Pickering and Ferens Housing Association appoint a new boss
IT CAN trace its roots back more than 100 years to an act of generosity by two of the city's most famous benefactors
Now the oldest Hull-based housing association is about to enter a new era with its first female chief executive at the helm.
Claire Warren says her arrival at Pickering and Ferens Housing Association will inevitably usher in change at the charity.
But she insists it will be a subtle shift in emphasis rather than a radical overhaul.
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She said: "I want to build on the past and take the organisation forward into the future, ensuring it is fit for the new challenges and new opportunities.
"I will be looking at ways we can enhance existing services and develop new ones in the most cost-effective way."
Originally conceived by fishing magnate Christopher Pickering and industrialist Thomas Ferens, the charity started out with the construction of 12 almshouses for elderly people In Hessle Road next to West Park.
The almshouses are still there but the charity itself has grown dramatically.
It now manages 1,250 properties in Hull and the East Riding, providing housing for 1,400 residents over the age of 60.
Ms Warren has taken over from Roger Elliott, who recently retired after 18 years as chief executive.
She is a former chief executive at the Leeds Federated housing association and West North West Homes in Leeds, an arm's-length company set up by Leeds City Council to manage its housing stock.
Before working in Leeds, she started her career in housing working with a project helping the homeless in her native York.
Now getting used to life in Hull, she is already trying to meet as many of her new tenants as possible.
"Coming here was an opportunity to work with a really local operation which is on the cusp of change," she said.
"The residents I have spoken to so far have been telling me how privileged they feel to live in one of our properties.
"This is something I really want to build on further.
"I also believe we need to recognise the changing profile of our residents.
"Although we provide housing for the over-60s, people are getting younger in terms of communications and using technology.
"My vision is for our services to do far more than simply provide housing.
"They need to provide enhanced health services and that will involve closer working with partner organisations."
Her appointment follows a busy 12 months at the association which have seen the development of two new eco-friendly housing schemes in west Hull, including ten new bungalows at the former Rokeby House site and 38 houses and bungalows at Junella Fields, off Woodcock Street.
Building work is also nearing completion on 20 new bungalows at the Jacobs Homes site in Askew Avenue next to Pickering Park.