SOUTH Tyneside Homes is laying new foundations for the future after appointing a new interim senior executive director.
Martin Knowles, a former chief executive of Four Housing Group who was born in the borough, says he is ‘absolutely delighted’ to take on the newly-created role, which will make him the senior lead officer in the organisation.
Mr Knowles, a qualified accountant who was a finance director in the NHS for a decade before moving into the housing sector in 2001, starts work on Thursday.
He said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been offered the opportunity to lead South Tyneside Homes.
“I am looking forward to working closely with the council to achieve their vision for the borough and ensuring we provide the very best homes and services to the residents.”
Mr Knowles’s appointment was welcomed by South Tyneside Council’s lead member housing and transport, Coun Jim Foreman.
Coun Foreman said: “Martin has an outstanding track record and has been the driving force behind a number of top-quality housing projects across the North East, including the School Street development in Hebburn.
“His knowledge and experience will be a great asset to South Tyneside Homes at a time when the company is pressing ahead with the delivery of the Decent Homes Programme, which is improving tenants’ lives as well as their homes.”
Mr Knowles will work closely with current South Tyneside Homes chief executive Isobel Riley ahead of her retirement at the end of the year.
The council and South Tyneside Homes recently secured a further £35m to continue improving and upgrading homes over the next two financial years.
The funding is part of a £71.2m, four-year allocation from the Homes and Communities Agency.
It means that by 2015, 15,000 of the 18,000 council houses in the borough will meet the Decent Homes standard.