Who we are


1. Our board of management

The Board of Management meets regularly to discuss Association business and guides its overall direction.

Board Members are from a mix of backgrounds and professions and bring a range of views. For information on joining our Board, click here.

Board members
Margaret O’Connor

Margaret O’Connor (Chair)

Margaret is chief executive of a local Leith-based charity. She is a Leith resident and joined the PoLHA Board in 2010 and the Persevere Board in May 2011.

Richard Bolton

Richard Bolton

Graduated from The University of Edinburgh as a Bachelor of Commerce, Richard worked for several firms including Touche Ross & Co and became a qualified Chartered Accountant. He is a founder member and MD of Forth Communications. Richard lives on a farm and keeps busy with its upkeep and maintenance. He also enjoys racing his yacht around Scotland and Ireland, golfing and skiing. He joined the Board in 2012.

Gordon Munro

Gordon Munro

City of Edinburgh Councillor for Leith. Joined the PoLHA Board in 2003.

Philip Neaves

Philip Neaves

Independent property and planning consultant. Joined the PoLHA Board in 2011 and is Chair of the Persevere Developments Board.

Helen Phillips

Helen Phillips

Local to Leith, Association tenant, with wide experience in community activities. She recently graduated with HNC in Counselling and joined the Board in 2011.

Brian Reilly

Brian Reilly

Brian is a qualified Investment Analyst and Banker specialising in Treasury and Financial Risk Management for Banks and Public Limited Companies. He hails originally from Leith. Brian was co-opted to the Board in October 2014 and elected in September 2015.

Caitlin McCorry

Caitlin McCorry (Vice Chair)

Caitlin is Service Manager for Community Housing with East Lothian Council and was previously an Assistant Director at Barony Housing Association. She is a graduate of Glasgow University, has a post-graduate qualification in Housing and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing. Caitlin was born in Leith and has strong family connections with the area. She co-opted to the Board in September 2016.

Neil Stewart

Neil Stewart

Neil Stewart is a solicitor advocate and manages a team with a varied caseload of civil litigation claims. He has a BSc (Hons) in Geography and lives locally. He co-opted to the Board in September 2016.

Anthony Gillespie

Anthony Gillespie

Anthony Gillespie has an MA in Economics and Law from Edinburgh University and is a qualified accountant. He has a broad range of work experience, ranging from the National Audit Office through Coopers & Lybrand, and now as Director of Business Support at the National Library of Scotland. He has also has worked for many housing associations. During his spare time, he enjoys attending concerts, keeping fit and anything about aviation. He joined POLHA Board in 2017.

Gurmit Singh

Gurmit Singh

Gurmit worked for Hewlett Packard / Agilent Technologies over a period of 40 years as a Quality and Reliability Engineer. He was involved in concept, design and manufacture of electronic test and measurement equipment. He also worked in a team under new product introduction with responsibility for planning, coordinating and executing improvement initiatives. Gurmit is also an active member within the Sikh Community. He was elected to the Board in September 2018.

Jenny Neville

Jenny Neville

Jenny is the Head of Procurement for the Scottish Ambulance Service. She has an MBA and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply. She has worked in the procurement field in the public and private sector over the last 30 years. She was elected to the Board in September 2018.

Jakub Stojek

Jakub Stojek

Jakub has worked for many homeless charities in Edinburgh. He has an MA in Journalism with the University of Wroclaw and PG Diploma in Drug and Alcohol Studies from Glasgow University. An active member within the Polish Community, he co-opted to the Board in September 2018.

Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson

Kevin is Head of Customer and Housing Services with Midlothian Council and has previously worked with other councils and housing associations. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and has resided in Leith since 2010. He was elected to the Board in September 2018.

David Welsh

David Welsh

David is an experienced management consultant. After many years working as a senior manager and Director in big advisory firms like Deloitte, Turner & Townsend and iMPOWER, he set up and runs his own small strategy consultancy in Edinburgh.

He was delighted to join the board of Quay in late 2016 and to support the work it does in Leith, where he now lives with his wife and daughter. Any spare time he has is wasted cycling or pursuing obscure and often unlistenable records from the 1960s and 70s. Co-opted to the Board in November 2018

Group around a boardroom table

2. Leadership team

The staff team is led by our Chief Executive with support from our Leadership Team and Operational Management Team. There are four departments in the organisation – Customer Services, Property and New Business, Business Support and Organisational Development and ICT.

