Cowans to retire from Places for People

The longstanding chief executive of the Preston-based housing association is to retire on 31 March 2022, after 24 years in post.

In the interim, David Cowans will continue to lead the group and support a planned transition process, Places for People said in a statement.

Places for People is one of the UK’s largest housing associations, with assets exceeding £4.8bn and a portfolio of more than 209,000 owned or managed homes and 100 leisure facilities. Its current growth strategy is to deliver 2,603 affordable homes by 2024 through its partnership with government agency Homes England.

Cowans, who joined Places for People in 1997, has been responsible for overseeing the expansion of the group – it is now one of the country’s largest developers of affordable housing through its ‘Placemaking’ approach.

Cowans will be 64 when he retires and will start implementing a three-year business plan including succession strategy over the next 12 months before he leaves.

“It has been, and remains, a privilege to have worked with many committed and hardworking people to develop the vision and the culture of the group as it is today, and I am proud to be part of Places for People,” he said.

Group chairman Richard Gregory added: “The group will owe David a huge debt when he retires, as he will leave behind a legacy creating one of the country’s leading affordable-led placemakers.

“The strength in depth of the senior leadership team that David has assembled, and handing over a business that is in very good shape, are his final legacy and a great way for a CEO to bow out.

“During the next 12 months, I am looking forward to working with David on business as usual, embedding our new three-year business plan, the succession planning process and delivering a smooth transition until he retires.”

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