Council-owned housing association appoints planner as chair

Written by: Ellie Kahn
Published on: 3 Aug 2021

Robin Lawler

Affordable housing provider, Dérive, which is owned by Salford City Council, has appointed a planner to oversee a new part of the business.

Dérive was set up by Salford City Council in 2017, but earlier this month it became the Dérive Group and applied to the Regulator of Social Housing for registered provider status, to allow part of the business (Dérive RP) to become a regulated housing association.

Robin Lawler, a planner with more than 30 years of experience in the housing sector, has been appointed to the role of chair of Dérive RP.

Lawler was president of the Chartered Institute for Housing in 2012. He worked at Leeds City Council for 17 years before becoming the chief executive of Northwards Housing, a not-for-profit organisation managing council homes in North Manchester.

He has served on a number of housing association boards as a member and chair.

Lawler said: “I’m delighted to be joining Dérive RP at this formative time and look forward to helping the council to achieve its ambitions for more affordable homes across Salford.

"The next key step is to secure registration with the Regulator for Social Housing,” he said.

Deputy city mayor, John Merry, added: “Our aim is to provide 3,000 high quality social, affordable and private (for rent or sale) homes across Salford using as many local suppliers and construction firms as possible to maximise social value.”

The council said that Dérive accounts for 20 per cent of all the planned affordable housing delivery in Salford up to 2023.