Sarah Ireland will fill the role while the housing association searches for a permanent chief

Accent Housing has appointed Sarah Ireland as its new interim chief executive as the 20,623-home housing association begins recruitment for a permanent boss.

Sarah Ireland 2

Source: Accent

Sarah Ireland will act as the interim chief executive of Accent Housing while recruitment for a permanent boss gets underway.

Paul Dolan, the former chief executive at Accent, announced that he would be leaving the organisation in January this year, after seven years in the role. Dolan will join Riverside as its new chief executive in May

Ireland joined Accent as an executive director of development and growth in 2018, before the remit of her role was widened to include oversight of Accent’s strategy.

In her previous role, Ireland was responsible for Accent’s development, sales, homeownership, and corporate strategy functions.

The landlord said Ireland had “established herself as a strong leader at Accent”, developing asset management and development and growth strategies that balance investment in existing and new homes.

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It added that she had developed “a strong, well-networked team and a successful shared ownership brand as well as becoming a Homes England strategic partner”.

In addition, Accent said that under Ireland’s leadership, the development and growth team has delivered a pipeline of land-led development schemes, with 1,000 new affordable and highly energy-efficient homes under construction.

Prior to joining Accent, Ireland was a senior development manager at Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association, before becoming executive director of development and sales. She also worked as a senior land manager at Taylor Wimpey.

Ireland said she completed her building surveying degree as a single parent raising three children.

She said: “We were living in London and life was quite tough and it resonated with me just how important it was to be able to provide an affordable home for my children.”

Ireland added: “My view is that this basic housing provision provides one of the key elements in creating opportunity for the next generation and that is why I am so committed to delivering the principles set out in our Asset Management Strategy; balancing investment in our existing homes as well as building new to ensure that we are able to provide good quality homes for all of our customers”.

In her interim role, she said she will also “focus on the ambitions that we have set out in our new strategy, particularly in relation to investing in and developing more customer-influenced services”.

To fill the role of executive director of strategy and growth, Amina Graham joined Accent on an interim basis on Monday 8 April.

Graham previously worked in management positions at Marks and Spencer, followed by 15 years in the housing sector at RHP group, L&Q and Housing 21.

During her time in the sector, she has also been a board member for Network Homes and is currently on the Paradigm Group Board and a member of the Customer Experience and Audit and Risk Committees.

Recruitment for a permanent CEO will begin in the coming weeks and is being led by external recruitment agency EMA Consultancy.