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Housing pioneer to retire after decade of service to the City

Wolverhampton Homes chief executive and City of Wolverhampton Council strategic director of housing Lesley Roberts has announced plans to retire in the new year after a decade of public service to the City of Wolverhampton.

Wolverhampton Homes chief executive and City of Wolverhampton Council strategic director of housing Lesley Roberts will be retiring in the new year
Lesley Roberts

Lesley, who was appointed chief executive at Wolverhampton Homes in 2007, has overseen a transformation in service provision during her time at the helm of the council's arms length housing company.

Customer service and customer satisfaction levels have radically improved and Wolverhampton Homes was judged to have achieved 3 stars with excellent prospects for improvement by the Audit Commission - one of the highest awards possible. Wolverhampton Homes is also recognised nationally as one of the top 50 housing organisations.

Lesley oversaw the successful £300 million decent homes investment programme in the City, negotiated a new 15 year management agreement and led corporate transformation which saw Wolverhampton Homes listed as a Times Top 100 employer for its strong commitment to employee engagement and equality.  

The housing organisation has also trained and arranged permanent employment for over 200 tenants and their sons and daughters via the award winning LEAP programme.

As strategic director of housing at the City of Wolverhampton Council, a dual role Lesley has held for 2 years, she was instrumental in setting up the WV Living commercial housing company which has plans to build 1,200 new homes in Wolverhampton over the coming years. Developments for 400 homes are ready to start on site this year.

Her dual role has seen even closer collaboration between the council and Wolverhampton Homes with the latter taking on some of the council's operational services such as homelessness, housing options, Telecare and specialist housing adaptations.

Last year, Lesley was named Housing 24 magazine's Chief Executive of the Year - one of the highest accolades in the housing industry.

Councillor Peter Bilson, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for City Assets and Housing, said: "Lesley will be greatly missed. She has made a huge contribution to the life of our City for over a decade.

"The work she and the team at Wolverhampton Homes have done in recent years has changed the lives of thousands of Wulfrunians for the better.

"Wolverhampton Homes is a key partner and Lesley has showed tremendous leadership and innovation during her time in the city. Her work at the City of Wolverhampton Council in setting up our new WV Living commercial housing company will help us to kick start the City's housing market, bringing much needed, quality homes to thousands of families. We wish her all the best for the future."

Chair of the Wolverhampton Homes Board, Sue Roberts MBE, said: "Lesley has been dedicated to improving the lives of tenants in Wolverhampton and believes that good quality housing is a right for everyone.

"She has made Wolverhampton Homes a nationally recognised housing organisation and supported me throughout my 5 years as chair of the National Federation of ALMOs. Lesley's passion and enthusiasm for quality in the public sector has ensured that Wolverhampton Homes continues to stand for excellence and equality."

Lesley said: "My job has been made easy by the warmth and hard work of everyone who helps to run Wolverhampton Homes. It was my dream job and I feel a fantastic sense of pride in what we have achieved. I'm really pleased to be leaving the City's council housing in very good shape with hundreds more homes being built."

The process to recruit a new Wolverhampton Homes chief executive will begin soon.

  • released: Monday 21 August, 2017