Our survey of chief executives’ pay packets reveals an inflation-busting overall rise. Jess McCabe delves into the detail. Illustration by Sam Falconer
How much are housing bosses paid? This year, Inside Housing’s exclusive survey reveals that the average housing chief took home £173,274 in the 2017/18 financial year.
That is an inflation-busting 4.3% rise on the year before, when the average chief executive was paid £166,205. (Inflation was only 2.2% over this period, measured by the Consumer Price Index.)
We calculate total pay by adding together the basic pay, bonuses and car allowances of chief executives from the biggest housing associations in the UK (see box: Methodology).
Pay for housing association chiefs has been put under a microscope this year. And, indeed, for the past several years, national newspaper and TV news stories have made much of the high levels of pay in the sector.
But has this had an impact on pay settlements?
A glance at the data from our chief executive salary survey suggests the answer is no. UK workers saw an increase in pay of 2%, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD). That suggests that housing chief executives are seeing pay rise at more than double the rate of the average employee, and obviously raises questions about the growing gap between staff and those in the top jobs.
Eighty-five chiefs were paid more than the prime minister (Theresa May received £150,402). This is worth mentioning because it is a comparison constantly being made when it comes to high pay, but is rather a misleading and arbitrary one. HuffPost last year calculated that the extra perks that come with being PM are worth about £2m, not including whatever book deals, speaking and consultancy fees they may rake in after leaving office.
Recruitment consultants say that outside scrutiny of chief executive pay does come up in board discussions about pay levels. Still, one admitted – without wanting to put their name to the comment – that some housing chiefs are simply “paid too much”.
Benchmarking salaries also has an unintended inflationary effect – with boards not wanting to pay below average, this leads inevitably to higher and higher settlements, with increased averages each year. One association – Orbit – even cited this survey in its explanation for a 35.9% rise in its chief executive Mark Hoyland’s pay, compared with his predecessor Paul Tennant. A spokesperson tells us: “It is vital that Orbit attracts and retains a highly motivated and strong performing executive team. The Inside Housing CEO salary survey of previous years revealed a case for reviewing the salaries we pay our senior people.”
|Housing association||Number of homes||Chief executive||Total salary 2017/18||Total salary 2016/17||Annual change in total salary||Basic salary 2017/2018||Bonus||Car allowance||Footnotes|
|A2Dominion||37,248||Darrell Mercer||£288,194||£265,678||8.5%||£220,159||£50,589||£17,446||Bonus includes an annual proportion of a three-year performance scheme which matured in 2017/18|
|Accent||19,167||Gordon Perry||£168,493||£166,874||1.0%||£163,493||£0||£5,000||On 30 April 2017 Gordon Perry retired. Paul Dolan started in May 2017 on a total salary of £166,600|
|Adactus (now Jigsaw)||14,227||Hilary Roberts||£165,301||£155,707||6.2%||£160,157||£0||£5,144|
|Aldwyck||11,136||Ian McDermott||£206,038||£174,251||18.2%||£171,696||£17,170||£17,172||2016/17 data has been corrected and refers to previous chief executive Harj Singh|
|Apex||Gerry Kelly||Refused to respond|
|B3 Living||4,745||Joe Chambers||£131,950||£130,000||1.5%||£131,950||£0||£0|
|Black Country||2,133||Amanda Tomlinson||£115,588||£115,588||£0||£0||The increase includes the reinstatement of salary after a 1% cut in salary the previous year following the rent cut, in addition to a pay award of 2%|
