PA Housing hires interim as permanent CEO

Paragon Asra Housing (PA Housing) has hired Michael McDonagh as its permanent chief executive.

The 23,000-home housing association, which last year sought waivers from lenders to mitigate the risk of covenant breaches, has confirmed McDonagh will continue in the role he has been doing on a temporary basis since December.


Michael McDonagh is the new CEO of PA Housing

McDonagh, who took the interim role following the announcement that Dilip Kavi is to retire, spent 11 years as a partner at accountancy giant KPMG. More recently he was chief executive of C.Co - a ‘change management consultancy’ owned by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

He also chairs care provider Essex Cares and is deputy chair of housing association Housing 21. Kavi, who is retiring, will leave the organisation at the end of March following a handover period.

PA Housing, which is based in Leicester and operates across the Midlands, London and the South East, last March had its viability rating downgraded by the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) from the top ‘V1’ mark to ‘V2’.

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The RSH said PA’s increased investment in existing homes, including building safety work, had put “significant pressure” on interest cover performance.

This prompted PA to seek waivers from its lenders to mitigate the risk of covenant breaches, the RSH said.

A V2 grading means an organisation complies with the regulatory standard but “need[s] to manage material risks to ensure continued compliance.” The V2 rating was re-affirmed in a fresh regulatory judgement in November.

PA Housing has previously said it is planning to build 6,000 homes in the 10 years to 2030.

It said last year it expects to complete 450 new homes in 2022/23, however in a trading update for the first half of the financial year it said the handover of completed homes was “behind schedule due to delays on certain projects.”