Housing association CEO to step down following June retirement decision

Matt Harrison

Matt Harrison, chief executive of Manchester-based housing association, Great Places Housing Group, has decided to step down.

The business made an announcement to the stock exchange this morning revealing his decision.

Matt, who became chief executive in 2013 after serving for 20 years as executive director of development, plans to remain in post until the end of June 2024.

The process to recruit a successor will begin in the next few days.

Over the past 10 years, Matt has overseen the growth of the organisation to become one of the most significant housing associations serving the north of England, with more than 25,500 homes owned or managed and a turnover of £168M in 2022/23.

During his tenure as chief executive, Matt has overseen a significant development programme which has delivered thousands of new homes across all tenures, as well as the creation of Terra Nova, a successful in-house construction company and joint ventures with other housing associations in Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire.

Matt also led the transfer of engagements of Equity Housing Group into Great Places Housing Association and the successful subsequent integration programme.

He also presided over the establishment of the Greater Together Foundation which plays a role in supporting thousands of people into work, training or volunteering in the areas where Great Places has homes, alongside directly supporting other community-based projects and the establishment of an in-house repairs, facilities and estate management service and a materials distribution centre.

As well as being a leading developer, under his leadership Great Places has always sought to deliver support services to some of society’s most disadvantaged people, including rough sleepers through the organisations leading role in Greater Manchester Housing First.

Matt said: “Great Places is a financially strong and resilient organisation with a skilled executive team which we intend to boost by recruiting a new chief property officer shortly.

“We are well placed to take on the challenges facing the sector now and into the future, and will set out a new Corporate Plan shortly that will outline the priorities for Great Places over the next three years.”

Mervyn Jones, chair of Great Places, said: “I would like to thank Matt for his many years of commitment and inspirational leadership.

“As a result of his diligent stewardship, he will leave Great Places in a strong position to continue to invest significantly in our customers’ homes, communities and in improving our services meaning we can make delivering on our vision of Great Homes, Great Communities and Great People a reality.”

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