|Bolton at Home||17,622||Jonathan Lord||£160,804||£160,804||0.0%||£154,804||£0||£6,000|
|Bournville Village Trust||9,100||Peter Roach||£120,189||£120,190||0.0%||£112,800||£0||£7,389||Mr Roach retired in June 2018, and Pete Richmond was appointed as the new chief executive in the same month (outside of the financial year that this survey is reporting on)|
|Bracknell Forest Homes (now Silva)||6,332||Caroline Titley||£149,708||£147,496||1.5%||£136,098||£0||£13,610||Ms Titley resigned as chief executive on 28 April 2017. During the year the association made payments to a third party to provide consultancy support to the board and executive team in the absence of a permanent appointment to the role of chief executive|
|Broadacres||6,161||Steve Towers||£131,547||£131,547||0.0%||£120,000||£0||£12,000||Mr Towers retired in July 2017. He was replaced by Gail Teasdale on a total salary of £132,000|
|Bromsgrove District Housing Trust||4,023||Michael Brown||£126,793||£125,538||1.0%||£119,858||£0||£6,935|
|Bron Afon Community Housing||8,972||Mr Alan Brunt||£120,000||£124,423||-3.6%||£120,000||£0||£0|
|Cardiff Community Housing||3,000||Kevin Protheroe||£97,372||-100.0%||Refused to respond with details of how much retiring chief executive Kevin Protheroe or interim chief executive Stephen Cook were paid|
|Castles and Coasts||7,000||Stephanie Murphy||£114,000||-100.0%||Castles and Coasts refused to disclose details of its chief executive's pay. It was formed from a merger in July 2017 between Two Castles and Derwent & Solway Housing Association – Ms Murphy was previously chief executive of Two Castles, and her salary from the past financial year in that organisation is given, taken from its financial accounts|
|CHP||9,683||Stuart Stackhouse||£137,311||£134,749||1.9%||£130,619||£0||£6,692||From August 2018, CHP had a new chief executive, Mary Gibbons. Stuart Stackhouse retired from the organisation on 5 August 2018|
|Clarion||123,788||Keith Exford||£397,576||£376,199||5.7%||£397,576||not disclosed||not disclosed||Mr Exford retired in April 2018 – details of his pay are taken from the group's annual accounts. He was replaced by Ruth Cooke|
|Coast & Country||10,747||Robert Iain Sim||£180,395||£155,440||16.1%||£142,240||£24,955||£13,200|
|Community Gateway||6,169||Diane Bellinger||£141,097||£130,000||8.5%||£131,300||£0||£9,797||Ms Bellinger retired and was replaced in November 2017 by Rob Wakefield, on a total salary of £139,700|
|Cottsway||4,600||Vivian Rosser||£117,500||£117,500||0.0%||£111,000||£500||£6,000||All members of staff received a bonus of £550 for achieving key performance indicators|
|County Durham||18,265||Bill Fullen||£149,080||£141,400||£0||£7,680|
|Cross Keys Homes||11,029||Claire Higgins||£195,588||£165,341||18.3%||£170,620||£24,968||£0|
|Curo||13,171||Victor da Cunha||£163,900||£163,900||0.0%||£149,000||£14,900||£0|
|DCH (now Liverty)||24,023||Paul Crawford||£195,103||£187,021||4.3%||£185,683||£1,920||£7,500||DCH merged with Knightstone to form Liverty in March 2018|
|Dumfries and Galloway||10,304||Zoe Forster||£115,605||£114,490||1.0%||£112,605||£0||£3,000|
|Extracare Charitable Trust||4,020||Mick Laverty||£185,921||Extracare refused to respond|
|Family Mosaic||Brendan Sarsfield||£228,000||Family Mosaic merged with Peabody in 2017|
|First Ark||Bob Taylor||£153,867||First Ark refused to respond|
|First Choice Homes Oldham||11,484||Cath Green||£145,083||£145,083||0.0%||£139,083||£0||£6,000||Ms Green left in December 2017, and was replaced by Vincent Roche on a total salary of £141,000|
|Fold (now Radius)||John McLean||£114,999|
|For Viva||24,000||Tim Doyle||£189,000||£171,819||£0||£17,181|
|Fortis Living||15,948||Guy Weston||£163,198||£161,582||1.0%||£148,362||£0||£14,836|
|Freebridge Community Homes||6,813||Tony Hall||£138,210||£157,000||-12.0%||£125,645||£0||£12,565|
