Who’s who in housing

Profiles of some leading individuals in the housing sector.

Nelson McCausland, Minister for Social Development
Nelson McCausland is Minister for Social Development and has been a DUP MLA for North Belfast since 2003. He moved from the UUP to the DUP in 2001. McCausland was previously Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure from 2009 to 2011. A former teacher in the Shankill area, he was elected to Belfast City Council in 1989 to represent the Castle area of North Belfast and stepped down in November 2010.
Alex Maskey, Chair, Social Development Committee
First elected to represent West Belfast in 1998, the Sinn Féin member was re-elected in 2003 for South Belfast and has represented that constituency in the subsequent 2007 and 2011 elections. He is currently Deputy Chair of the Chairpersons’ Liaison Group and is a member of the all-party groups on ethnic minority communities and on the community and voluntary sector.
John McPeake, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Housing Executive
John became Chief Executive of the Housing Executive in September 2011. After a primary degree in geography John completed his masters in planning at Queen’s University and later a PhD in urban economics at Glasgow University. He joined the Housing Executive’s corporate planning department in 1982 as a graduate trainee. He has held posts in the organisation including senior economist, head of research and Assistant Director of housing and planning and of development.
Jim Dennison, Director, Chartered Institute of Housing
Jim Dennison is the Director of the Chartered Institute of Housing in Northern Ireland. Jim took up post in December 2011, previously holding the position of head of learning and development at CIH since February 2010. Prior to joining CIH, Jim was the Director of European Programmes at the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council, managing large-scale EU funding programmes supporting peace and reconciliation initiatives in Northern Ireland and the border region of the Republic . He is also a board member of Asset Skills: the Sector Skills Council for housing.
Janet Hunter, Director, Housing Rights Service
Janet has worked in housing for 30 years holding housing management roles in Scotland and Northern Ireland. She has expert knowledge of legislation, policy and practice relating to Northern Ireland housing and is committed to tackling homelessness and ensuring that vulnerable and disadvantaged groups have a voice.  Janet has been involved with the Citizens Advice movement for over 25 years and is also a member, and former Chair, of the Management Committee of Law Centre Northern Ireland.
Cameron Watt, Chief Executive,
Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations
Educated at the University of Strathclyde, the University of Aberdeen, Banchory Academy and Robert Gordon’s College, Cameron Watt first worked as a research analyst at Conservative Central Office.  He was Deputy Director at Centre for Social Justice before becoming Head of Neighbourhoods at the National Housing Federation. He has been working at NIFHA in Belfast on a part-time secondment since January and will take up the CEO post full-time in August. His interests include rugby, playing golf and photography.
Clare McCarty, Chief Executive, Clanmil Housing Association
Clare McCarty has been Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing since 1984. Clanmil owns and manages 3,000 properties throughout Northern Ireland, providing family and specialist housing. Clare is a member of the CIH, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Directors. She sits on the Board of Groundwork (Northern Ireland) and is a trustee of Homeless International.
Tony Ruddy, Chief Executive, Ark Housing Association
Tony Ruddy has 32 years’ experience working in housing, having begun his career in the Housing Executive in 1980. He is a fellow of the CIH and served on its National Council (2003-2011) and also at local level in Northern Ireland where he was education and training officer, Vice Chair and Chairman. Tony is also a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a member of the Institute of Leadership and Management. He joined Ark Housing as its Director in September 2002 and was appointed Chief Executive in January 2008.
Jacqueline Locke, Chief Executive, Connswater Homes
Jacqueline has been Chief Executive of Connswater Homes since 1999. Formerly a community based housing association, Connswater now provides social housing throughout the province. She holds a BSc honours in social administration, a post graduate diploma in housing studies and an MBA from Queen’s University Belfast.  Jacqueline is a fellow of the CIH and, until recently, held the post of Vice-Chair of its professional development committee.
Arthur Canning, Chief Executive, Trinity Housing
Arthur Canning was formerly Chief Executive of Choice Housing and of the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations and has been Chief Executive of Trinity Housing since 1983.
Chris Alexander, Chief Executive, Triangle Housing Association
Chris joined the association in 1991 having previously worked in social housing development in England. Chris has managed a series of projects mainly for special needs clients over those years and in 2007 took overall management responsibility as Chief Executive Officer.
Gerry Kelly, Chief Executive, Apex Housing
Gerry Kelly is responsible for the delivery and management of Apex’s social housing stock throughout Northern Ireland. He has achieved a BA honours in history and urban development, an MSc  in town and country planning and has received an OBE. He began his career as a development officer for Fold Housing Association (1977-1979) and has been in his current position since 1980.
John McLean, Chief Executive, Fold Housing Association
John McLean joined Fold in 2005. The association employs 800 staff and manages 5,400 homes and 25,000 customers via its telecare business. John previously held director posts with Viridian plc, the Tyco Group and the Rotary Group. He has worked in manufacturing, oil and gas, and the energy sectors in the UK and overseas.
Ian Elliott, Chief Executive, Oaklee Housing Association
Ian Elliott has spent over 30 years working in social housing, and previously worked with the Housing Executive and BIH Housing Association (now Helm Housing). In 2000, he became Chief Executive of Oaklee Housing Association. He has been closely involved with affordability initiatives, joint partnerships, meaningful tenant involvement, and the creation and growth of Oaklee Housing Trust in the Republic of Ireland.
David Duly, Chief Executive, Habinteg
David Duly OBE has been Chief Executive of Habinteg since 1983. He has a BSc degree and a DMS. He is a fellow of the CIH and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (he was the 2009-2010 Chairman in Northern Ireland). Duly has been associated with the Cedar Foundation for nearly 30 years, serving on its executive committee and its finance and general purposes committee.
Carol O’Bryan, Chief Executive, Simon Community
Carol O’Bryan received a BSc in social science from the University of Ulster and a masters in social work from Queen’s University Belfast. Throughout her career, she has held management positions within a range of charitable organisations, and took up the post as Chief Executive of Simon Community Northern Ireland in 1998. Alongside this, Carol has had an ongoing personal commitment to volunteering.
John Gartland, Chief Executive, Ulidia Housing Association
John Gartland is Chief Executive of Ulidia Housing Association. He is a Chartered Director and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing. He holds a degree in politics and a masters in business administration. A former Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Housing and Housing Rights Service, he was awarded an MBE in recognition of his services to housing in Northern Ireland.

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