A new Executive Director of Homes and Communities has been recruited by Plymouth’s largest social housing provider to help deliver its strategic business objectives.
Tracy Smith will join Plymouth Community Homes (PCH) in March to lead the directorates responsible for managing the organisation’s 16,000 homes, overseeing teams in housing and tenancy management, community services, resident engagement, repairs, compliance, asset management and delivery, commercial premises and leasehold properties.
Tracy has more than 20 years’ experience of working in senior leadership and management roles with a customer and asset focus, most recently as the Director of Campus Experience and Commercial Services for University College London (UCL), overseeing services across the university’s estate including security, commercial services and estate management.
Previous roles include working as a consultant for the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) within the estate and facilities departments; as Director of Traded Services for the University of Surrey, and as a Residential Services Manager for Queen Mary, University of London.
Tracy has also held voluntary roles as a board member for several organisations, including housing associations, since 2020.
Tracy Smith said: “I’ve spent my career creating and delivering customer-focused services which actively support local communities, so I understand the importance of providing safe, affordable, high-quality homes for people who need them – and of enabling the services PCH provides to accurately reflect the needs of the local community.
“Organisations like PCH face challenges from increasing regulation to ensure housing associations are providing safe properties for residents, alongside growing oversight from the Regulator to make sure social housing providers are delivering services which are truly customer-focused.
“My experience of managing housing for leading universities, which is a highly regulated and customer focused sector, will enable me to continue to develop the excellent customer-focused services for PCH’s residents, and to enhance and improve the properties and the services the organisation provides.
“I was drawn to the role as it’s clear PCH puts the customer at the heart of its work, and is actively investing in its homes and properties. I’m keen to help build on PCH’s already strong reputation and further improve customer services to help support its residents and the local communities to flourish.”
PCH manages 16,000 properties in Plymouth and the surrounding areas, providing homes for affordable and social rent for more than 35,000 people, as well managing commercial properties including 170 shops.
The organisation has also developed and sold more than 300 homes for shared ownership sale in recent years to help more people get onto the housing ladder.
Jonathan Cowie joined PCH as Chief Executive in 2023, and is leading work to deliver the association’s 5-year Strategic Business Plan, which sets out new, key objectives to improve services for local people.
Jonathan Cowie, Chief Executive of Plymouth Community Homes, said: “We’re thrilled to have recruited Tracy Smith to join PCH as our new Executive Director of Homes and Communities and help us to drive forward work to improve the services we deliver for local people.
“Tracy has significant, transferable skills from her two decades of working in senior leadership roles, primarily for leading UK universities in managing their estate portfolios, and I am confident she will add great value to the organisation for the benefit of our residents and local people.”
Tracy will join Nick Jackson, Executive Director of Business Services and Development, and Gill Martin, Executive Director of Corporate Services, to complete the Executive Management Team at PCH.
Tracy will be relocating to Plymouth from London after joining PCH, and said she was “looking forward to getting to know both Plymouth and the surrounding area better as a resident”, having previously visited the South West on many occasions in the past for holidays in the region with family and friends.