Appointment of Members to the Board of the NI Housing Executive

Date published: 18 November 2020

Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has appointed Chris Welch and Pauline Leeson as Board Members of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) with effect from 1 November 2020 until 31 October 2025.

Image showing two men in a boardroom
Image showing two men in a boardroom

Mr Welch previously served as an NIHE Board Member from 1 August 2019 to 30 June 2020. 

The NIHE is a Non-Departmental Public Body, established by the Housing Executive Act (Northern Ireland) 1971. Under this Act, the NIHE took over the housing responsibilities of 65 separate authorities and became Northern Ireland’s overall housing authority. It is currently landlord to approximately 85,000 dwellings and is one of Northern Ireland’s largest public sector organisations with a budget of over £740m and a staff of approximately 2,700. The NIHE Board is responsible for the efficient, effective and economic delivery of the Housing Executive's services.  It determines policies within its overall aims and objectives and makes decisions on operational and organisational strategies.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The current remuneration for the position of a Board Member is £6,890 per annum, with an expected time commitment of 1 day per month.
  1. These appointments have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland (CPANI) Code of Practice.
  1. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, CPANI requires political activity of appointees to be published.

Biographical details:

Mr Chris Welch

Mr Welch has been a senior manager in 6 social housing providers, including Acclaim Housing Group, through which he has experience of contributing to planning and implementing strategy and operational responses. He also has experience of leading strategic reviews, streamlining processes and implementing improved management systems. He is a Trustee of Inspire North and a former Trustee of York CVS. He holds no other public appointments and has had no political activity during the last five years.

Mrs Pauline Leeson

Mrs Leeson is the Chief Executive of Children in NI (CINI), a regional network for the children’s sector, and a social worker. She has experience of sitting on public sector boards including in her current role as a Non-Executive Director on the Southern Health & Social Care Trust, which enables her to bring a range of governance and accountability skills to the NIHE Board. She is a Director of Health and Social Care Trusts from which she receives £7,960 per annum and has a time commitment of approximately 1 day per week. She has had no political activity during the last five years.

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