|Gateway Housing||2,993||Sheron Carter||£121,674||£115,962||£5,712||£0||Ms Carter resigned in November 2017. Kate Dodsworth replaced her in April 2018|
|Genesis||28,667||Neil Hadden||£230,863||£220,000||4.9%||£222,640||£0||£8,223||At the end of the financial year, Genesis Housing Association merged with Notting Hill Housing|
|Gentoo||29,002||John Craggs||£185,000||£203,520||-9.1%||£185,000||£0||£0||John Craggs resigned as chief executive in September 2017. He was replaced by interim chief executive David Jepson on a total annualised salary of £182,000|
|Golding Homes||7,405||Gary Clark||£140,000||£139,928||0.1%||£127,273||£0||£12,727|
|Grand Union||11,988||Aileen Evans||£148,543||£144,755||2.6%||£142,168||£0||£6,375|
|Great Places||19,171||Matthew Harrison||£159,080||£153,476||3.7%||£148,276||£0||£10,804|
|Greenfields||8,568||Phil Adams||£231,339||£136,726||69.2%||£129,226||£94,613||£7,500||Mr Adams retired in March 2018, and his bonus represents a one-off retirement repayment, and included a pension contribution. He did not receive a performance-related bonus. Pat Brandum was appointed as interim chief executive in March this year|
|Hastoe||7,595||Sue Chalkley||£148,850||£140,390||6.0%||£140,850||£0||£8,000||Ms Chalkley left in June 2018 and was replaced by Andrew Potter|
|Helm (now Radius)*||John McPeake||153,629|
|Home Group||55,182||Mark Henderson||£224,986||£223,092||0.8%||£203,243||£16,259||£5,484|
|Housing & Care 21||20,188||Bruce Moore||£238,000||£233,000||2.1%||£238,000||£0||£0|
|Housing Plus||12,061||Sarah Boden||£187,181||£175,770||6.5%||£156,113||£15,457||£15,611|
|Impact Housing Association||2,658||Mike Muir||£96,895||£92,452||£0||£4,443||Mr Muir resigned in August 2017 and was replaced by Bryonie Shaw. Ms Shaw is managing director rather than chief executive, as Impact is in the process of becoming part of Riverside. She was paid £83,600 in total|
|Irwell Valley||7,680||Sasha Deepwell||£165,000||£161,947||1.9%||£150,000||£0||£15,000|
|Johnnie Johnson Housing||4,988||Yvonne Castle||£123,000||£132,988||-7.5%||£115,000||£0||£8,000|
|Joseph Rowntree Foundation||2,527||Campbell Robb||£151,000||£158,000||-4.4%||£151,000||£0||£0||Benefits in kind other than the categories detailed above have been excluded|
|Karbon||24,732||Paul Fiddaman||£171,100||£171,100||0.0%||£161,600||£0||£9,500||Karbon was formed in April 2017, from Isos Housing, Derwentside Homes and Cestria Community Housing|
|Knightstone (now Liverty)||11,480||Nick Horne||£155,920||£143,000||9.0%||£154,000||£1,920||£0||DCH and Knightstone merged in March 2018 to become Liverty|
|Lincolnshire Housing Partnership (formerly Shoreline)||12,700||Murray Macdonald||£117,157||-100.0%|
|Liverpool Mutual Homes||15,467||Steve Coffey||£187,991||£184,305||2.0%||£170,901||£0||£17,090|
|Livin||8,400||Colin Robert Steel||£139,103||£131,218||6.0%||£120,959||£6,048||£12,096|
|Longhurst Group||22,368||Julie Doyle||£184,882||£197,687||-6.5%||£168,075||£16,807||£0|
|Luminus Group||7,377||Chan Abraham||£212,439||£219,854||-3.4%||£209,385||£0||£3,054||Mr Abraham left in June 2017. He was replaced by Tom Miskell, who had a total annual salary of £97,500, until March 2018. He was replaced in turn by Nigel Finney, on a total annual salary of £114,147|
|Magenta Living||12,833||Brian Simpson||£151,463||£148,493||2.0%||£137,694||£0||£13,769|
|Magna||8,901||Graham Colls||£153,517||£151,248||1.5%||£153,517||£0||£0||Last year’s figures have been corrected|
|Melin Homes||4,164||Paula Kennedy||£128,000||£122,000||4.9%||£115,000||£0||£13,000|
|Merlin (now part of Bromford)||8,650||Robert Nettleton||£154,500||£146,500||5.5%||£136,500||£18,000||£0|
