Our Board Members

Eden Housing Association has a proud and longstanding reputation as a community rooted social housing landlord, delivering tenant focused services. We work across the Eden Valley in North Cumbria where we own and manage around 2,000 homes.

What are the Board’s responsibilities?

The Association’s Board of Management serves to ensure that the Association operates effectively, having regard to its objectives and its legal and moral obligation to tenants, those in housing need and the communities in which it operates.

It is responsible for setting, monitoring and reviewing the overall aims, objectives and policies of the Association and overseeing its performance. It is supported by the Audit & Risk Committee.

Our Board Members

The Board consists of voluntary unpaid Members (maximum number of 12).

It currently has 9 Members, all of whom are recruited on the basis of their skills, experience and knowledge and to reflect the communities the Association serves. They are drawn as widely as possible to reflect the Association’s responsibility to all of its stakeholders, including tenants, local residents and others interested in furthering social housing objectives locally.  So who are our Board Members?

Members of the Board of Management

(Chair) Beth Furneaux: Appointed September 2017 – Extensive experience in the social housing sector by serving as a former Councillor across Carlisle and Cumbria, leading on housing and Adult Social Care.  Within her working life, has spent 25 years working with people experiencing homelessness.

(Vice Chair & Senior Independent Director) Paul Foote : Appointed September 2019 – Has been a Solicitor in local Government, Metropolitan and District Councils for 40 years. Paul has experience in the legal aspects of housing management and issues of a legal nature relating to tenants and their needs and concerns. Has also held the position of Company Secretary and has experience and knowledge of Governance.

Douglas Ross : Appointed September 2020 – Chair of Audit and Risk Committee – Previously employed primarily within the public and social housing sectors.  Doug, prior to retirement, was most recently employed as Finance Director and subsequently Managing Director of a Housing Association based in the North East of England.

Becky White : Co-opted 2017, Appointed to Board September 2019 – Having worked for Housing Associations for the majority of her career, Becky has in-depth knowledge around their core functions, ranging from housing management, supported housing, development and customer service.  Becky is passionate about ensuring that Eden communities thrive, that there is affordable well-maintained housing in the area and that the services and opportunities in the area are second to none.

Michael Baker : Appointed September 2020 – With 40 years in the construction industry, Mike has been a Director in both public and private sector organisations.  Mike’s relevant areas of expertise are in capital development, procurement and contract management, building standards, and current good practice and approach to these. Mike was formerly a Member of the Association for Project Management and a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Sarah Nye : Appointed September 2022 – As a chartered member of the Institute of Internal Auditors, Sarah has over 20 years internal audit experience across a variety of industries, the last 7 within the housing sector. Sarah has a wide range of knowledge across all elements of governance and risk management and strives to help improve efficiency and value for money where possible.

Alex Rocke : Appointed September 2022 – Has worked in social housing for local Councils and as an independent consultant and interim manager. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing. He served as a member of the First Tier Tribunal (Local Government Standards) for ten years. Currently he is a member of the Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner’s Ethics and Integrity Panel and an Independent Person (Standards) for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

Stephen Colclough : Co-opted to Board November 2022, Appointed to Board September 2023 –  As a member of the RICS Stephen has over 40 years’ experience as a Chartered Surveyor, having provided property and other business advice to organisations in the private, public and third sectors, lately with The Guinness Partnership, and currently with Forestry England. Previous Board experience has been with Contour Homes (including chairing the Audit and Risk Committee). Stephen is keen to play a part in providing guidance on internal controls, governance, asset and risk management.  Stephen is also a Trustee of Railway Paths Limited, a charity set up to manage and re-purpose former railway land.

Elspeth James : Appointed to Board September 2023 – Has worked in the Building Society sector for around 30 years, and is currently the Finance Director at Penrith Building Society. A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, Elspeth brings extensive audit and risk experience from a variety of sectors and has previously provided external audit services to housing associations in Scotland. She is an active member of the Penrith business community and has working knowledge of the housing challenges facing local people in the Eden Valley and more widely across Cumbria.

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