Meet the ForHousing Board

On this page you can find out more about the ForHousing Board.

We have big ambitions to make a positive difference to peoples’ lives so that means we need the strongest leadership, ideas and insight. Board members bring a wealth of expertise and experience to make these aspirations a reality. This ranges from health and social care, to finance and property and from telecommunications to managing housing services.

The ForHousing Board has a clear voice in the way governance arrangements are set up. As a community benefit society and registered social housing provider we aim to provide quality homes and places making more things possible for more people.

Key responsibilities:

  • Make sure we comply with the ForViva Group’s overarching values and vision
  • Social housing policies
  • Approves the annual budget and business plans in liaison with the Group Board
  • Complies with the Regulatory Framework for Social Housing including full self assessment
  • Oversees ForHousing operational performance
  • Makes sure we comply with legal requirements
  • Regulatory returns
  • Engages tenants to support our commitment to increase tenant voice
  • Development activity
  • Housing and asset management
  • Landlord compliance
  • Health and safety
  • Community impact

ForHousing Board Chair

Stephen Reuben

Stephen is Chair of the ForHousing Board (since the 1st April 2019), and is also Deputy Chair of the ForViva Group Board.

Stephen is founder of the consultancy practice Change Development Solutions based on his significant experience in leading teams through times of major change.

Previously Chief Executive then Managing Director of Space New Living (part of the Great Places Housing Group), a registered social landlord based in Salford, Stephen has valuable experience of running a not-for-profit housing organisation.

The many skills he brings include strategic management, operational development and change management. Stephen is also a Governor of the University of Central Lancashire.

Senior Independent Director

Steve Bentley

Steve has spent over 35 years in the Banking sector, all with Barclays Bank here in the North West. His first role was as a cashier at Walkden branch and over the years he has managed various teams and divisions within the organisation, although his career has predominantly been spent serving UK corporate clients. Since 2014 he has specialised in supporting Social Housing providers from the bank’s Manchester offices in Spinningfields.

Previously an Associate of the Institute of Bankers, he brings considerable experience in treasury management, funding negotiations, corporate governance and an appreciation of regulatory requirements to the organisation.

Having retired in 2019 Steve now enjoy more time walking, gardening and following his beloved Leigh Centurions Rugby League team.

Claire Harris

Claire is currently Head of Finance and Deputy Section 151 Officer at Warrington Borough Council. Here she has a wide ranging remit including Corporate Finance and Accountancy, Internal Audit, Procurement, Benefits and Exchequer Services and the Customer Contact Centre. For over 10 years Claire previously worked as a Director of Finance within the social housing sector, most recently at Mosscare St Vincent’s and before that at Warrington Housing Association.

Claire has a keen interest in ensuring that services provided to residents are effective, efficient and in line with individual needs and expectations. Claire also has a strong passion for strong and effective governance which she believes underpins a successful organisation and hopes that her contribution to ForHousing continues to have positive outcomes for partners working with the organisation and for tenants both now and in the future.

Carol Mawers

Carol is a tenant of Walkden and worked in hospitality and then retail for many years, during which time she became a Health and Safety Officer. She is now retired and is involved in voluntary work for ForHousing on both local and area wide levels. She has been a member of the Board since 2013. Carol is the Chair of the Salford Community Voice which monitors the services provided. Carol also belongs to the customer inspector group that monitors empty properties, inspects the caretaking and cleaning of high rise and low rise buildings, and mystery shops certain ForHousing services.

Lawrence Mcintosh

Lawrence is a life long resident of Stockbridge Village and has a background in shipping, engineering, telecommunications, sales, debt management and union work.

Lawrence has been a board member since late 2016, and chair of a branch within a union organisation since 2016. Lawrence sits on the Remuneration and Staffing Committee and the Impact Hub. He also chairs the Stockbridge Village Community Voice.

Lawrence is enthused by the dedication and passion of everyone in ForHousing to deliver sustainable communities and homes. He is committed to driving positive outcomes for the residents of Stockbridge Village by ensuring the highest standards of governance through the ForHousing Board.

Outside of work, his interests include studying for a Social Science Degree part time, and he hopes to continue on to complete a Masters degree.

Judith Neilson

Judith has 27 years’ experience working within the NHS. Originally a physiotherapist, she has worked at senior management level within a variety of NHS settings and now works in a commissioning role. Her experience includes large scale service re-design and performance improvement to ensure high quality care is delivered that improves outcomes for patients. Judith chairs the Fitton Hill Community Voice. Outside of work, Judith is also Chair of Governors within a primary school.

Michael Sale

Michael is a qualified Chartered Accountant, FCA, with a wide experience in advising both the largest and smallest organisations. He also holds the ICAEW Diploma in Charity Accounting.

After qualifying, Michael worked for both KPMG and PWC rising to senior positions where he was responsible for large specialised audits, including registered providers. It was here he first became interested in social housing.

During his time at PWC he was seconded to the firm’s Zambian practice to run the audit of the Zambian government’s largest commercial enterprise.

Michael has been a board member since 2013 and is currently a member of the ForHousing Board and Audit and Risk Committee, and of the Investment Committee.

In his spare time Michael enjoys fine wine and spending time with his family.

Christine Barker

Christine has been a ForHousing tenant for 12 years and an involved tenant for all of that time. Her involvement stems from a desire to ensure that both ForHousing and tenants are supported to work together to ensure that ForHousing is a landlord that people are proud to be tenants of.

Christine has been an active member for the ForHousing Scrutiny panel, and has carried out many scrutiny exercises which involved gathering information relating to all service delivery areas. . This has included information about the various structures within ForHousing and ForViva as well as policies, procedures and operating models.

She is also passionate about contributing to the Equality and Diversity agenda and is a tenant member of ForHousing’s Equality & Diversity Group. This allows her to contribute to the E&D Agenda on behalf of tenants.

Jim Barclay

A qualified accountant and MBA holder, Jim’s background includes 8 years as Finance Director of Merseytravel, a c£360m public transport and tourism organisation. Jim worked with a number of regional and national stakeholders and where transport was seen as an enabler to social and economic growth. Since 2013 has developed a consultancy business working primarily in the rail sector.

Bringing extensive Board Level experience, Jim has held the roles of an Executive, Non-Executive and Board Chair. He has a very thorough understanding of the statutory obligations a Trustee , Non-Executive Director or Panel Chair has to deliver.

Jim has been a trustee and treasurer for a national charity, as well as being an independent Chair for a HS2 Panel. In March 2019 Jim was appointed as a governor of Wrexham Glyndwr University. During his time at Wrexham he was a member of the Audit and Risk Committee and the university’s subsidiary company Glyndwr Innovations Ltd.

Jim’s motivation for joining the board at the university and ForHousing is rooted in a desire to help organisations that create social good and allow people to live fulfilling lives or find the opportunity to do so. Whilst he hopes that his experiences and skills will make a positive contribution to ForHousing, he also sees the opportunity for his own personal development working in the housing sector.

Paul Butterworth

Paul has worked in the housing sector for over 20 years, starting as a graduate building surveyor with a local authority. He has a wealth of experience having worked at a number of large North West based housing providers. Paul has an impressive track record in a variety of disciplines in housing maintenance, improvement, asset management and development roles.

Paul is a member of RICS and passionate about continuous improvement in the delivery of services and improving tenants’ homes. Outside of work he is a DIY enthusiast and enjoys entertaining his two young children.