Branch Secretary :

Housing association bosses get richer (again!)

Pay outstripped inflation


Housing association bosses pay only went up a little more than inflation. This was the angle that Inside Housing chose to highlight in coverage of its annual CEO pay survey. It is true that while pay has repeatedly outstripped inflation in recent years, this time the margin was smaller than in some previous years. Meanwhile most their staff and tenants have suffered a historic squeeze on their incomes.


There is nothing in the findings that show a halt to the move toward the financialisation of housing associations. In the week of the survey two new CEO appointments from the banking sector illustrate the trend. Hyde housing have appointed Andy Hulme, a managing director of Lloyds bank as its new CEO while Places for People has appointed Greg Reed, a former Bank of America executive as CEO.




The highest earner remains outgoing Places for People boss David Cowans who raked in £483,089. Amongst other high earners was Clare Miller of the troubled association Clarion, paid £411, 749. Clare Miller was also raked in one of the highest bonuses of £51,506. Given that the association has hit the headlines with multiple cases of terrible disrepair, has bungled a major decant and was found guilty of direct race discrimination by an Employment Tribunal its not unreasonable to ask what the bonus rewarded!


A big gender pay gap is revealed by the survey, men were paid £196,446 on average and women received £175,560.


For years workers pay in the sector has been squeezed while CEO’s and senior executives have had big increases. The new survey confirms that the trend has continued over the last year.


Inflation now 6% RPI


With inflation now standing at 6% RPI, Unite is committed to protect workers living standards. As Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham has made clear, the “rise in inflation reflects a growing crisis in the cost of living for ordinary families. Energy prices - the cost of gas and electricity - and shortages are major factors in today’s figures. So, workers’ wages will have to at least match the inflation rate because otherwise they will be facing a calamitous drop in their standard of living. Unite is now focussed on defending workers’ jobs pay and conditions, which includes making sure workers do not pay the price of the pandemic.”


The housing association tenant and resident network, SHAC, commented "Tenants, residents and workers in the organisation should also be given a much stronger influence over the levels of pay awarded to their executives and board members."


If you work for a housing association and you want information on the pay of your CEO or senior executives, ask your Unite rep or email the branch at


Paul Kershaw, Chair Unite housing workers


24 November 2021


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