Chief executive hands over reins to keep transforming lives in Oldham

17 November 2017

Oldham has seen many significant improvements in housing during the seven years Chief Executive Cath Green has led the award-winning First Choice Homes Oldham.

Cath will have an impressive legacy when she leaves at the end of December, following the recent appointment of new Chief Executive Vinny Roche.

First Choice Homes Oldham is the largest housing provider in Oldham, looking after 60 per cent of the social housing properties.

In 2017 it has won a national Housing Excellence Award for social landlord of the year, a Women in Housing Award for its support to help people into work, and a North West Energy Efficiency Award for improving customers’ homes and reducing tenants’ bills.

Cath has worked in local government for 27 years and in the social housing sector since being appointed as First Choice Homes Chief Executive in 2010. She completed the final negotiations on the transfer of almost 12,000 homes from Oldham Council in February 2011. This resulted in £149 million of much needed investment in housing by First Choice Homes in the first five years.

First Choice Homes Chair Ged Lucas said: “Cath is a highly regarded leader across Greater Manchester, the North West and nationally. She has spearheaded many important improvements in housing in Oldham as we have seen our promises delivered. I and the board want to thank her sincerely for her dedication to helping local people.

“I am delighted we have appointed Vinny as the new chief executive. He has a depth of experience, knowledge, passion and commitment to improving communities.”

First Choice Homes Oldham Chief Executive Cath Green said: “I am so proud of all we have achieved. I have heard many incredible stories of how individuals’ lives have been transformed by the support we have provided. I have been honoured to work together with many talented and committed colleagues as well as customers, and have great partnerships with organisations such as Oldham Council, NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group and Greater Manchester Police, and voluntary organisations. There are many challenges ahead, but I know Vinny is the right person to take the organisation forward.”

First Choice Homes Oldham Deputy Chief Executive Vinny Roche said: “I am very pleased and honoured to have been selected as Chief Executive for First Choice Homes. I am excited to look ahead at the future opportunities and successes of the organisation.”

Notes to editors

Some of the highlights of Cath’s career with the housing association include overseeing the move in 2015 to new £6m headquarters in Oldham town centre. This enabled the organisation to improve and expand the services it could provide.  Over £175m has been invested into First Choice  Homes Oldham’s homes since 2010.

Cath was given a landmark achievement award in the national 2014 Women in Housing awards.

The £20 million B Green community regeneration programme in the St Mary’s and Coldhurst wards won a 2016 National Innovations Award for most innovative regeneration project. It has improved homes, heating, local environment and addressed social issues such as poverty, community independence, health and well-being, crime, employment and training.

More than 100 people have been helped into employment since the Directions employment service was created just over 18 months ago. This has helped to change lives through building skills, confidence and self-esteem.

Around 100 new homes have been built since 2011 and Cath has driven forward plans to fund the building of 800 more to meet great housing need in the borough.