Together Housing, one of the North of England’s biggest social landlords, has announced that its current chief executive will retire next year and be replaced by his deputy.
Steve Close, who has spent seven years as boss of the 36,000-home group, will hand over the reins in January to Kevin Ruth. Mr Close will stay on as a director until next March to help with the transition, a Together spokesperson told Social Housing.
Prior to Together, Mr Close was the long-serving chief executive of Chevin Housing Group, which was formed from the merger of Chantry, Harewood Housing Society and Chevin Housing Association in 2001.
Mr Ruth, who is currently Together’s deputy chief executive and executive director of operations, was formerly finance director at Twin Valley Homes when it was established in 2001. Twin Valley was one of the legacy groups that through mergers eventually became Together in 2011.
“Following a rigorous assessment process, I am delighted that Kevin has been appointed to lead Together Housing into our next phase,” said Dave Procter, chair of Together.
In its last reported financial year to March 2020, Together posted a post-tax surplus of £15.4m off a turnover of £182.7m. It currently has a G1/V1 rating with the regulator.
The Yorkshire-based group has been caught up in the cladding scandal through its subsidiary Pendleton Together. Last year, the group made a £28m loan facility available to its subsidiary so it could complete remedial works across nine towers in Salford and pay for interim safety measures and legal and consultancy costs.
A year ago, Together agreed a joint venture deal with house builder Lovell to develop 3,000 homes across the North of England over the next five years.
The association’s current stock is predominantly across Yorkshire and Lancashire.