Michael Gove has announced the appointment of four new non-executive directors to the Leasehold Advisory Service’s (LEASE) board.

The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has appointed Kim Caddy, Paula Higgins, Wendy Wilson and Emer McNally.

According to the government, this is a crucial time for LEASE as its remit expands to become a voice for leaseholders, and the new board will be transforming the organisation to deliver a more impactful, customer-friendly and cost-effective advice service.

LEASE provides government-funded but independent advice on leasehold, building safety, commonhold and park home issues. As an advisory service, LEASE aims to improve general knowledge about the practical implications of being a leaseholder or park homeowner. LEASE also highlights government actions and reforms within the leasehold sector, so homeowners can make more informed decisions when purchasing a property.

Kim Caddy has been appointed as Chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee for a term of four years, from March 2024 until March 2028.

Paula Higgins and Wendy Wilson have both been appointed as NEDs for a term of four years, from March 2024 until March 2028, with a focus on housing and consumers. Emer McNally has been appointed as a NED for a term of three years, from March 2024 until March 2027, with a focus on digital transformation of LEASE and its services.

Minister for Housing, Lee Rowley MP said: “We are delivering significant reforms through the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill that will improve homeownership for millions of people.

“I welcome the strengthening of the leadership of LEASE with the appointment of the new board members as it continues to undertake its important role on behalf of leaseholders and homeowners.”

Martin Boyd, Chair of the LEASE Board, said: “I am very pleased to welcome our new non-executive directors to LEASE. Kim, Paula, Wendy, and Emer have an exceptional level of knowledge and a wealth of experience in the housing sector and in senior executive roles. I am looking forward to working with them and believe they will bring a lot to LEASE, particularly at such a critical time of radical transformation.”

The government says the new board will provide advice and challenge to the chief executives of LEASE in their running of the organisation and will ensure that LEASE continues to provide high-quality advice to homeowners, alongside its efforts to deliver its new remit.

The board will also provide oversight on LEASE’s governance, so it complies with the requirements relating to the use of public funds.