|Metropolitan||38,046||Brian Johnson||£275,791||£241,867||14.0%||£230,393||£45,398||£0||Mr Johnson left in July 2017; he was replaced first by Jenny Danson as acting chief executive on a total annualised salary of £204,657, then Ian Johnson on £247,144. Geeta Nanda took on the job in October 2017, on £220,000|
|Midland Heart||33,276||Ruth Cooke||£248,000||£232,000||6.9%||£236,000||£0||£12,000||Glenn Harris took over the role of chief executive at Midland Heart in March 2018 on a total salary of £173,000|
|New Charter||19,951||Ian Munro||£200,158||£196,827||1.7%||£190,758||£400||£9,000|
|Newport City Homes||8,887||Ceri Doyle||£138,710||£136,846||1.4%||£126,100||£0||£12,610|
|NG homes||5,450||Robert Tamburrini||£121,614||£119,405||1.9%||£110,558||£0||£11,056|
|Notting Hill Housing||32,153||Kate Davies||£239,000||£232,138||3.0%||£226,000||£2,000||£11,000||The end of the financial year saw Notting Hill Housing merge with Genesis Housing Association. As of next year, the report will come from Notting Hill Genesis|
|Nottingham Community||9,317||Mike Andrews||£136,219||£135,000||0.9%||£136,219||£0||£0|
|Ocean Housing||4,655||Mark Gardner||£154,000||£195,765||-21.3%||£140,000||£0||£14,000|
|One Housing||16,000||John Gregory||£198,072||£204,100||-3.0%||£170,000||£28,072||£0||Mr Gregory was interim chief executive to 31 August. His total salary has been annualised. Richard Hill was appointed as chief executive in September 2017, and he received a total annualised salary of £202,400|
|One Manchester||11,967||David James Power||£132,613||£131,300||1.0%||£132,613||£0||£0|
|Optivo (formerly Amicus Horizon)||44,266||Paul Hackett||£236,011||£223,934||5.4%||£209,384||£26,627||£0||Mr Hackett was chief executive of Amicus Horizon until it merged with Viridian to become Optivo in May 2017, when he took over as chief executive of the new group. His bonus relates to the previous tax year|
|Orbit||42,810||Mark Hoyland||£270,000||£198,649||35.9%||£260,000||£0||£10,000||Mr Hoyland replaced Paul Tennant initially as interim chief executive and then was appointed to the role in July 2017|
|PA Housing||23,000||Dilip Kavi||£158,000||Refused to respond|
|Peabody||55,717||Brendan Sarsfield||£278,750||£238,260||17.0%||£253,750||£25,000||£0||Mr Sarsfield took over as chief executive from Stephen Howlett in June 2017, and his salary has been annualised. Peabody refused to disclose details of Mr Howlett’s pay|
|Peaks and Plains||5,000||Tim Pinder||£121,724||£120,222||1.2%||£110,659||£0||£11,065|
|Phoenix Community Housing||6,263||Jim Ripley||£131,887||£130,435||1.1%||£131,437||£450||£0|
|Places for People||198,640||David Cowans||£591,256||£579,183||2.1%||£385,966||£182,525||£22,765|
|Plus Dane||13,562||Barbara Spicer||£160,000||£160,000||0.0%||£160,000||£0||£0|
|Plymouth Community Homes||15,839||John Clark||£168,159||£169,386||-0.7%||£160,000||£0||£8,159|
|Poplar Harca||9,382||Steve Stride||£171,717||£160,748||6.8%||£145,791||£21,869||£4,057|
|Queens Cross||4,335||Shona Stephen||£105,769||£105,769||0.0%||£105,769||£0||£0|
|Radian||19,577||Lindsay Todd||£188,192||£184,637||1.9%||£172,895||£11,670||£3,627||Ms Todd was replaced by Mick Sweeney as interim chief executive from 1 August 2017. Mr Sweeney received an annualised salary of £264,754|
|Red Kite||5,831||Trevor Morrow||£135,854||£132,118||2.8%||£128,272||£0||£7,582|
|River Clyde||5,641||Kevin Scarlett||£108,383||£106,050||2.2%||£108,383||£0||£0|
|Rochdale Boroughwide Housing||13,037||Gareth Swarbrick||£120,321||£121,005||-0.6%||£120,321||£0||£0|
|Saffron Housing Trust||6,000||Yvonne Arrowsmith||£134,223||-100.0%||Refused to respond|
|Salix Homes||8,190||Lee Sugden||£132,612||£132,263||0.3%||£132,612||£0||£0|
|Saxon Weald||6,606||David Standfast||£168,900||£165,000||2.4%||£152,000||£0||£16,900||Mr Standfast retired in June 2018|
|Scottish Borders||5,639||Julia Mulloy||£98,896||£93,813||5.4%||£98,896||£0||£0|
