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Sue is HQN’s expert advisor on welfare reform matters. Sue has maintained a close eye on the reforms as they have developed, has analysed their implications and regularly produces briefings for HQN on this. She has worked with many organisations helping them assess the impact of welfare reform changes, advising them on their approaches and implementing new ways of working to minimise the effects.
Janis Bright is an award winning journalist and a post-doctorate level researcher. Her research projects include analysis of high-performing organisations, governance in England and Scotland and resident involvement in European countries. She is editor of HQN’s topical housing research newsletter and commissions Network briefings.
Cecilia Brodigan has over 30 years experience in senior operational roles in private and social housing organisations. As a consultant leasehold specialist and a keen advocate of improving customer focus and service improvement in the leasehold sector, Cecilia helps organisations to make sense of leasehold combining her practical operational skills and knowledge of leasehold legislative framework. She has achieved success working with organisations to drive strategic change and influencing operational teams in achieving improved performance, including Four Housing Group and Connect Housing. Training and Development with Housing and Care 21, and recent commissions with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Cecilia is currently working with the Association of Retirement Housing Managers. (ARHM) on their audit project and designing a suite of training modules for site based staff. Cecilia also sits on the Development Committee for Yorkshire Housing.
Tim Brown BSc(Hons), Dip TP, PhD, MCIH, MeRSA is a qualified town planner and a corporate member of the Chartered Institute of Housing. He is an independent consultant and a Senior Research Associate in Housing and Local Government at De Montfort University. He was previously Director of the Centre for Comparative Housing Research. He has been a board member and chair of a number of housing associations, a director of two social enterprises and a member of Coventry Partnership. His main areas of expertise are the housing needs of older people, economic development and regeneration, housing policy and local government and social housing allocations systems. Current projects include work on boosting housing supply, housing and safeguarding and the private rented sector.
Vicki has worked in the housing sector for over 16 years including as a practitioner. She has worked with many social housing landlords providing statutory compliance audits covering gas, asbestos fire, legionella and other areas and provides ongoing health and safety advice and support to clients.
Vicki is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Member of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management, member of the Institute of Fire safety Managers and a Member of the Chartered Management Institute. She is also included on the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR).
Keith Edwards is a former Director of CIH Cymru and TPAS Cymru. He came to the housing sector via the trade union, co-operative and community development movements. As a consultant, he has worked for Welsh Government Ministers, the Housing Regulator and a number of local authorities, housing associations and private companies.
He has wide experience of stakeholder involvement, developing strategy, option appraisals, designing new service models and supporting co-operative and mutual housing. He has particular expertise in helping organisation get the maximum social, economic and environmental benefits from their investment and service delivery, having set up and run the innovative i2i project for Welsh Government.
Keith is lead associate for HQN Cymru
Ian Gardner is an accomplished Director with extensive experience in the public, private and not for profit sectors. Ian is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing with nearly 30 years’ experience in social housing and has held senior management positions within Local Government, Housing Associations and the Private Sector. He holds a track record of successful delivery of change management, performance improvement and cost reduction in challenging environments.
John has over 35 years’ experience in public sector housing, including over 25 years in leasehold management and home ownership. He offers a wide range of services, including alternative dispute resolution (RICS accredited mediator), consultancy & training in leasehold management & Right to Buy, and interim management solutions.
Rob Gershon is a social housing tenant, full time carer and housing blogger. He posts opinion pieces on 24 Housing, commenting on housing from a tenant's point of view. He joined The Residents' Network as an associate in January 2016.
Lesley has been responsible for a wide range of housing services including allocations and lettings, homelessness, resettlement, housing strategy and Supporting People. She has worked with numerous organisations helping them to understand local housing needs and improve service provision.
Mark was a founder member of The Rent Income Network. He facilitates the Regional Excellence Groups in the Midlands and South East.
Mark also leads on The Rent Income Network’s current tenant arrears and former tenant arrears benchmarking.
Bobbie Hough has worked for more than a dozen housing associations and local authorities on community consultation campaigns and neighbourhood regeneration schemes. He is director at communications consultancy Hough Bellis Communications and works with landlords to help align communications and business strategies. He also supports the charity Arthritis Research UK to lobby Government on key issues.
