Catherine Harrington is stepping down

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After 10 years leading the National CLT Network, Catherine Harrington will be stepping down as Chief Executive at the beginning of March.

Establishing the Network single-handedly in September 2010 at the age of 28, Catherine has played a crucial role in helping the CLT movement in England and Wales grow ten-fold from 30 CLTs to over 300 today.

A highly effective lobbyist, Catherine’s successes include leading campaigns that secured the £300m Community Housing Fund (including its recent renewal), securing a further £42m in capital and revenue funding for CLTs and winning crucial exemptions from legislation including the 1% rent cut, the Right to Shared Ownership and the voluntary right to buy.

Catherine has shared the chief executive role with Tom Chance since returning from maternity leave in 2019. Tom will continue as the sole Chief Executive.

On her decision, Catherine Harrington said:

“It’s been a real privilege to have had the opportunity to set up and run the National CLT Network and to work with such inspiring colleagues, CLT groups, trustees, funders and partners.

“I am immensely proud of what I and others have achieved in the last 10 years. There’s now a CLT for every day of the year, nearly 7000 homes in the pipeline, 27 enabler hubs across the country, growing support from local authorities, housing associations and lenders, and support at the highest political level. CLTs are no longer a niche activity that no one has heard of but something that is on the cusp of breaking into the mainstream.

“The most important and exciting work by CLTs and the Network though is yet to come and I look forward to seeing the CLT and community led housing movement continue to go from strength to strength”.

On the news, Cathy Bakewell, Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville MBE, Chair of the National CLT Network’s board of trustees, said:

“Catherine has been instrumental in transforming the Network from very humble beginnings to its current position. Without her drive and enthusiasm much less would have been achieved on the community led housing front. The organisation will sorely miss Catherine’s abilities. I will personally miss Catherine’s drive but know that the Network is in safe hands with Tom at the helm and will continue to prosper into the future.”

Leigh Pearce, Chief Executive of the Nationwide Foundation, said:

“I have known Catherine since we were both in the very early days of our work in the community led housing sector and I have been impressed by her professionalism, commitment and ambitious outlook since day one. The Nationwide Foundation and the Network have enjoyed a strong, productive and supportive relationship over the years and Catherine has been key to making this happen. She has been central to so much progress in the sector and has always had faith in the potential and benefits of community led housing that I have found inspiring. I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to get to know and work with Catherine over the last ten years. Thanks for all you have done!”

Nigel Kersey, Programme Manager for Housing Diversification at Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, said:

“Catherine has been a hugely energetic, well informed, focussed and effective lobbyist on behalf of community led housing. She has established herself as a valuable critical friend whilst keeping policy-makers on their toes across all relevant aspects of policy-making. She has made a substantial, lasting and positive difference to how the government sees the role of the community-led sector in meeting housing needs. I have very much enjoyed working with her and have no doubt that she will achieve similar success in whatever direction she goes in next.”