Homes for Lambeth chair to step down

Richard Reynolds
Richard Reynolds

Richard Reynolds, chair of Homes for Lambeth (HFL), the council’s wholly owned commercial subsidiary intended to build, develop and manage property, is to step down

He said that now was the right time to go following the agreement of HFL’s business plan by the council earlier this year. He was appointed in November 2018.

In a statement, HFL said his decision “concludes a period of sustained achievement in building up Homes for Lambeth to the point that it is now able to put bricks to mortar and deliver on the council’s pledges to build thousands of new homes to help tackle the housing crisis.”

The business plan commits HFL to £1.7 billion of investment, delivering 4,600 new “multi-tenure homes” across the Lambeth.

Among the projects are the bitterly contested plans to demolish and rebuild the Cressingham Gardens estate overlooking Brockwell Park and Central Hill in Norwood.

Reynolds said: “Homes for Lambeth has come a long way – and I am deeply proud to have played my part in getting to us where we are today: ready to get new homes built for those that need them most.

Cressingham Gardens protest march 2017
Cressingham Gardens protest

“Together with my fantastic team on the board and thanks to the hard work of HFL staff, we now have an agreed business plan, projects on site, a great team to deliver them and with more on the way as our pipeline of future developments with planning approval grows.

“My goal was to get Homes for Lambeth to a position where it could deliver. After much goodwill and hard work, we are at that point – and so, now is the ideal point for fresh leadership to drive the next phase forward.”

Before HFL, Reynolds had been managing director of Barratt Homes and chaired major housing organisations including Redrow Homes London, Orbit Homes 2020, Alwyck Housing Group and Weald Property Developments.

Before the Barratt post he had been a senior executive with building forms Alfred McAlpine and Wates.

The HFL board, which is made up of council-appointed and independent members, will now recommend a new chair to the council’s ownership and stewardship panel.

The panel will, in turn, make a recommendation, with the final decision resting with Councillor Matthew Bennett, cabinet member for planning, investment and new homes.

Reynolds will remain in position until autumn ensure a smooth handover to his successor.

Homes for Lambeth CEO Jitinder Takhar said: “Richard has been a great support to Homes for Lambeth in its start-up phase. His knowledge and immense experience have been invaluable.”

Lambeth council chief executive Andrew Travers said: “Richard’s contribution has been hugely positive. He has always led from the front and built up Homes for Lambeth into the delivery partner that will complete the homes promised by Lambeth council.

“He has achieved a great deal in his time – he has re-shaped the board, recruited a great team who are able, committed and passionate about Homes for Lambeth’s mission. Richard made the changes needed to ensure projects are on-site or well advanced.”

Matthew Bennett said: “I want to thank Richard for everything he’s done over the past few years to move Homes for Lambeth forward so we can deliver on our commitments to hundreds of new council homes for local families.”

Homes for Lambeth says it is aiming to maximise the number of homes provided at genuinely affordable rents to house families waiting on the council’s housing list.

It said: “We work with carefully selected architects and existing residents on the estates we are rebuilding, to create homes and communities that will thrive for many years to come.”

It says it plans to reinvest all surplus it creates into building more new homes and supporting our communities.