Geraldine in OBE honour
Geraldine Howley, Incommunities’ Group Chief Executive, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
The Order of the British Empire is made in recognition of her services to housing, young people and the local community.
Geraldine leads one of the largest social housing providers in the region with over 22,600 homes in Bradford District and West and South Yorkshire.
She started as a temporary housing receptionist with Bradford Council over 35 years ago before progressing to become the authority’s Director of Housing.
Since 2003 Geraldine has led an organisation which has invested over £400 million modernising and building new homes and transforming neighbourhoods.
In 2015 Geraldine served as President of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) having previously been elected as the body’s Vice President.
During her year’s service as president, she helped raise over £47,000 for The Prince’s Trust and its valuable work turning the lives of young people around.
In May 2016 Geraldine was appointed Vice Chair of the Governing Board of the CIH.
She also co-founded GEM, a professional development programme which goes from strength to strength nurturing talented graduates to become leaders of the future. Over 130 GEMs have moved into exciting careers since the launch of the programme eight years ago.
In 2016, the programme welcomed international recruits for the first time – two Canadian housing staff joining graduates from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Geraldine is a member of the International Housing Partnership and holds lead responsibility for talent management.
Through various networks she is also passionate about championing opportunities for women and other under-represented groups.
Locally, Geraldine is a member of the Bradford District Partnership, Chair of the National Housing Federation Yorkshire and Humber Chief Executive Forum and Council Member of the Yorkshire and Humber CBI.
On news of the OBE honour, Geraldine said: “It is an incredible feeling to receive this award.
“As someone who has been brought up in Bradford and built a career here this honour is an extremely humbling one that I want to share with my family and friends.
“This award is also great recognition for the enormous work and investment that Incommunities, as a group, has made in transforming local homes and investing in people’s lives.
“I am a strong believer in team work and see this as a tribute to many brilliant and dedicated people who have worked with me over the years.”
Jan Ormondroyd, Chair of Incommunities’ Group Board, said: “I am delighted for Geraldine who has achieved so much to make a difference.
“Her passion and drive has helped transform housing in the district and Geraldine has become an influential figure representing the sector at local, national and international levels. Equally, she has proved an inspiring role model for young people coming into the sector.
“On behalf of the Board, well done on this well-deserved success.”
At the end of last year, Geraldine was made a Doctor of the University of Bradford for her outstanding contribution to housing across the district. She also received a national Women in Housing Landmark Achievement Award for her inspiring leadership.