Our Governance and Board_detail

We have a team of dedicated Board members who oversee all key decisions and review performance throughout the year.

As well as our main Board, we have an Audit and Risk Committee, a Governance, Nominations and Remunerations Committee, an Investment Committee, a Treasury Committee and a Foundation Committee.

The Board meets about six times a year and most members also sit on one of the specialist committees. All our Board members, staff, appointed contractors and consultants are bound by Paradigm’s Code of Conduct and other principal policies.

Detailed information on the Board’s objectives and strategy, governance and financial position are set out in our Annual Report.

Paradigm has adopted the National Housing Federation’s (NHF) Code of Governance 2020 and the NHF’s Code of Conduct 2012.

If you would like to speak to us about any of our Board members or contact them directly, please email governance@paradigmhousing.co.uk.

Meet our Board:

Matthew Bailes

CEO and Board member

As Chief Executive of Paradigm Housing Group, Matthew also sits on the Board. Matthew has been Chief Executive since September 2015 and was previously Director of Regulation at the Homes and Communities Agency.

Julian Ashby

Chair

Julian Ashby joined the Board after six years as Chair of the Homes and Communities Agency’s Regulation Committee, three years as Deputy Chair of the Tenant Services Authority and a varied career spanning more than 30 years in the social housing sector.

Plus Plus Meet Julian

What made you want to become a Paradigm Board member?
I’m committed to Paradigm because of its ability to provide a stable home for so many people who might otherwise struggle to cope in the high-cost London commuter belt.

What skills have you gained through your professional life that you can bring to Paradigm?
I’ve worked in the social housing sector for over 40 years.  My last two jobs were as the Deputy Chair of the Tenant Services Authority and then as Chair of the Social Housing Regulator.

What skills/experience have you gained from your personal life that make you a good fit for Paradigm (this could include your own experience of social housing, any volunteering work etc)?
I was a social housing tenant for a brief period myself, which gave me valuable insight for this role. I also offer mentoring support to a diverse range of students at Middlesex University.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience as a Paradigm Board member so far?
I’m now in my second three-year term as Chair and enjoy working with the Board and staff as we carry through our plans to improve services and build more homes.

What’s the one thing you would like to improve most for Paradigm customers/potential customers?
Improving online access to our services for all residents is a key part of our current plans.

Pat Brandum

Senior Independent Director

Pat, having been Chief Executive of a major registered provider in the West Midlands, has spent her working life in various housing organisations and has had the privilege of seeing at first hand the positive impacts that can be achieved through the provision of quality homes and services.

Plus Plus Meet Pat

What made you want to become a Paradigm Board member?
I admire the determination of the Board and the staff of Paradigm to deliver a high quality service and affordable homes. I am also impressed by Paradigm’s commitment to treating people fairly and with respect and courtesy, whether staff, residents or contractors. Paradigm is an organisation I am proud to be part of.

What skills have you gained through your professional life that you can bring to Paradigm?
I have worked for local councils and housing associations for the whole of my career and I have learned from direct experience that good quality housing is the foundation of happy and successful communities. I try to ensure that whatever challenges and decisions the Board faces, we do not lose sight of the impact we have on people’s lives and communities.

I had the privilege of being a Chief Executive of a housing association in the Midlands before my retirement from full time work and I try to bring some of that experience to bear in support of the Executive team and the Chair, while letting our skilled and able Executive team get on with their jobs. Mostly, the advantage of a very long career can help put challenges into perspective and I try to contribute to the Board’s consideration of its long term plans.

What skills/experience have you gained from your personal life that make you a good fit for Paradigm (this could include your own experience of social housing, any volunteering work etc)?
I have direct experience of living in social housing, having grown up on a Birmingham council estate. I can still remember my parents’ frustration at being powerless to ‘get things done’, whether repairs or dealing with noisy neighbours. I think that direct experience helps with this role.

