Four new non-executive directors of the Leasehold Advisory Service Board appointed

The Secretary of State has confirmed the appointment of four new non-executive directors of the Leasehold Advisory Service Board.

The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has appointed Kim Caddy, Paula Higgins, Wendy Wilson, and Emer McNally as Non-executive Directors (NEDs) of the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) Board.

This is a crucial time for LEASE as its remit expands to become a voice for leaseholders. The new Board will be transforming the organisation to deliver a more impactful, customer friendly and cost-effective advice service.

LEASE provides government funded but independent advice on leasehold, building safety, commonhold, and park home issues. As an advisory service, LEASE aims to improve general knowledge about the practical implications of being a leaseholder or park homeowner. LEASE also highlights government actions and reforms within the leasehold sector, so homeowners can make more informed decisions when purchasing a property.

Kim Caddy has been appointed as Chair of Audit and Risk Assurance Committee for a term of four years from 25 March 2024 until 24 March 2028.

Paula Higgins and Wendy Wilson have both been appointed as NEDs for a term of four years, from 25 March 2024 until 24 March 2028, with a focus on housing and consumers. Emer McNally has been appointed as a NED for a term of three years, from 25 March 2024 until 24 March 2027, with a focus on digital transformation of LEASE and its services.

Minister for Housing, Lee Rowley MP said:

“We are delivering significant reforms through the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill that will improve homeownership for millions of people.

I welcome the strengthening of the leadership of LEASE with the appointment of the new board members as it continues to undertake its important role on behalf of leaseholders and homeowners.”

Martin Boyd, Chair of the LEASE Board, said:

“I am very pleased to welcome our new non-executive directors to LEASE. Kim, Paula, Wendy, and Emer have an exceptional level of knowledge and a wealth of experience in the housing sector and in senior executive roles. I am looking forward to working with them and believe they will bring a lot to LEASE, particularly at such a critical time of radical transformation.”

The new Board will provide advice and challenge to the chief executives of LEASE in their running of the organisation. It will ensure that LEASE continues to provide high-quality advice to homeowners, alongside its efforts to deliver its new remit, set by the Secretary of State of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The Board will also provide oversight on LEASE’s governance so it complies with the requirements relating to the use of public funds.

Further information:

Kim Caddy

Kim Caddy is a Chartered Accountant with leadership experience in both the public and private sector. Her role as Cabinet Member for Housing, and Opposition Deputy Leader at Wandsworth Council has given her direct insight into the issues faced by leaseholders and experience of working with both Government and other stakeholders to find solutions. Kim has spent over 10 years as a member of Audit and Risk committees, and has experience of chairing organisations and committees, including the Association of Retained Council Housing. Kim has seen first-hand the problems and unfairness faced by leaseholders and will use her extensive experience to support LEASE’s mission to improve outcomes for leaseholders and park homeowners and become a voice for these homeowners.

Paula Higgins

Paula Higgins is the founder and CEO of HomeOwners Alliance, which exists to restore trust in home ownership, lobby for policies and industry practices to get a better deal for homeowners and those who aspire to own. HomeOwners Alliance also gives practical help and support to homeowners facing some of the biggest and most complex decisions of their lives. Prior to setting up HomeOwners Alliance, Paula worked for 15 years as a civil servant for the UK and EU, specialising in the areas of buildings, planning and the environment.

Wendy Wilson

Wendy retired in November 2023 after 40 years in the housing sector. Her career started in local government where she specialised in homelessness and private sector housing advice. In 1991, she joined the House of Commons Library as the specialist housing researcher. For 32 years Wendy published briefings on housing issues and legislation and answered thousands of individual questions for MPs and their staff. Housing is one of the Library’s busiest subject areas with leaseholder and mobile homeowner issues forming a significant part of that demand. From 2014 she led the Social Policy Section and joined the research leadership group. Wendy was an independent board member of Waltham Forest Council’s arm’s length management company for 9 years where she chaired the operations and development committee and latterly the audit and risk committee.

Emer McNally

Emer McNally brings considerable experience of digital and technology to the LEASE Board having led the digital and technology function in a number of international companies, and is currently Group CIO at the Mobico Group PLC. An experienced member on Group Executive Committees as well as on external Advisory Boards, she brings a blend of strategic vision and pragmatism to delivering digital and technology change.  In addition, as a long-standing leaseholder, she has firsthand experience of the challenges leaseholders face in ensuring their properties are fairly managed and well maintained.  As well as being a leaseholder, she has chaired several Residents Associations over the past 20+ years, building an understanding of the obligations and limitations of the current leasehold system including resolving complex leasehold disputes through the First-tier Tribunal system.

Published 24 April 2024