|Settle (formerly North Hertfordshire Homes)||9,074||Gavin Cansfield||£155,100||£140,000||10.8%||£155,000||£100||£0|
|Shepherds Bush||5,000||Matt Campion||£146,330||£145,000||0.9%|
|Soha*||6,721||Richard Peacock||£144,275||£141,723||1.8%||£144,275||not disclosed||Mr Peacock retired in June and was replaced by Kate Wareing|
|South Lakes||3,089||Cath Purdy||£112,211||£102,010||£0||£10,201|
|South Liverpool||3,756||Julie Fadden||£145,030||£122,400||£10,390||£12,240|
|South Yorkshire||5,732||Tony Stacey||£135,742||£133,080||2.0%||£135,742||£0||£0|
|Southern||28,000||Tom Dacey||£292,927||£281,125||4.2%||£280,043||£12,884||Mr Dacey’s data came from Southern’s annual accounts|
|Stafford & Rural Homes||6,152||Karen Armitage||£132,396||£129,800||2.0%||£120,360||£0||£12,036|
|Tai Tarian||9,031||Linda Whittaker||£126,000||£123,624||1.9%||£126,000||£0||£0|
|Thames Valley||15,909||Geeta Nanda||£211,173||£199,312||6.0%||£192,234||£18,939||£0||Ms Nanda stepped down as chief executive in September 2017 – her salary has been annualised. She was replaced by John Baldwin, who received a total annualised salary of £160,000|
|Town and Country||8,896||Bob Heapy||£150,470||£148,020||1.7%||£150,470||£0|
|Trafford Housing Trust||8,867||Matthew Gardiner||£156,372||£143,489||9.0%||£142,156||£0||£14,216|
|Trent and Dove||5,784||Ursula Bennion||£137,215||£128,550||7%||£122,715||£7,500||£7,000|
|United Welsh||5,743||Lynda Sagona||£129,596||£125,822||3.0%||£117,798||£0||£11,798|
|Vale of Aylesbury||8,199||Matthew Applegate||£164,629||£160,529||2.6%||£144,311||£11,318||£9,000|
|Viridian (now Optivo)||16,000||Nick Apetroaie||£279,000||£176,750||57.9%||£279,000||not disclosed||not disclosed||Viridian merged with Amicus Horizon to form Optivo in May 2017. Mr Apetroaie’s salary has been taken from Optivo’s annual accounts and includes a contractual redundancy payment|
|Vivid||29,349||Peter Walters||£175,000||£169,559||3.2%||£175,000||£0||£0||Sentinel and First Wessex merged to become Vivid in April 2017. Peter Walters was chief executive until Mark Perry took over in July 2017 and received an annualised total salary of £203,500|
|WDH||31,295||Kevin Dodd||£169,000||£167,000||1.2%||£169,000||£0||£0||Full salary entitlement is not taken and directors are on the same terms and conditions as all other employees. WDH does not pay bonus to directors|
|Wales & West||11,739||Anne Hinchey||£141,000||£136,000||3.7%||£141,000||£0||£0||These figures are taken from accounts ending 31 December 2017|
|Waterloo||26,607||David Pickering||£205,157||£192,495||6.6%||£205,157||£0||£0||The chief executive received the same 1% cost of living-related salary increase as all other employees. The remaining remuneration increase represented cost neutral compensation for loss of company pension contributions on leaving active membership of the scheme|
|Watford Community||6,569||Tina Barnard||£138,700||£138,728||0.0%||£135,000||£3,700|
|Weaver Vale||6,245||Wayne Christopher Gales||£126,000||£156,685||-19.6%||£126,000||£0||£0|
|West Kent||7,219||Frank Czarnowski||£122,834||£121,335||1.2%||£122,834||not disclosed||not disclosed||Taken from accounts which cover the calender year 2017, rather than the financial year|
|Westward Housing||7,146||Barbara Shaw||£142,000||£128,022||10.9%||£142,000||£0||£0|
|Wheatley||81,638||Martin Armstrong||£268,975||£250,060||7.6%||£250,478||£0||£18,497||Turnover not fully audited figure|
|WM Housing||30,349||Kevin Rodgers||£193,618||£191,800||0.9%||£183,618||£0||£10,000|
|Yorkshire Coast||4,500||Owen Ingram||£104,392||Refused to respond|
|Yorkshire Housing||18,036||Mervyn Jones||£155,872||£155,873||0.0%||£150,872||£0||£5,000|
|Your Housing||27,818||Brian Cronin||£210,800||£219,232||-3.8%||£168,640||£25,296||£16,864|
Notes: Total salary figures include the bonus and car allowance a chief executive received unless otherwise stated.