Other than that, I have been a school governor and have been involved in many projects that have given me experience of working with boards.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience as a Paradigm Board member so far?
I enjoy working with a group of people who care so much about what they do and are able to debate enthusiastically and passionately without antagonism or rudeness.

What’s the one thing you would like to improve most for Paradigm customers/potential customers?
I would like us to be even better at understanding what our residents expect, how they think we should operate and what changes they would like to see. We know this can be difficult because we have a large number of residents, often with different views and priorities. That won’t stop us trying to get better – and use of new technology will help.

Mathew Bishop

Board member

Mathew has nearly 20 years’ construction and building maintenance experience within the private and public outsourcing sectors.

Plus Plus Meet Mathew

What made you want to become a Paradigm Board member? 

A keenness to offer the benefits of my relevant experience in the pursuit of a very different agenda.

What skills have you gained through your professional life that you can bring to Paradigm? 

I am founder and director of Lumensol, a management consultancy operating predominantly in the housing sector. During my 20-year career in housing, I have developed extensive skills in business strategy, assurance and performance leadership, with a focus on challenging performance and governance arrangements for the purpose of service improvement and risk mitigation.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience as a Paradigm Board member so far? 

The significant improvements achieved over the last 5 years, for example in landlord compliance and the geographical realignment and growth of the housing portfolio; along with the personal growth of the Executive team.

What’s the one thing you would like to improve most for Paradigm customers/potential customers? 

To see a tangible improvement in the customer journey in repairs, enabled by raising the bar in service standards and the better use of technology.

John Cross

Board member and Chair of Investment Committee

John has enjoyed a 30-year executive career in the social housing sector. His most recent role was Chief Executive of BPHA, a housing association with 17,000 homes, which grew significantly under his leadership.

Plus Plus Meet John

What made you want to become a Paradigm Board member?
Having retired from my role as Chief Executive at another housing association, it was important for me to continue to contribute to the provision of affordable homes to those in housing need. I had followed the progress of Paradigm since they were first established as Chiltern Hundreds back in the late 1980s, so when the opportunity came up to join the board in 2017 I jumped at the idea. Paradigm was a good organisation that wanted to continue to get better. I thought the skills and experience I had could support the Executive and the Board achieve their ambitions at a time of significant uncertainty.

What skills have you gained through your professional life that you can bring to Paradigm?
I have over 35 years’ experience working in a variety of housing cooperatives and housing associations, with the last 25 at Chief Executive level. Over that time, I accumulated a variety of skills and knowledge that I have tried to apply in my role at Paradigm.

Supporting the Chief Executive and his team with the challenges of leadership has been something that I hope has been of some value. While I understand some of the operational challenges facing the organisation, I think my biggest strength has been helping to develop the business strategy with my colleagues during a period of massive change.

What skills/experience have you gained from your personal life that make you a good fit for Paradigm (this could include your own experience of social housing, any volunteering work etc)?

I am a child of London’s East End. It may sound slightly Dickensian, but the house I was born in was a Victorian terraced house that my family shared with my aunt and uncle. They had the ground floor and we had the first floor. There was no indoor bathroom or toilet and just a coal fire in our living room. Our kitchen was a cooker on the landing. When I was about 10, we were moved by the council as part of a slum clearance programme into a brand new council house. An indoor toilet and bathroom was a game changer! Our house was demolished and the council built a 26 storey block of flats in its place.

That upbringing convinced me that there was a better way to work with communities to tackle poor housing. That was why I went on to train as a town planner. Although it was a long time ago, I have never forgotten how poor housing can impact families.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience as a Paradigm Board member so far?
Despite the impact of the pandemic, I have continued to enjoy the positive relationship between Board members, and between the Board and the team of officers we work with.

What’s the one thing you would like to improve most for Paradigm customers/potential customers?
Build more homes and deliver great services.

