Big Life Group appoint Pennington Choices to recruit UK social housing specialist

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New initiative to combat homelessness could generate more social housing in the UK


Due to a lack of funding there is a growing shortage of homes across the UK. In England there were more than 270,000 homeless cases in 2015/16, an increase of 32% since 2009/10. The government alone cannot close this gap; therefore we require a significant new source of funding. This new initiative to combat homelessness is called Homes for Homes.

Homes for Homes

Developed by Big Issue in Australia; Homes for Homes is a proven model. It generates new funding to invest in increasing the supply of social and affordable housing. Big Life Group UK are sponsoring the production of a feasibility study and business plan. They are looking to replicate the Homes for Homes model within the UK.

How does it raise money?

Homes for Homes is an independent social enterprise that raises new private capital through voluntary tax deductible donations on property transactions. Homebuyers sign up to donate 0.1% (a thousandth) of the value of their home to the charity when they sell their property. Hence these donations are then used to fund new social housing projects.

The recruitment process

Fay Selvan, CEO of Big Life Group said “the initial challenge to launch the UK project was recruitment. It was fundamental that we selected the right person, with the right vision and level of experience to bring it to life. We were looking for someone who could not only develop a study to confirm the feasibility, but identify the preferred business model to allow the UK to benefit from the establishment of Homes for Homes at the same time as building strong stakeholder support for the project.

We chose property recruitment specialists Pennington Choices to conduct our nationwide search for this individual. This was a vital role to recruit for the success of the project. It was through Pennington Choices recruitment that we found Darren Watmough.”

Darren has previously been Finance Director of four housing associations as well as a charitable organisation. He has also practiced as a consultant to the social housing and local authority sectors. This alongside his vast experience of business planning, financial modelling and governance made him the ideal candidate to undertake this significant project.

Bringing Home for Homes to the UK

Should the UK feasibility study and business model prove positive then Homes for Homes will be launched in the UK and will secure funding to generate more social and affordable housing. “All people have the right to secure and safe accommodation, yet the world has a chronic shortage of social and affordable housing” continues Fay.

Darren Watmough is due to finalise the UK feasibility report to Big Life Group in the New Year.

Pennington Choices are specialist housing and property recruiters. Contact to discuss which recruitment services we can offer you.

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