A former Housing Minister has been appointed as the next chair of a Midlands affordable homes provider.
Lord Ian Austin will take up the position at Midland Heart in September.
The former MP for Dudley North replaces John Edwards CBE, who has served the maximum nine-year term in the role.
Lord Austin will return to his roots having previously worked for Focus Housing, one of the organisations that merged to create Midland Heart in 2006.
Lord Austin, incoming Chair at Midland Heart, said:
“I am delighted to have been appointed the next chair of Midland Heart, one of the region’s and country’s leading housing providers,” he said.
“The current board and executive team alongside all other members of Midland Heart staff have done a fantastic job of steering our organisation through significant challenges including a four year rent cut and are ahead of other housing associations on the challenges of the future, having delivered the UK’s first homes to meet the Government’s Future Home Standards and undertaken significant retrofit work to their older homes.
“I want to support the Midland Heart team in providing a first-class service to is customers and I look forward to learning more about the business over the next nine months and making sure that we continue to provide great quality homes and services to our customers.”
Outgoing chair, Mr Edwards, said: “It is important that having had a long period of stability on the board of Midland Heart that we make the changes we need to make this year in a thorough and well-planned way.
“The first part of this has been to ensure that we give the next chair a significant amount of time to learn everything they need to about our customers, business, and colleagues.
“Having worked alongside Ian when he was a Minister and I ran our regional development agency I know he will bring a great understanding of the sector and provide strong stewardship for the organisation.”