Richard Best, Baron Best

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Richard Stuart Best, Baron Best, OBE, DL, FAcSS (born 22 June 1945) is a British social housing leader and member of the House of Lords.

The son of late Walter Best DL and Frances Chignell, Best was educated at Shrewsbury School and the University of Nottingham. He married Ima Akpan in 1970, divorcing in 1976, then Belinda Stemp in 1978. He had two daughters and two sons with his two wives.

From 1970 to 1973, Best served as Director of the British Churches Housing Trust, then of the National Federation of Housing Associations 1973-88. From 1988 to December 2006, he led the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust. He has written extensively on housing and been involved with commissions on housing for Northern Ireland, Westminster, Birmingham, Glasgow and Hull.

Best is a member of the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Committee. He is also Chair of The Property Ombudsman and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Care for Older People and served as Chair of the Hanover Housing Association 2006-2015. He was President of the Local Government Association 2007-2016, Commissioner of the Rural Development Commission 1989-98, Trustee and Treasurer of the Royal Society of Arts 2007-14, a member of the NCVO Advisory Council 2008-2016.

On 4 June 2001, Best was created a life peer as Baron Best, of Godmanstone in the County of Dorset.[1] He sits as an independent crossbencher in the House of Lords.


He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1988 New Year Honours.[2]

He has been awarded honorary degrees from the Universities of York and Sheffield. In September 2014, he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.[3] He is also an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA. He is a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) of North Yorkshire.[4]


  1. ^ "No. 56232". The London Gazette. 13 June 2001. p. 6953.
  2. ^ "No. 51171". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1987. p. 9.
  3. ^ "CONFERMENT OF NEW FELLOWS" (pdf). Academy of Social Sciences. September 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  4. ^ North Yorkshire County Council

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