Geraldine has a successful and established track record in the social housing sector working with local authorities and housing associations. She has worked at Chief Executive and Director level for over 20 years and has wide ranging housing and leadership experience, including development, estate management, regeneration, community development and engagement.
As Chief Executive of Derwentside Homes (2006 -2017), she set up and established a financially strong, innovative, customer focused and award-winning housing association with a strong social purpose. Derwentside Homes was awarded the UK National Housing Award 2012 for “The Most Efficient Landlord” and North East Business of the Year 2013 (Durham and Wearside).
She is passionate about making a difference to people’s lives and building strong communities and is proud of Derwentside Homes’ achievements in delivering a number of innovative community-based initiatives aimed at tackling worklessness and poverty, including Brighter Futures – helping 200 tenants be work ready; SHED a social enterprise company providing training and employment opportunities for local residents and Smarterbuys Store – a weekly payment store for white goods and furniture.
Geraldine believes in creating the space for colleagues to use their imagination and develop creative solutions such as Prince Bishops Homes, a non-charitable subsidiary set up to build and purchase new properties for market rent with an option to buy through an innovative Rent then Buy scheme aimed at the “squeezed middle” unable to access mortgages and not eligible for social housing. An innovative approach to tackling unpopular, outdated and tired sheltered housing for older people led Derwentside Homes to fundamentally remodel all schemes into stunningly luxurious “5-star standard” apartments, earning the accolade “sheltered chic” and winning awards for innovation including the North East R.I.C.S. Best Residential Scheme award 2014.
Having worked in a regulated environment for many years she has substantial governance experience. She has recently been providing interim chief executive support to housing associations with regulatory issues and has worked closely with Boards and the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) to strengthen governance arrangements, regulatory compliance and viability as well as advising on potential partnership and merger opportunities. She has led and successfully delivered a number of successful mergers in the social housing sector including Derwentside Homes (now Karbon Homes 2017); Impact Housing Association (now part of Riverside Group 2018) and Equity Housing Group (now part of Great Places 2020)
In 2019 she was appointed to the Statutory Managers List by the Scottish Housing Regulator.
Geraldine is currently Chair of Byker Community Trust (registered social landlord); Trustee of Changing Lives (homeless charity) and non -executive director at TCUK (registered social landlord)
She has served on numerous Boards and Partnerships across the North East of England, all with a strong desire to improve the prosperity and wellbeing of
disadvantaged communities. Previous appointments include:
Northern Housing Consortium
Chair National Housing Federation North East CEO Group
County Durham Partnership Board (strategic leadership)
Vice Chair County Durham Housing Partnership
Member of the County Durham Economic Partnership.
Bridging Newcastle Gateshead, Housing Market Renewal Initiative
Stockton Borough Council Local Strategic Partnership – Chair Housing Forum
Parkfield Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder Board
West Middlesbrough New Deal for Communities Board
Grangetown SRB Board / Southbank SRB Board