Housing Minister Nelson McCausland

UNDER pressure DUP Minister Nelson McCausland has named a new boss to head up the publicly funded Housing Executive.

Donald Hoodless, who is currently based in London, he is expected to take up his post shortly.

Mr McCausland has also appointed Professor Peter Roberts from Huddersfield as the Executive’s vice-chairman.

Mr Hoodless was formerly chief executive of Notting Hill Housing Trust.

The previous Executive chairman, Brian Rowntree, quit before his term of office was due to expire.

In an email to its 3,000 staff, Mr Rowntree wrote of “personal stress” and “a challenging relationship” with the Department for Social Development.

New Housing Executive chairman Donald Hoodless

He left in advance of a Public Accounts Committee report which revealed there had been “serious weaknesses” in the management of Housing Executive contracts worth more than £200m.

It also said the housing body was exposed to fraud because of major problems in the oversight of work carried out by contractors. Some of the claims related to its former contractor Red Sky.

The new appointments will be seen as key to pushing through reforms at the Housing Executive which owns and maintains around 90,000 publicly-owned houses in Northern Ireland.

Details of a Department for Social Development review which will involve significant restructuring of the organisation are expected to be announced before the end of the year.

It is understood that a paper has been circulated to the Northern Ireland Executive at Stormont setting out the minister’s proposals for the future of the organisation.


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