Total salary figures have been rounded to the nearest whole number * = taken from annual accounts ** = 2016/17 data taken from annual accounts
Another factor though is pensions. Individuals cannot put more than £1m in their pension pots without paying more tax – and although this is not a factor that worries most of us, for high-earning chief executives nearing retirement on generous defined benefit pensions, many will have reached or are nearing this limit. This has led some associations to boost pay, in compensation for money not being added to the boss’s pension, points out James Tickell, partner at Campbell Tickell. Another factor is that many retiring chief executives will be getting pensions based on their final salary – which again creates pressure to increase their pay in their last few years in office.
But pay rises in our sector pale in comparison to private sector chief executives – which the CIPD found rose by 11% to nearly £4m.
A comparison with charities is also illuminating – according to Third Sector, last year the average charity chief took home £255,000, well above most housing association bosses. The Wellcome Trust topped the chart of the largest pay packets, with a sum just over £3m – not, interestingly, to its chief executive, but a member of its investment team.
How is this data compiled?
Inside Housing sends a detailed survey to the 180 biggest housing associations in the sector, measured by number of homes owned and managed. This year we have added a handful of organisations to the list and include 182 housing associations, due to the high level of merger activity.
The vast majority of housing associations respond promptly with information about their chief executive’s pay. Data from a small number of organisations has been taken instead from their annual accounts, which must list the total pay of their highest-paid executive, which in most cases is the chief executive.
A very small number of associations refused to respond to our survey and have not yet published their accounts. We will follow up with details of those specific organisations once the accounts have been published.
We must also make a special note about Apex. This organisation appears in the table with no data for either 2017/18 or 2016/17. This is because it refused to respond to our requests, and has also ignored requests for copies of its financial accounts – public documents which are meant to be available if you ask for them, if they are not published on an organisation’s website.
David Cowans, chief executive of Places for People, once again is the highest paid chief in the sector. He took home a total of £591,256 – which includes a mega-bonus of £182,525 (it’s worth noting that 113 chief execs were paid less in total than Mr Cowan’s bonus). This is a pay rise of 2.1% on last year.
The nearly 200,000-home association has provided a breakdown which attributes 45% of Mr Cowan’s wages, bonus and benefits to Places for People’s social housing activities, and the rest to its “non-social-housing” businesses.
The organisation also says, via a spokesperson: “Under David Cowans’ leadership, Places for People has delivered another strong set of results over the last financial year. The group chief executive’s total remuneration includes a bonus, which is set every year by the group board and is based on his performance across all business units against environmental, social and financial targets.”
|Housing association||Chief executive||Total pay|
|Places for People||David Cowans||£591,256|
|Viridian (now Optivo)||Nick Apetroaie||£279,000|
The club of best-paid bosses mostly doesn’t change much year by year. But we have seen some alterations, mostly driven by mergers and changeover of staff. We have Nick Apetroaie taking home £279,000 as Viridian merged with Amicus Horizon to form Optivo – a 57.9% rise. Then Brendan Sarsfield, whose pay hit £278,750, as he took over the newly enlarged Peabody from Stephen Howlett – whose pay the association refused to disclose. Next is Brian Johnson, who left Metropolitan on £275,791.
