Stonewater chief Bob Strachan to retire after 39-year social housing career

Stonewater Chief Executive, Bob Strachan, has announced his intention to retire at the end of this year, as he reaches the age of 65.

Stonewater is one of the UK’s leading affordable housing providers and currently owns and manages around 30,000 homes. Mr Strachan has worked in social housing for 39 years, 33 of them as the chief executive of housing associations.

He was appointed to the position of Stonewater’s Chief Executive in January 2015, following the merger of the former Jephson and Raglan housing associations. Mr Strachan had been at the Jephson Group since 1988. Prior to this he held a number of senior executive positions in the housing sector.

A native of the Shetland Isles, he is an architect and a graduate of the Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. He is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Mr Strachan will be succeeded by Nick Harris, currently deputy Chief Executive Officer at Stonewater. “By the time I retire I will have worked on the formation of Stonewater for four years and with the initial integration phase largely complete, it will be an appropriate time to step back and hand over,” says Mr Strachan. “I believe that in a civilised society ‘everyone should have the opportunity to have a place they can call home’.

“During my career I am proud to have worked for organisations which have sought to make this vision a reality. It is becoming increasingly difficult for many people to get on the housing ladder as housing costs - whether house prices or market rents - are rising faster than incomes, pricing many people out of the market. As I embark on one final year I know Stonewater, as one of the largest housing associations in the country, still has a substantial role to play and will make a difference to the lives of a great many people.”

Stonewater Board Chairman, George Blunden, has paid tribute to Mr Strachan’s achievements: “The sector has changed immensely over the last four decades. Throughout, Bob has been a strong leader with true empathy to the challenge of housing some of society’s poorest and most vulnerable members. The Board is grateful for his key role in the formation of Stonewater and his immense insight across the wider sector. Strong leaders require strong successors, and we are pleased to appoint Nick Harris to the role of CEO on Bob’s retirement. Nick’s experience and personal style equip him well for the challenges ahead, and we are confident that he will build upon the strong foundation that Bob has put in place.”