Housing boss Keith celebrates OBE as he begins his retirement

Keith Loraine, outgoing group chief executive of Isos Housing Group, who has been awarded an OBE.
Keith Loraine, outgoing group chief executive of Isos Housing Group, who has been awarded an OBE.

A housing boss has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list.

Isos’s outgoing chief executive Keith Loraine has been given an OBE for services to housing and the North East community.

Keith has devoted his career to improving the circumstances and life chances of some of society’s most vulnerable people and has been an excellent ambassador for the housing sector and the North East region.

Paul Fiddaman

Keith, who was born and raised in Sunderland, led the group and one of its founding partners, Enterprise 5, for 24 years.

During this time he has overseen the growth of the organisation from owning and managing less than 1,000 homes to over 17,000 homes and led a team of more than 500 workers.

At one time he also worked as a board member of the National Housing Federation and chaired its Supported Housing Committee, and has been being an active member of the CBI and the North East Chamber of Commerce.

He has used his influence to promote a wider understanding of the work of housing associations, played a leading role on behalf of housing and construction sectors submission to the Adonis Review of the NE Economy and led the sector in its engagement with the North East Combined Authority (NECA).

The 62-year-old, who grew up on the Springwell estate and went to Bede School, got an early taste for working in the housing sector as his father and brother, both called Ernie, were rent collectors for the North Eastern Housing Association, which is now the Home Group.

He earned pocket money helping to deliver rent cards for his dad.

The Loraine family together have clocked up 115 years in the housing association sector.

Part of Isos’s growth has been through a merger and it has worked on large scale projects such as the £125million regeneration of the Cleadon Park estate in South Shields.

Keith’s work has also seen him concentrate on community investment and supporting those with mental health problems so they can lead independent lives.

During the last three years, Isos has provided financial support and advice to enable people to recover lost benefit income and cope with money problems totalling £6.8million.

Meanwhile, more than 800 people have received training to enable them to enter employment, and over 2,000 people have experienced health and wellbeing improvements.

After retiring from Isos, Keith has said he aims to spend more time with wife Sue, his sons Paul and Rob, and on his grandparenting duties.

He is a keen fan of Sunderland AFC and also aims to play more golf.

Paul Fiddaman, new chief executive of Isos Housing Group, said: “Keith has devoted his career to improving the circumstances and life chances of some of society’s most vulnerable people and has been an excellent ambassador for the housing sector and the North East region.”