Keynote speakers

  • David Orr

    David Orr

    Chief Executive, National Housing Federation

    David is former president of CECODHAS-Housing Europe, has chaired the mobility taskforce, and also sits on the board of the Housing Finance Corporation. He was a member of the Social Investment Task Force and is one of the founding directors of My Home Finance, a social enterprise set up by the Federation to provide a new high street service offering affordable loans, money advice, bank accounts and linked savings accounts. Previously, David has been chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and of Newlon Housing Trust.


  • Peter Andrew

    Peter Andrew

    Deputy Chairman, Home Builders Federation

    Peter Andrew is Deputy Chairman of the Home Builders Federation and has a wealth of industry experience and an in-depth understanding of the issues affecting house builders. Peter started life as a Company Trainee QS at George Wimpey and during a career spanning 40 years progressed to become the UK Land and Planning Director - and a board member - at national housebuilder Taylor Wimpey UK. He was also one of the four practitioners who helped draft the National Planning Policy Framework for then Planning Minister Greg Clark. 

    Peter is also a Council member of the NHBC and Chairman of Burrington Estates – a West Country developer and advises a number of developers including Dorchester Group.

  • Tony Armstrong

    Tony Armstrong

    Chief Executive Officer, Locality

    Tony joined Locality as Chief Executive Officer in July 2014. Locality helps communities improve peoples' lives through community enterprise, community asset ownership and social action – campaigning for a ‘local by default’ approach to public services.

    Previously Chief Executive of Living Streets, the national charity for pedestrians, Tony has motivated people around the UK to take action to improve their local environments and local economies, campaigning for better quality streets, and has influenced policy to make walking safer and easier.

    Before joining the third sector, Tony was a civil servant for nine years and held a number of senior policy adviser roles in Government. He worked on neighbourhood regeneration and renewal and health improvement, and was one of the original members of staff of the Government's Neighbourhood Renewal Unit from 2001. He was responsible for national work on neighbourhood management, and health inequalities and the development of local strategic partnerships.

  • Chris Bowen

    Chris Bowen

    Development Director, Liverpool Mutual Homes

    Chris Bowen has been Development Director at LMH since 2014, delivering the largest housing association development Programme in the Liverpool City Region. Chris has successfully directed investment of £100m+ in the delivery of over 1,000 new homes for a range of tenures via regeneration projects across Liverpool. He leads LMH’s contribution to the groundbreaking strategic housing delivery partnership between LMH, Redrow and Liverpool City Council. Chris has previous housing association experience in asset management, major refurbishment, growth and enterprise initiatives along with experience managing local authority strategic housing services and housing market renewal.

  • Ben Derbyshire

    Ben Derbyshire

    Chair, HTA Design LLP, and President, RIBA

    Ben is Chair of HTA Design LLP, a design-based consultancy to the home building industry, specialising in placemaking, regeneration, architecture, masterplanning, urban design, landscape design, planning, technical design, communications and other disciplines.

    He has built up broad-ranging expertise through involvement in much of HTA’s work in regeneration, masterplanning, housing and mixed use design.

    Ben took office as the President of the RIBA for a two-year term in September 2017.

  • Mark Farmer

    Mark Farmer

    Founding Director and CEO, and Author, Cast Consultancy and The Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model

    Mark has nearly 30 years of experience in the construction and real estate sectors and has become a recognised commentator and thought leader on a variety of issues.

    Mark has been at the forefront of emerging UK residential market segments such as build to rent and later living. He is also playing a leading role in modernising the construction industry through the adoption of greater levels of pre-manufacturing using more integrated and digitally enabled delivery models.

    Mark is a member of the RICS, Vice Chairman of the ULI UK Residential Council, a member of the BPF build to rent sub-committee and co-chairman of Constructing Excellence.

    Mark authored the October 2016 UK Government Review of the Construction Labour Market Model entitled ‘Modernise or Die’.

  • Michael Farr

    Michael Farr

    Director of Development and Asset Management, Karbon Homes

    Following the creation of Karbon Homes in April 2017, with the amalgamation of Isos Housing, group partner Cestria Community Housing, and Derwentside Homes, Michael was appointed to the post of Director of Development and Asset Management.