Philippa Lowe

Board member and Chair of Audit & Risk Committee

Philippa is a qualified accountant with 27 years’ Board-level experience in executive and non-executive roles. She has enjoyed a long and varied executive career in the NHS, leading teams and individuals through constant and significant change. Her non-executive experience includes nine years serving as an independent Board Member of GreenSquare Group, chairing its Audit Committee for the latter five years.

Plus Plus Meet Philippa

What made you want to become a Paradigm Board member?
I wanted to use my skills and knowledge to help improve the lives of current and future customers through the houses we provide and build and the services we deliver. With a background in local authorities, health services and housing, I felt I had a wealth of experience to bring to the organisation. I have a professional background in finance, a drive to deliver service excellence and a keen interest in risk management and audit (someone has to!). Being recently retired, I felt I had something to offer, while I felt that Paradigm would give me continued intellectual stimulation.

What skills have you gained through your professional life that you can bring to Paradigm?
I am a qualified accountant and for around 30 years have held several board director posts either as Chief Financial Officer or Chief Executive. I spent 10 years in local government before moving to health services where I was involved as provider, commissioner and regulator. I also had a spell overseas. I’ve been involved in leading the development of long-term strategies, major business turnarounds, large capital projects including PFI, large IT projects and delivering service excellence.

What skills/experience have you gained from your personal life that make you a good fit for Paradigm (this could include your own experience of social housing, any volunteering work etc)?
Before joining Paradigm, I had 9 years with Greensquare Housing Group as Board Member and Audit Chair. I have also had some experience as a tenant of a social housing provider when living in key worker accommodation for three years.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience as a Paradigm Board member so far?
I enjoy the wide interaction with people from different backgrounds, bringing their experience together for a common purpose. Responding to the changing social, economic and technological environment in which Paradigm operates provides ongoing intellectual stimulation.

What’s the one thing you would like to improve most for Paradigm customers/potential customers?
I would like to see Paradigm increasing standards of response to improve customer satisfaction levels. Achieving this is a real challenge as expectations increase at the same time as we are hit by the impact of things outside of Paradigm’s control, such as material and labour shortages, the impact of Covid and Brexit.

Peter Quinn

Board member

Peter has extensive experience in affordable housing development. Formerly National Partnerships Director at Lovell Partnerships, he is currently Interim Investment and Partnerships Director at Watkin Jones Ltd.

Plus Plus Meet Peter

What made you want to become a Paradigm Board member?
I wanted to contribute to an organisation that was committed to providing quality housing that meets local needs. I was especially interested in the focus on place making. I was also attracted to an organisation with a focus on service delivery.

What skills have you gained through your professional life that you can bring to Paradigm?
 I have been Executive Director of Development for a number of housing associations, including Midland Heart and Thames Valley Housing. During my career I have managed large growth programmes for both housing associations and the private sector. I am especially experienced in joint venture and regeneration programmes, which were a specialism of Lovell when I was on the Board.

What skills/experience have you gained from your personal life that make you a good fit for Paradigm (this could include your own experience of social housing, any volunteering work etc)?
I was bought up in social housing from the age of 8, and I know it gave me a great platform to develop and grow as previously my family had lived in poor quality private rented accommodation which had not been ideal. When I first moved to London as a student, I helped develop a self-build housing co-operative in South London where I lived for many years. It was run by the members and gave me experience of how tenants can manage housing themselves.

Latterly I have been a listening volunteer for the Samaritans, which has given me an insight to the problems of mental health that many people experience. I was previously a board member of New World Housing, which specialised in providing homes for the Vietnamese refugee community. This broadened my knowledge of how people new to this country experience housing issues.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience as a Paradigm Board member so far?
We have very good interaction between Board members and the Executive team. There is healthy dialogue and discussion. Interactions are positive and supportive, but also sometimes challenging. I feel that we are an innovative company, growing our housing stock in a thought-out manner.

What’s the one thing you would like to improve most for Paradigm customers/potential customers?
I am especially interested in improving satisfaction levels for home owners. As a director at previous housing associations, I managed the shared ownership stock, and it is important they are not given a lesser service.

