Influential sector alliance Homes for the North (H4N) has a new leadership team, as Torus chief executive Steve Coffey begins a two year term as chair and incommunities chief executive Rachael Dennis steps up as deputy chair.
Homes for the North (H4N) is an alliance of 17 developing housing associations active in the North of England. Established in 2016, the objective of the group is to influence national policy to deliver more and better homes in the North. H4N recently saw success in the Levelling Up White Paper, which reflected its long time objective to scrap the “80:20 rule” that has suppressed the amount of Homes England funding available in the North.
In April 2022, Gentoo chief executive Nigel Wilson comes to the end of his two year term. During Nigel’s time as chair, H4N has engaged tirelessly with government on planning reform, housing funding and the Levelling Up agenda, by commissioning research and meeting senior figures. The fresh commitment to scrap 80:20 is a signature success that marks the culmination of four years of campaigning.
A passionate advocate for quality affordable housing in the North, incoming chair Steve Coffey is chief executive of North West growth and regeneration group Torus – a longstanding H4N member and the region’s largest stock holding social landlord. He brings over 20 years’ experience as a senior housing executive and, through active membership of bodies including the CBI North West Regional Council and NHF Sustainability Strategy Group, a broad-based leadership take on northern and national policy priorities.
Coffey said: “Affordable housing underpins both the economic and social wellbeing of households, and the creation of strong, resilient communities. The north still lags behind other regions, so it’s critical that H4N continues to make clear and compelling policy asks to government. I’m excited to take up the Chair role and to pursue opportunities to work with Government on transformational regeneration planning for the north, unlocking potential for sustained place renewal. Rachael and I will work with colleagues to build upon the legacy of success left by Nigel and previous chairs.”
Nigel Wilson said: “H4N gives social housing a distinctive Northern voice on development policy. Our approach more recently has been to explain the huge opportunity our sector offers to any government committed to the North and to Levelling Up. Despite recent success there is always more to do. Steve and Rachael will lead the group to new heights.”
Rachael Dennis said: “In addition to focusing on the distribution of national funding for new homes, we will take a longer look ahead at the policies needed to build more and better homes in the North in the second half of this decade. With no more than two years until the next election, we will be defining our manifesto and working on a cross party basis to share and develop a fresh policy offer and ask.”
Previous leaders of H4N include its founding Chair, Mark Henderson the chief executive of Home Group, who was succeeded by Carol Matthews the chief executive of Riverside.