    Karbon is one of the largest housing associations in the North East with a stock of 24,000 units and an expected turnover of £115m per annum. Its ambitious development plans will see it build over 400 new homes a year across the region, providing a range of housing products and tenures including market rent and outright sale through its subsidiary Prince Bishops Homes.

  • Manjeet Gill

    Manjeet Gill

    Deputy Policy Spokesperson on Housing, The Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (Solace)

    Manjeet is a local Government chief executive and a non-executive director in the NHS. She is the housing spokesperson for SOLACE, the Society for Local Authority Chief Executives and senior officers, working closely with HCA, DCLG and others to influence policy priorities and direction. Her leadership mantra for local government is that leaders must focus on the four Cs: community, customer centric, collaborative and commercial in our strategies and delivery models, if we are to successfully meet the complex needs of society.

    She has successfully delivered transformative and innovative change that includes establishing new companies, joint ventures and acquiring new companies as ways in which we creatively meet challenges such as housing in an enterprising way. This has included regeneration, leisure, housing and recruitment. She has developed successful voluntary sector and community engagement models which have reduced engagement and inequalities by helping people to help themselves and others. She is particularly keen to collaborate with national and local partners on the extra care housing agenda as well as increasing housing of the right type, the right tenure and right place to meet local needs.

    She has been chair of the One Public Estate Board in Lincolnshire and led the national local authority partnership on for development of Ministry of Defence sites. She is currently leading a call to action on race diversity following the recent race audit published by the Prime Minister, and welcomes all who wish to join a network focussed on action.

  • David Ireland OBE

    David Ireland OBE

    Director, Building and Social Housing Foundation

    David Ireland is Director of World Habitat (formally BSHF). World Habitat is an international housing charity that operates the World Habitat Awards in partnership with UN Habitat. It runs programmes aimed at ending street homelessness in Europe. Over the past three years it has worked within the community-led housing sector in England to help create an alliance. David was previously CEO of Empty Homes Agency, where he persuaded successive UK governments to introduce legislation and fund programmes to get empty homes into use. He was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to housing.

  • Roger Keeling

    Roger Keeling

    Strategic Asset Management Director, Sovereign

    Roger is a chartered surveyor with a background in property valuation and urban regeneration before moving to Sovereign 9 years ago. He is responsible for the development and implementation of a long-term asset management strategy to achieve best value in respect of Sovereign’s assets. His key focus is to identify, prioritise and deliver a managed programme of redevelopment, regeneration or asset interventions to enhance the value and/or quality of Sovereign’s current and future assets.

  • Stephen Kinsella

    Stephen Kinsella

    Director of Accelerated Construction, Homes England

    Stephen joined the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) in June 2017 as Executive Director for Land and to lead the agency’s Accelerated Construction programme. The £2bn initiative involves the HCA taking direct action to build homes on surplus public sector land to increase the pace of house building and diversifying the market by supporting smaller builders and modern methods of construction.

    Stephen is very experienced in delivering major housing developments on public land nationally, having spent the last 11 years as the Growth and Partnerships Director of Barratt Developments. He led the significant growth of the company’s partnerships with the public sector, generating a large portfolio of developments comprising around 27,000 homes and a Gross Development Value of over £6bn.

    Previously, Stephen spent 12 years in a variety of roles with housing associations, most latterly in senior regeneration and business development roles.

  • Colm Lacey

    Colm Lacey

    Director of Development, Croydon Council and and Managing Director and CEO, Brick by Brick

    Colm is Managing Director and CEO of Brick by Brick and is responsible for the day-to-day operation and strategic direction of the company, and the delivery of all schemes. He is also currently Director of Development for Croydon Council, promoting responsible development activity throughout the borough and leading on major capital delivery projects. Previously, Colm has held a variety of high profile positions across London delivering some of the capitals most complex and demanding projects. This has included time at LB Newham as Director of Regeneration and Planning leading on the post-Olympic rebuilding of Stratford and the Royal Docks, and at the Greater London Authority leading on major regeneration projects in south and east London.

