Homes For Lambeth appoints new chair

headshot of woman
Caroline Pillay

Homes For Lambeth (HFL), Lambeth council’s wholly owned commercial subsidiary intended to build, develop and manage property, has appointed a new chair, following the resignation of Richard Reynolds in July.

Caroline Pillay, who has worked extensively in regeneration and council housing, said: “I know the importance of involving residents and I will remain steadfast in ensuring that we deliver for them and that their voices are heard in every part of the organisation.”

Among the projects on HFL’s agenda are the demolition and rebuilding of Cressingham Gardens in Tulse Hill and the Central Hill estate in Crystal Palace.

Campaigners against demolition from both estates have fought for ballots of residents on the plans for years.

Members of local Labour Party branches have also begun to question these plans and the wider purpose of HFL.

Current HFL board member, David Gannicott, group director of business development at the Hyde Housing group is to take the new role of vice-chair of HFL group.

Caroline Pillay said: “It is an honour to take over as chair of HFL Group.

“I am looking forward to working with such an experienced, talented and diverse team to deliver on Homes for Lambeth’s goal of building better futures and vibrant communities.”

HFL chief executive officer Jitinder Takhar welcomed Pillay and Gannicott as “the new and strengthened leadership team of the HFL group board”.

He said: “Their considerable experience and track record in building homes and communities will help us continue delivering on our ambitious build programme, involving residents in the delivery of affordable homes and to tackle the climate challenge.”

Councillor Matthew Bennett, Lambeth’ council’s lead for planning, investment and new homes said: “Earlier this year Lambeth council agreed a three-year plan for HFL, which will see 383 new homes built for local people, 79% of them affordable, including 223 new council homes.

“Every part of the council and HFL is committed to working together with our local residents and Lambeth’s diverse communities to build better homes.

“I’m delighted that in Caroline and David we have two leaders who bring a wealth of experience, who share our commitment to building a new generation of council homes and who will lead a board that delivers strong, robust governance and oversight of this ambitious programme.”

Caroline Pillay is a senior partner at the Airey Miller Partnership consultancy and chair of its Councils Building Homes forum.

She has worked with councils on affordable housing schemes and has experience of regeneration projects, both as a consultant and client and was already part of a team supporting Homes for Lambeth.

Pillay originally trained in social work and nursing at London South Bank University before moving into housing. She has an MSc in urban regeneration.

David Gannicott has worked at senior level in the housing sector for more than 25 years, including executive roles at large hous8ing associations.