John Simpson

Board member and Chair of Treasury Committee

John is a former chair of Sovereign Housing Association and its Treasury Committee and brings over 30 years’ experience in the banking and finance sectors.

Plus Plus Meet John

What made you want to become a Paradigm Board member?
I believe strongly that the provision of secure housing to people in need is a critical role which is performed best by housing associations. Sub-standard housing can impact on every aspect of life, including mental and physical health, education and crime. After six years chairing a large housing association, I wanted to continue offering my skills and experience, albeit in a more specialised treasury/finance role.

What skills have you gained through your professional life that you can bring to Paradigm?
My executive career has been in banking, including CEO roles and heading up treasury departments. This gives me the expertise to chair the Treasury Committee and oversee the restructuring of Paradigm’s borrowing from banks and institutional investors. I have held a variety of NED roles in both the public and private sectors, including chairing NHS organisations and listed companies. This allows me to bring wide experience of governance and finance issues to Paradigm. I have twice been appointed by the Social Housing Regulator to help restructure failing organisations – although I don’t expect Paradigm to need these skills!

What skills/experience have you gained from your personal life that make you a good fit for Paradigm (this could include your own experience of social housing, any volunteering work etc)?
I have never lived in social housing but, after my father’s early death and until the age of 18, I lived in private or employer rented accommodation with my widowed mother. Looking back, it instilled in me the importance to everyone of housing security and its importance in supporting employment.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience as a Paradigm Board member so far?
The complete restructuring of Paradigm’s debt facilities which has substantially reduced interest costs. This will allow extra investment in existing and new properties

What’s the one thing you would like to improve most for Paradigm customers/potential customers?
To explore every opportunity to reduce tenants’ energy bills, which have now become a huge burden and impact on their wellbeing.

Liz Bailey

Board member

Liz is a Chief Information Officer/IT Director with significant experience in digital strategy implementation and technology leadership within a University and two major manufacturing companies. She was previously a trustee of University and Colleges Information Systems Association, the body representing almost all major universities, as well as a governor and trustee at Leicester Grammar School Trust. Liz volunteers as a youth and education worker and has a real understanding that providing a safe and secure home leads to opportunities in life.

Plus Plus Meet Liz

What made you want to become a Paradigm Board member?
I am passionate about education and the impact it can have on lives, but when I saw this role it made me reflect on the perhaps higher priority of providing good quality housing to support people. No one will achieve their best if they can’t afford a secure, good quality home.

What skills have you gained through your professional life that you can bring to Paradigm?
I am an experienced Digital Change Leader and have worked across a variety of industries using technology to improve customer experience. I really hope to bring this experience to Paradigm to support us as we go along this journey.

What skills/experience have you gained from your personal life that make you a good fit for Paradigm (this could include your own experience of social housing, any volunteering work etc)?
Working at Paradigm has been my first experience of the social housing sector. I am a firm believer in education, believing it is an important way to help people be the best version of themselves. Personally, I was fortunate to attend a fee-paying school on a scholarship and I know what opportunities that this opened up for me; so from being a teenager I have always volunteered in youth and education organisations hoping to help someone else in however small a way. I am particularly inspired by the team’s work at the Foyer in Welwyn Hatfield, supporting homeless young people to realise their full potential.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience as a Paradigm Board member so far?
I joined the Board just before the first pandemic lockdown and I was fortunate to spend time meeting customers and seeing our housing in person. I really want to be able to look beyond the numbers on the reports and understand the impact we can have on people’s lives.

What’s the one thing you would like to improve most for Paradigm customers/potential customers?
I would love us to be the easiest housing association to deal with, meeting your expectations for delivery of the services we provide. That means quick and easy access to the information and services that you need when you start a tenancy with us, resolving problems during your tenancy and when you move on. As an expert in driving digital adoption, I’d love us to do this on delightful, easy to use digital platforms, supporting customers for whom this can really make life easier – but I also know we must ensure that an easy experience is also available beyond our digital platforms for those who prefer to engage with us in this way.

