John Clark, Chief Executive of Plymouth’s largest social housing provider, has announced plans to retire at the end of September 2023.
John has served as the Chief Executive of Plymouth Community Homes (PCH) for seven years, leading the organisation to significant growth and success, with the development of new homes increasing its stock to 16,000 properties, whilst cementing PCH’s foundation as a leading social housing provider with tenants and residents at the heart of its activities and decision making.
John’s work at PCH follows a highly successful career in housing, regeneration and public services both regionally and nationally, previously working as the Director of Housing for Royal Greenwich Council in London, Chief Executive of Aire Valley Homes in Leeds, and Chief Executive of the New Deal for Communities in Sheffield, as well as holding roles with regeneration companies and charities in the North East of England.
John, aged 62, has served as South West Regional Chair of the National Housing Federation since July 2019, and sits on the National Advisory Board for Together with Tenants. He is also involved in various groups and boards in Plymouth, bringing the voice of residents to skills, health, business and regeneration forums.
During John’s time as CEO of Plymouth Community Homes, he has brought his extensive knowledge and experience to bear in developing PCH’s Strategic Business Plan, as well as creating the company’s vision, values, and key objectives.
John has led the organisation to grow turnover to £74.8million and increase its housing assets to £547million, and PCH now manages 16,000 properties providing homes for affordable and social rent for more than 35,000 people, as well commercial properties including 170 shops. In recent years, PCH has developed and sold more than 300 homes for shared ownership and open market sale to help more people get onto the housing ladder.
PCH has delivered re-cladding works on its three high rise blocks in Mount Wise following the Grenfell tragedy, and its work was recognised at the South West Construction Excellence Awards in 2021. John was key to securing funding from central Government for these works, and for the ongoing regeneration of the 10-year redevelopment of North Prospect, the largest scheme of its size in the South West, which completes this year to create over 1,000 new affordable homes for the city.
John has also ensured PCH remains focused on serving the communities it works within, with £700,000 invested in community projects during the last financial year, and £19m of improvements made to existing properties, including making more homes energy-efficient to help combat fuel poverty.
The organisation’s achievements have been recognised nationally numerous times, most recently at the end of 2022 when PCH was Highly Commended as Landlord of the Year in the prestigious UK Housing Awards.
John Clark, Chief Executive of Plymouth Community Homes, said: “I am enormously proud of Plymouth Community Homes and the first-class services we deliver in and around Plymouth which make a real difference to peoples’ lives.
“During my seven years at PCH, it’s been very rewarding to see how the organisation has grown, and how the work we do has gone above providing good quality housing, helping to nurture communities and improve lives.
“I feel confident I will be leaving PCH in the best possible position, and much of that is down to the passion and commitment of our team, who genuinely live our values and go above and beyond to ‘do the right thing’ for our residents.”
John was born and raised in Middlesbrough – remaining an avid Boro fan today – and his interest in working in social housing began in childhood.
He explained: “Social housing has always been my passion. Being adopted as a baby and brought up in a council house after my dad died, I remember watching ‘It’s as Wonderful Life’ with my mum and it’s inspired pretty much everything I’ve done and believe in since. When housing and regeneration is done well, working with people and communities, it can have such a huge impact on peoples’ lives and aspirations, and change communities for the better. Coming from social housing myself and seeing how it helped our family to make the most of opportunities that came along, I’ve always felt some responsibility to try and give that back.
“Organisations like Plymouth Community Homes are rooted in their communities, and the special thing about PCH is that the staff, the Board and residents really do contribute to making it the amazing organisation it is. They work together, they believe in the values we have, and we can achieve more when we come together.”
John added: “I will be retiring in September but I hope to continue to be involved in supporting communities where I can, maybe as a volunteer or a Non-Executive in housing, regeneration or health. I’m also looking forward to spending more time with family and friends, watching more Boro games, and travelling to new places.”
PCH will be recruiting for a new Chief Executive in the coming months.