to playing my part and making a difference.”
The social landlord has also appointed Stephen Edwards as Head of Sustainability; previously employed at Catalyst Housing Limited as Sustainability Manager, this new role at Platform will see Stephen developing a sustainability strategy for the Group, identifying opportunities for decarbonising its homes and supporting the implementation of green and emerging technologies.
Stephen said : “It is a privilege to be here at Platform supporting our journey to zero carbon and creating a more sustainable future. I have always had a passion for the environment and have been embedding sustainable thinking into my work for more than 25 years. The challenge of achieving net zero carbon is huge and probably the most important challenge of our lifetimes. I look forward to helping Platform become a leading sustainable organisation.”
Linda Colburn, Director of Strategic Asset Management at Platform Housing Group said : “We are thrilled to welcome Martin, Stephen and Sam to Platform. They bring a depth and breadth of expertise in asset management, delivery and sustainability that will allow us to redraw the traditional way the sector sees asset management into a much more integrated approach. They will be integral in helping set the Platform Standard from development stage onwards as well as co-designing our investment interventions with our customers. Their expertise will allow us to map out our path to zero carbon and integrate that into our investment programmes and how we manage the estate; understanding how our homes impact our customers to deliver to them increased safety, affordability, utility and pride.”
Linda concluded : “We have created these roles to provide the additional focus needed to become a truly modern assets function in a truly modern housing association. The central pillars of building safety, strategic asset management, investment, delivery and sustainability will each be led by a Head of Service, forming an integrated team with a holistic view of how we improve the value of our homes to customers and achieve the highest standards of asset management.”
Platform Housing Group – which owns 46,000 homes in total – completed 1448 homes in 2019/20 (1,598 in 2018/19) at an investment of £258m (£228m in 2018/19). The Group also built more social rented homes – at a figure of 981 – during the past 2 years in England than any other provider, 523 in 2019/20, almost 33% of the total homes built.
Platform Housing Group’s operating area is from Herefordshire in the West to the Lincolnshire coast in the East, and from the Derbyshire Dales in the North to the Cotswolds in the South.