Roger Jarman’s career in housing spans over 35 years. He has worked as an academic, in local government and for a range of central agencies. In the 1990s he was Head of Housing Management at the Housing Corporation. From 1999 to 2011 Roger worked at the Audit Commission where he was Head of Housing. He is now an independent housing consultant and trainer and has worked for a wide range of housing association and local authority clients. He is a well respected commentator on housing issues and has spoken and written extensively for HQN and others on housing policy, housing regulation, the private rented sector and related subjects. He has degrees from Essex and Birmingham Universities and is a Chartered Member of CIH.
Joanna Jeffery specialises in equality and diversity and has been working in this field for over 30 years. She worked for both central and local government before becoming an independent management and training consultant. Joanna has developed and undertaken projects for a wide range of public sector clients, focusing particularly on policy and procedural reviews and the development of future directions with input from service users, providers, funders and other stakeholders. She is skilled at working at all levels of an organisation from contractors' workforces to managing directors and board members. Joanna has co-authored several volumes of diversity guidance published by bodies such as the National Housing Federation. In addition, she is a Home Office-qualified assessor for recruitment and selection centres, an experienced trainer and a Senior Associate of the College of Policing.
Helen Muir has extensive experience of shared ownership having worked in senior roles for two large housing groups where her responsibilities included sales programme delivery and the management of over 5,000 shared ownership/leasehold homes, along with running the largest Help to Buy agency in England.
As a consultant Helen specialises in affordable home ownership and leasehold management and has provided interim management and strategic and operational support to a number of registered providers, local authorities and private sector companies. Helen also supports the Leasehold Network, writing briefings and speaking at several events.
Richard Seager has over 30 years of experience, working on housing and equalities issues. He has advised the CRE, Housing Corporation, Local Government Association and National Housing Federation and contributed to our work with several ALMOs, (Brent, City West, Derby, Gateshead), local authorities (Haringey, Stoke) and housing associations (Hyde, Origin, Riverside). Richard and his fellow HQN Associate Joanna Jeffery have also researched and written a number of briefing papers, guides and toolkits on a range of housing and equalities topics.
Simon Smith has extensive financial and modelling experience within social housing. He has recently left his position as Finance Director for Octopus QSH where new affordable homes were being delivered without grant through private finance and equity.
Before this he was a highly-experienced consultant within social housing for over 15 years leading up to the position of Director for CIH consultancy financial division and is widely acknowledged as a local authority housing finance expert. He has spoken at national housing events and was involved in the implementation of HRA self-financing.
His past key assignments have included lead roles on large scale stock transfers, option appraisals for local authorities, provision of financial advice for the setting up of Local Housing Companies, mock in-depth assessments, development appraisals and business planning support for both Local Authorities and Housing Associations. He has experience of setting up organisations from scratch in terms of initial business plans, resource requirements and alternative management support options. At the last count, he has had consultancy assignments with over 100 local authorities and ALMOs within England and Wales.
Before becoming a consultant, he has a successful career within Local Government as a senior accountant and operations management role for two compulsory competitive tendering in-house housing organisations within London. Simon served on the board as chair of Welwyn Hatfield Community Housing Trust and now is on the Housing Panel for the Council and formerly on the board of Stevenage Homes.
Helena Taylor-Knox is a Managing Director in her own partnership consultancy specialising in the organisational development arena and consultant with HQN. With over 15 years experience in social and in particular supported housing, she is part of HQN’s consultancy and coaching teams. As a Business and Coaching Psychologist she has a BSc in Behavioural Sciences from Leicester University and a Masters in Mental Health (Organisational Psychology and Psychiatry) from King’s College, London. As well as being Certified to Level seven in both Coaching Psychology and Coaching Supervision. After completing her clinical training in New York, Helena moved to Wiltshire which is now home to her and her business. Helena has also been a Non Executive Director for nine years at the Green Square Group, which she left in 2016 and now sits as a Non Executive Director for Advance Housing.
Elaine Upton has an extensive range of experience gained through working for housing providers for over 30 years. With a varied career and a range of roles in both local government and housing associations, Elaine has a focus on performance, improvement and change management. Neighbourhood management and strategic community development are areas of specific interest.
Prior to becoming a consultant, Elaine worked as a housing inspector for the Audit Commission. This provided an insight into just how diverse organisations can be in their offers and service delivery to customers. Not surprisingly, improving services for customers through customer involvement and empowerment, together with sharing and learning from good practice within the sector, remain key areas of interest.