Eleanor Southwood

Board member

Eleanor Southwood is a councillor in the London Borough of Brent and for the last three years has been Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform. She has non-executive experience in the public and non-profit sectors. Eleanor was previously a trustee and then chair of trustees at the Royal National Institute of Blind People.

Plus Plus Meet Eleanor

What made you want to become a Paradigm Board member?
I have gained experience of social housing through my role as a councillor with a local authority and it made me realise what a chronic shortage of genuinely affordable housing there is.  I have become passionate about building as much affordable housing as we can and making sure the experience of living in social housing is a really positive one.

What skills have you gained through your professional life that you can bring to Paradigm?
I was previously Chair of the Board of the Royal National Institute of Blind People and this, combined with my local authority experience, made me realise how difficult it is for people to access the housing they need, especially people with disabilities. I am blind myself and understand this challenge. When people think about homelessness they think of the street homeless, but there is so much that is hidden, including chronic overcrowding. I want to use my experience and skills to make a difference.

What skills/experience have you gained from your personal life that make you a good fit for Paradigm (this could include your own experience of social housing, any volunteering work etc)?
My lived experience of disability combined with my other roles mean I understand the value of what Paradigm does. I have seen how people’s lives can be transformed by moving into the right housing and being able to access opportunities they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience as a Paradigm Board member so far?
I have loved my time at Paradigm so far, getting to understand the business and hearing about the experiences of our customers. I’m looking forward to getting out a bit more now and meeting customers in their homes.

What’s the one thing you would like to improve most for Paradigm customers/potential customers?
I really want to see us improve our performance on repairs as I know how important this is to our customers. But people don’t live in their homes in isolation, they are part of communities and neighbourhoods and I am pleased to see Paradigm moving forward in understanding its communities and the wider challenges faced by customers.

Richard Osborne

Board member

Richard Osborne is currently a trustee at Emmaus Coventry and Warwickshire. Richard has nearly 40 years’ experience working in social housing, including leading strategic asset management and health and safety for one of the West Midlands’ largest housing organisations.

Plus Plus Meet Richard

What made you want to become a Paradigm Board member?
A home is essential to personal and family wellbeing and growth, and having worked in social housing for many years I’ve seen how important the sector is in providing access to affordable, safe, good quality homes. Although I’m now retired, I’m still keen to support the sector in meeting the latest challenges to increasing the supply of affordable housing.

What skills have you gained through your professional life that you can bring to Paradigm?
I’ve been immensely fortunate to have enjoyed a rewarding and successful career spanning over 36 years in social housing, 23 of which have been at a senior level.  My leadership experience includes housing management, repairs and maintenance and, for the last 12 years, property management including sustainability, building safety and strategic asset management. My experience covers large and complex property portfolios including pre- and post-war, traditional and non-traditional, high-rise, multiple tenure and supported housing.

What skills/experience have you gained from your personal life that make you a good fit for Paradigm (this could include your own experience of social housing, any volunteering work etc)?
I’m a trustee of Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire, working with the charity’s board to provide accommodation and work for the homeless.  Previously I’ve served on a variety of boards and committees which have included sports clubs for young people, a career academy for sixth form students, and Sure Start for young families.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience as a Paradigm Board member so far?
As a relatively new member I’ve really enjoyed the induction process, learning about the great work Paradigm is doing and, despite the hindrance of Covid, meeting and getting to know the Board, the Executive team and other Paradigm colleagues.

I’m also enjoying the mental stimulation associated with the many varied challenges and initiatives being worked through at the moment and am impressed by the positive mentality Paradigm applies to each.

What’s the one thing you would like to improve most for Paradigm customers/potential customers?

It would be great if we could use the zero carbon agenda to deliver really meaningful benefits in the cost of powering and heating the home for a high percentage of customers.

See also