A Metropolitan spokesperson says: “Brian’s annualised basic salary increased year on year by 2%, in line with the average salary increase of all colleagues across the business. His bonus was based on a number of demanding performance criteria – including both corporate and individual targets – set by the board. The year-on-year increase in his bonus reflects his improved performance against these targets.”
When we turn to the chief executives with the highest percentage increases, the same story emerges, as do some of the same names. Seventeen chiefs saw their total pay go up by more than 10%, and 69 went up by more than inflation (or 2.2%).
|Housing association||Chief executive||Total salary||Percentage increase|
|Viridian (now Optivo)||Nick Apetroaie||£279,000||57.9%|
|Cross Keys Homes||Claire Higgins||£195,588||18.3%|
|Coast & Country||Iain Sim||£180,395||16.1%|
Phil Adams, boss at Greenfields, leads the way with a 69.2% rise – made up largely of a one-off retirement payment.
A few of the associations simply put big rises down to performance. Andy Orrey, chair of Cross Keys Homes (CKH), for example, notes the organisation’s 25% increase in surplus, and record of building more homes than it ever has before as reasons for paying its chief Claire Higgins 18.3% more this year. He adds: “Claire is delivering outstanding results and commitment to CKH and the wider community and her remuneration reflects that.”
Anchor’s Jane Ashcroft saw her pay rise 17.7%, making her the second highest paid in the sector this year. The association’s chair Pamela Chesters, though, says Ms Ashcroft’s pay is benchmarked to the care sector, not to housing.
“Total remuneration reflects performance in meeting demanding financial, compliance, customer and employee targets,” she says – noting that the chief’s basic pay remained unchanged, and the increase is a reflection on her bonus.
|Housing association||Pay per home owned and managed||Chief executive|
|Joseph Rowntree Foundation||£60||Campbell Robb|
|Black Country||£54||Amanda Tomlinson|
|Gateway Housing||£41||Sheron Carter|
|South Liverpool||£39||Julie Fadden|
|Impact Housing Association||£36||Mike Muir|
|South Lakes||£36||Cath Purdy|
|Bromsgrove District Housing Trust||£32||Michael Brown|
|Melin Homes||£31||Paula Kennedy|
|Housing association||Chief executive||pay per £m/turnover|
|South Liverpool||Julie Fadden||£7,330|
|South Lakes||Cath Purdy||£7,013|
|Black Country||Amanda Tomlinson||£6,551|
|Wellingborough Homes||Jo Savage||£6,111|
|Bromsgrove District Housing Trust||Michael Brown||£6,066|
|Joseph Rowntree Foundation||Campbell Robb||£5,698|
|Impact Housing Association||Mike Muir||£5,539|
|Johnnie Johnson Housing||Yvonne Castle||£5,348|
|Melin Homes||Paula Kennedy||£5,333|
Fifty-four chief executives received a bonus in 2017/18, actually a slight drop on last year’s figure of 59. However, the average award rose by 29% from £15,788 to £20,386.
Looking at the top 10 biggest payments tells part of the story – like last year, Mr Cowans at Places for People took home the largest slice, with £182,525 (this is actually marginally down on his bonus the previous year).
But last year’s level of bonuses swiftly dropped, with the second highest payment being £41,500. This year is rather different, as the table shows, with five payments in excess of that figure.
As might be expected, organisations strongly defend their chief executives’ bonus payments, with a typical comment coming from Gordon Holdcroft, chair of Sovereign’s board, talking about Ann Santry’s £33,567 bonus. “Our remuneration, including bonus, takes into account a range of factors such as market comparatives as well as personal and corporate performance. Ann’s bonus reflected, among other things, an extremely strong year following merger,” he says.
