Our mission and purpose

As the professional body for people who work in housing, the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards, we exist to support housing professionals to create a future in which everyone has a place to call home.

We promote the art and science of housing and act in the interest of our members and  the wider public.

View our corporate plan 2021-2024

We have outlined our objectives for the next three years in our corporate plan.


Who are we?

CIH is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. This means that the money we make is put back into the organisation and funds the activities we carry out to support the housing sector.

We have a diverse membership of people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world.

How we are run

We were granted a Royal Charter in 1984 and our work is governed by our Royal Charter and Byelaws, overseen by the Privy Council.

We are also a registered charity, with education at the core of our charitable status. That means we must comply with the requirements of the law relating to charities. Our activities are regulated by the Charity Commissioners in England and Wales, and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in Scotland.

England charity number 244067/R and Scotland number SCO40324.

Meet the team
Governing board

Our governing board works closely with the executive team to set the strategic direction of our business. The board meet four times a year, to guide the work of CIH and ensure we continue to provide excellent support for our members and the wider housing community.


The members of the board come from across the UK, from the public and private sectors, and bring with them a wealth of unique experience and knowledge.


Geraldine Howley FCIH - chair. executive chair, The GEM Programme

Anne Chapman CIHCM – chair Audit and risk committee. assistant director - governance and compliance, Golding Homes

Evie Copland CIHM - CX lead, Berwickshire Housing Association

Aileen Evans CIHCM - chief executive, Grand Union Housing

Hannah Louise Harvey CIHCM - executive director operations, Saffron Housing Trust

Jill Haley FCIH- CIH vice president 

John Hannigan FCIH - chief executive officer, Circle Housing Group

Elly Hoult FCIH - executive director, Peabody

Ian McDermott CIHCM - CEO, Peabody 

Chan Kataria OBE, BSc (Hons), FCIH, MBA - group chief executive, EMH Group

Lara Oyedele CIHCM - CIH president and chair, Hope Housing

Jo Richardson FCIH - professor of housing and social research


Executive team

The executive team is made up of senior colleagues from across the business and drives the strategy set by our governing board.

Our mission at CIH is simple - we support housing professionals to create a future in which everyone has a place to call home.

We conduct research, provide policy analysis, training, qualifications, events and much more to equip our members and the wider housing profession with the skills, knowledge and expertise they need to be the best that they can be. We are also one of the leading voices on housing policy across the UK. 

The executive team is responsible for driving this mission and our strategy to make it a reality. 

Gavin Smart - chief executive officer

Josie Twinning-Stroud - director of membership and partnerships

James Prestwich - director of policy and external affairs

Sarah Dunkerley - director of knowledge and learning

Sue Leppington - director of finance and central services

Jo Gratrick - company secretary

Presidential team

Our presidential team are the ambassadors for CIH. Find out more about their roles and meet the president and vice-president below.

The president and vice-president should each:

  • Be an effective leader for the profession and an ambassador for CIH
  • Be an inspirational figure for CIH members and the wider housing sector and provide "challenge" for improvement
  • Be a "champion" for housing issues
  • Lead CIH’s international relationships and development work
  • Be one of the "public faces" of CIH alongside the governing board chair and chief executive and attend CIH and other events as a speaker and spokesperson
  • Promote the housing profession and seek to ensure that the profession is not brought into disrepute and use their best endeavours to protect CIH’s reputation
  • Have some responsibility for seeking to ensure that the broad governance of the CIH is effective
  • Be regarded as an informal natural arbiter
  • Communicate with members and the wider housing sector on important matters of housing policy and professionalism
  • Undertake international liaison (including overseas visits) in line with CIH objectives and policies decided by the governing board
  • Be an ex-officio (non-voting) governing board member, with a right to attend and speak and be bound by its decisions and support the task of recruiting trustees
  • Set, or have set, a specific strategic objective or project to be undertaken during their term of office

CIH president 2022/23 – Lara Oyedele

CIH vice-president 2022 - Jill Haley