Homes England appoints first ever chief operating officer

Kirsty Shaw joins from the Care Quality Commission
Kirsty Shaw. Photo: Homes England

By Tevye Markson

14 Jun 2022

Homes England has appointed its first ever chief operating officer.

Kirsty Shaw, who is currently COO of the Care Quality Commission, will join the government’s housing and regeneration agency in September. She will work closely with chief executive Peter Denton in delivering the agency’s missions.

Shaw currently leads the CQC's customer and corporate functions, as well as being responsible for a complex portfolio of policy, digital and organisational change.

“I’m delighted to be joining Homes England as its first COO and am looking forward to helping to build the skills and capabilities the agency needs to help it deliver the significant programme of building homes, unlocking land and helping to support the government’s levelling up ambitions,” Shaw said.

Shaw joined the CQC in 2018 as COO. She has previously held roles as director of transactional service at Natural England, director of service delivery at the Animal Plant Health Agency, and head of standards and commercial support at the Food Standards Agency.

She will work closely with Homes England chief executive Peter Denton and be tasked with ensuring that the agency is appropriately organised and structured to successfully deliver its housing and regeneration objectives.

The new role has a salary of around £184,000, according to a job advert published in February.

“Kirsty joins us at an exciting time for Homes England,” Denton said.

“The new COO role is crucial for us as we think about the next phase of the agency, and Kirsty’s experience of leading large-scale operations and complex transformation programmes across central government will help us to continue to strengthen our ability to deliver at pace.”

Denton, former CEO of housing association The Hyde Group, joined Homes England in August last year after his predecessor, Nick Walkley, quit in February 2021.

Homes England is tasked with delivering the government’s pledge to build 300,000 homes a year by the middle of the decade. But prime minister Boris Johnson refused to guarantee this would happen at a speech in Blackpool last Thursday.

When challenged over whether the government could stick to the figure, he said: "I can't give you a cast iron guarantee that we're going to get to a number in a particular year."

Last month, levelling up secretary Michael Gove said he did not want to be tied to the target, arguing that “it’s no kind of success simply to hit a target if the homes that are built are shoddy”.

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