As in previous years, the bottom end of the bonus scale shows a number of chief executives taking relatively modest bonuses of less than £1,000, generally as part of an organisation-wide scheme.
|Housing association||Chief executive||Chief executive's bonus (including discretionary bonus) 2017/2018*|
|Places for People||David Cowans||£182,525|
|One Housing||John Gregory||£28,072|
|Amicus Horizon (now Optivo)||Paul Hackett||£26,627|
Eighty bosses are still expecting ‘defined benefit’ pensions – where they will get a fixed amount.
That said, only 28 will now get a pension based on their final salary, with the rest getting something based on a career average, or a combination of the two in organisations which have switched methods of calculation.
Eleven chief executives received payments in lieu of pensions, which is also likely linked to this trend, with the rest either taking no pension or having a defined contribution arrangement.
|Housing association||Chief executive||Employer contribution to pension as a % of basic pay||Cash value of contribution|
|Wales & West||Anne Hinchey||26.7||£37,647|
|Weaver Vale||Wayne Christopher Gales||23||£28,980|
|Red Kite||Trevor Morrow||22.2||£28,466|
|One Manchester||David James Power||21.6||£28,644|
|Rochdale Boroughwide Housing||Gareth Swarbrick||18||£21,658|
|Stafford & Rural Homes||Karen Armitage||17.8||£21,424|
|Magenta Living||Brian Simpson||15.2||£20,929|
For the first time, Inside Housing asked housing associations to provide some basic data on the demographics of their chief executives – including whether they identify as BME, LGBT or have a disability.
Out of 182, 120 answered these questions, allowing us to for the first time reveal the extent of the race pay gap at chief executive level. Only four chief executives identified as BME. As well as being an incredibly low number, this also does make the task of identifying an average for the sector less reliable, as the sample size is so small.
However, the data shows that these executives took home on average £153,814. For the 116 who identified as white, average pay was £173,273. In other words, that is a 11.2% pay gap between BME and white chief executives.
Gina Amoh, chair of a group of 14 BME London landlords, says: “It is difficult to call our sector inclusive, when these figures paint such a dispiriting picture. Our sector leaders must step up and change. Some are starting to do it, and this is welcomed, but the numbers are still too small.” (It should be noted that Ms Amoh is also a housing association chief executive, but her organisation Inquilab has just under 1,300 homes and so is too small to be included in the salary survey.)
The biggest pay packet of a BME chief executive was taken home by Geeta Nanda, counted in the survey as the 27th highest paid. She appears in her previous role as boss of Thames Valley, where she took home £211,173 in total, a figure that has been annualised as she stepped down halfway through the financial year. She has since moved on to head up Metropolitan, where her annualised basic salary was £220,000.
So how about the gender pay gap?
Well, there were 58 female chief executives – a reasonable jump on the 49 in last year’s survey, meaning they make up 32% of chief executives. (This may have been affected by the addition of a small number of housing associations in this year’s survey – see ‘Methodology’ for more information on this.)
So far, so many small steps towards breaking the glass ceiling, but let’s look at how much they’re paid. On average, female chief executives took home £163,559 in total pay. This is an increase of 0.8% on last year’s average pay of £162,344.
However, when we look at what has happened to male chief executive pay, the story gets a bit more complicated. In this year’s survey we have 124 male chief executives, and they took home an average of £178,131, up 4.7% on last year’s average.
That means the gender pay gap has rapidly expanded to 8.2%, from only 5% in last year’s survey.
The survey does show a number of highly paid female chief executives. The second-highest paid chief executive in the land is Jane Ashcroft, on £414,288. Yet she is the only woman in the top 10. And if you take a look at the bottom of the table, eight out of the 10 lowest paid chief executives are women.
A quick note: we also asked if chief executives had a disability and if they identify as LGBT. However, rates of answering these questions were low. Two chief executives identified as disabled and one as LGBT. However, due to low response rates, we believe this reveals more about hesitancy to answer the question than the true demographics of the sector. For example, only 21 organisations responded to the question about disability. We will continue to ask these questions in future years.
|Housing association||Pay per home owned and managed||Chief executive|
|Places for People||£2.98||David Cowans|
|Home Group||£4.08||Mark Henderson|
|Housing association||Pay per £m turnover||Chief executive|
|Home Group||£617||Mark Henderson|
|Notting Hill Housing||£644||Kate Davies|