Stephen Howlett

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Stephen Howlett, chief executive of Peabody

Stephen Howlett has been chief executive of Peabody, one of London's oldest and largest housing associations, since 2004. Founded in 1862, Peabody is one of London’s oldest and largest social housing charities. The Peabody Group now owns and manages 27,000 homes across the capital, and runs a range of employment and community projects. It has a development pipeline of over 8,000 homes, and has ambitious plans to regenerate Thamesmead in south-east London.

Before joining Peabody, he was chief executive of the Amicus Group, which became AmicusHorizon Group in 2006,[1] and Swale Housing Association. Both organisations are now part of AmicusHorizon.[2]

Howlett was appointed to the Peabody Board on 18 May 2011.[3] He is a board member of Asset Skills, Pro Chancellor and Chair of Court at the University of Greenwich, and a member of the Guardian Housing Network Advisory Panel.[4][5][6] He is also a member of the Residential Committee of the British Property Federation. Stephen is one of the Mayor’s Leaders for London on sustainability and an adviser to the Mayor's Infrastructure Delivery Board.

Howlett was chair of the G15, the group of London's 15 largest housing associations, from June 2009 to June 2011.[7][8] Among the initiatives launched during his two-year tenure were the pilot London Moves scheme to enable social housing residents to move to sustain or take-up work, and a report produced by the London School of Economics which made the case for investment in affordable housing in London.[9] In support of the report, Boris Johnson, mayor of London, said it "make[s] the most compelling case for the government to concentrate its housing programme where it will deliver the greatest returns for all."[10]

As well as affordable housing, education, and skills, Stephen has a particular interest in design and architecture. He is a Trustee of Open-City, London's leading architecture education organisation and organiser of Open House London.

Peabody career[edit]

Howlett has presided over notable developments at Peabody including:

  • The launch of a programme to install solar photovoltaic panels on its housing stock across London. Due to be completed by March 2012, the programme will see the installation of six megawatt peak (mWp) of solar panels, reducing emissions from Peabody homes by around 2,500 tonnes per year.[11]
  • The issuance of a £200 million bond.[12]
  • The purchase of The Crown Estate's London housing properties.[13]
  • The completion of a London-wide refurbishment programme to ensure Peabody's housing stock meets the Decent Homes Standard.[14]
  • The appointment of Osborne, a UK construction and property services company, to carry out repairs and refurbishment works to Peabody's properties across London. The 10-year contract is worth £85 million.[15]
  • The growth of Peabody's development pipeline - it now has 8,000 new homes planned across London.[16]
  • The acquisition of Gallions Housing Association, Trust Thamesmead and Tilfen Land in 2014 to further the regeneration of Thamesmead in SE London.[17]


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