The group behind Salford’s largest programme of housing developments in 50 years has made key changes to drive forward its ambitions.
Dérive, which was set up as a wholly owned company by Salford City Council in 2017 to deliver a range of affordable homes, has now become the Dérive Group with different arms focusing on construction and delivery of homes for sale and private rent to fund affordable social housing and one arm, Dérive RP, seeking to become a regulated housing association.
Dérive RP has appointed Robin Lawler as Independent Chair and Greg Gottig as independent Board member.
Mr Lawler has more than 30 years’ experience in the housing sector and was New Initiatives Co-ordinator at Leeds City Council before becoming the Chief Executive of Northwards Housing in Manchester. He has served on a number of housing association boards as member and chair.
Greg Gottig, Chief Executive of facilities services company Facilco, has served on the boards of housing associations Liverpool Mutual Homes and Torus for the past eight years. He has also served previously on boards in a number of different sectors.
Their experience compliments the other board members Deputy City Mayors Councillor John Merry and Councillor Tracy Kelly who have significant experience as housing portfolio leads.
Mr Lawler said: “I’m delighted to be joining Derive RP at this formative time and look forward to helping the council to achieve its ambitions for more affordable homes across Salford. I’ve already been made to feel very welcome by the board and the council.
“The next key step is to secure registration with the Regulator for Social Housing. It is intended to submit our application in July.”
Deputy City Mayor and board member Councillor John Merry said: “There is a national shortage of affordable housing in England and Salford City Council and its housing partners are determined to address that in our city.
“Dérive has evolved from buying homes off plan to rent out through working with local housing associations to build new social housing to constructing its own properties. Our aim is to provide 3,000 high quality social, affordable and private (for rent or sale) homes across Salford using as many local suppliers and construction firms as possible to maximise social value.
“We’re also making sure these homes are energy efficient and adaptable so as people age or if they become disabled, their home can change with them.
Deputy City Mayor Councillor Tracey Kelly, a board member and lead member for housing, property and regeneration, welcomed the new appointments and added: “The first 67 Dérive homes were approved in June 2018 and the first residents began moving into their properties in autumn 2019. Work is on schedule to complete another 200 plus by summer 2022 creating more than 460 jobs and training opportunities and an estimated £2.1 million extra spending in the local community through families moving into their new community.
“Dérive now accounts for 20 per cent of all planned affordable housing delivery in Salford up to 2023.”