  • Maggie McCann

    Maggie McCann

    Development Director, Orbit

    Maggie has worked in housing throughout her whole career in a range of jobs including estate management, policy and strategy work, supported housing and development. Maggie’s current role is to deliver the new affordable housing ambitions in the east and south, managing the development teams in Norwich and Maidstone as well as the major regeneration of Erith Park a former tower block estate in Bexley, south-east London.

  • Mark Patchitt

    Mark Patchitt

    Director of Development and Growth, The Riverside Group

    Mark has worked in the housing and development sector for 28 years.

    As Director of Development and Growth, Mark is responsible for leading The Riverside Group’s growth strategy, including housing development in locations from the Isle of Arran in Scotland to Lambeth in London.

    Mark was previously Director of Home Ownership, responsible for the marketing, sale and management of a range of shared equity and leasehold products.

    An active member of the National Housing Federation, Mark is also a member of the Great Homes Group.

  • Charles Solomon

    Charles Solomon

    Development Viability (Expert) Advisor, Greater London Authority

    Charles is the development viability expert at the GLA, supporting the Mayor of London’s plans to deliver housing, particularly affordable housing. Previously he has been a consultant at Gerald Eve, head of development valuation in VOA, commercial property specialist and developer. He has worked on various working parties – for Government, Planning Gain Supplement and CIL, for RICS valuation guidance notes, including ‘Financial Viability in Planning’, ‘Valuation of Affordable Housing Land’ (which he chairs), and ‘Valuation of Development Land’. Most recently he has worked on the Mayor of London’s Affordable Housing and Viability SPG, and the emerging London Plan.

  • Isobel Stephen

    Isobel Stephen

    Director of Housing Supply, Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)

    Isobel is an experienced director who has worked in the civil service for 20 years. Since early 2015 she has been Housing Supply Director at DCLG, with responsibility for strategy, design of programmes and relationships with the developer sector, mortgage lenders and institutional investors. She works closely with colleagues in the Homes and Communities Agency.

    Prior to moving to DCLG Isobel worked in a variety of policy, programme and delivery roles across government, largely at DWP but also including jobs at the Department of Health, Number 10 and running JobCentre Plus offices.

  • Nick Walkley

    Nick Walkley

    Chief Executive Officer, Homes England

    Nick Walkley joined the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) as Chief Executive in March 2017. Nick has extensive local government experience, most recently as Chief Executive of Haringey Council, and previously as Chief Executive of Barnet Council. Nick has led the delivery of a number of high profile housing and regeneration schemes, including the £1bn large-scale regeneration of the Tottenham area, which is expected to create 5,000 new jobs, 10,000 new homes and more than 1m square ft. of new employment and commercial space. Nick is listed in Local Government Chronicle’s ‘100 Most Influential in the Sector’ and Inside Housing’s ‘Public Sector Housing Most Influential’.

  • Sophie White

    Sophie White

    Head of PRS, Infrastructure and Complex Projects, Homes England

    Sophie is the Head of PRS, Infrastructure and Complex Projects at the Homes and Communities Agency. A chartered surveyor with over 20 years’ experience she is currently leading on delivering the agency’s Home Building Fund for large sites and infrastructure. Sophie has expertise in delivering funding structures including senior debt, mezzanine finance and equity transactions. She has had involvement on a number of high profile and complex real estate projects including development finance at East Village and Greenwich Peninsula, large scale national PRS debt and the recently announced HCA investment in the PRS REIT. Sophie previously worked for Drivers Jonas and Deloitte Real Estate specialising in valuation and development.

  • Piers Williamson

    Piers Williamson

    Chief Executive, The Housing Finance Corporation

    Piers was appointed Chief Executive of THFC in October 2002 and joined its Board in 2003. He has over 30 years of experience of the UK, US and European financial markets specialising in bank treasury risk management and securitisation. He holds professional qualifications in both treasury and banking and in addition to his duties at THFC, Piers was a Non-Executive member of the Regulation Committee of the HCA between 2012 and 2015.