Leadership team
Keith Anderson

Keith Anderson

Chief Executive Officer
Keith joined the Association in 2009; formerly he was Head of Housing Development and Waterfront Partnership Director with City of Edinburgh Council. Over 40 years’ experience of housing and regeneration throughout Scotland and in England. Fellow, and Governing Board Member, of the Chartered Institute of Housing, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Board Member of the Leith Trust.

Heather Kiteley

Heather Kiteley

Director of Finance and Corporate Services
Joined the Association in 2015. Heather previously worked for another Housing Association and has 20 years of finance experience across not for profit, charitable and commercial organisations. She is a Chartered Management Accountant and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), has an MBA with a specialism in strategic planning and is also a committee member for the CIMA Edinburgh branch and the CIMA Scotland area.

Claire Ironside

Claire Ironside

Director of Customer Services
Joined the Association in 2013. Formerly Housing and Regeneration Manager (City Centre & Leith) with City of Edinburgh Council. Over 20 years experience in housing. A Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and Common Purpose graduate.

Gordon Cameron

Gordon Cameron

Director of Property and New Business
Joined the Association in 2007. Formerly Business Development Director for Margaret Blackwood HA. Post graduate Diplomas in Housing Studies and Urban Property Appraisal. Member of Chartered Institute of Housing. Over 35 years experience in housing.

Mike Beniston

Mike Beniston

Head of Organisational Development and ICT
Joined the Association in 2011. Formerly an experienced Management Consultant specialising in organisational development and human resource management working across a diverse range of public, private and third sector organisations to improve business performance. Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and member of the Association for Project Management.

3. Persevere Board

The Board consists of eight members who represent a wide range of professional and personal experience.

Persevere Developments Ltd Board
Philip Neaves

Philip Neaves

Chair
Independent property and planning consultant. Joined the PoLHA Board in 2011 and is Chair of the Persevere Developments Board.

Anne Fergusson

Anne Fergusson

Anne is an accountant and a former lecturer at Strathclyde Business School and The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. She is a director with PricewaterhouseCoopers in London, a non executive director of The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s Development Board and advisor to Hatch, a social enterprise venture supporting entrepreneurial businesses as they grow by providing access to highly experienced management and to additional funding in conjunction with a large UK bank. She joined the Persevere Board in March 2013. Anne has three children and two grandchildren and lives mainly in London but regularly returns to Scotland.

Simon Guest

Simon Guest

Simon was until 2007 senior partner in the niche property firm of solicitors Bell & Scott having been a partner there for over 30 years. He then joined Applecross Properties where he was business development and legal director for a period of two years. He is now involved in various commercial and charitable organisations. He is a non-executive director of Dance Base Limited, Scotland’s National Dance Centre and a Board member of Cairn Housing Association, joining the Persevere Board in May 2011.

Jack Hunter

Jack Hunter

Retired planning and regeneration consultant. Previously held senior strategic and operational management posts with Scottish Homes. He was previously chair of Port of Leith Housing Association. Chair of Leith Theatre Trust. Local resident. Joined the Board in 2004 and the Persevere Board in November 2010.

Nicola McCowan Hill

Nicola McCowan Hill

Chartered Town Planner and development surveyor with experience of both private sector house building and local authority planning for housing. Joined the Persevere Board in March 2013.

Margaret O’Connor

Margaret O’Connor

Margaret is chief executive of a local Leith-based charity. Leith resident. Joined the PoLHA Board in 2010 and the Persevere Board in May 2011. Currently Chair of the PoLHA Board.

Sandy Telfer

Sandy Telfer

A real estate lawyer specialising in planning and development issues, accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a specialist in planning law and is a Legal Associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute. He is published regularly in the Scottish Planning and Environmental Law Journal.

Caitlin McCorry

Caitlin McCorry

Caitlin is Service Manager – Community Housing with East Lothian Council and was previously an Assistant Director at Barony Housing Association. She is a graduate of Glasgow University, has a post-graduate qualification in Housing and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing. Caitlin was born in Leith and has strong family connections with the area. Joined the POLHA and PDL Boards in September 2017.

4. Our partners

We work with partner organisations to improve services and access to our services.

We lease a number of properties (some of them purpose-built) to Leonard Cheshire Disability; Carr Gomm; Visualise; the City of Edinburgh Council; Bethany Christian Trust; Barnardo’s 16+ and the Dean & Cauvin Trust; Freespace and the Richmond Fellowship for the direct provision of support to people with various support needs.

We also lease buildings to the Ripple Project (the “Hub”); Dr Bell’s Family Centre and Pilmeny Development Project for use as community facilities.

We have arrangements with other organisations such as the Action Group, CEC’s Health & Social Care team; Health in Mind and SAMH to facilitate access to housing for people with support needs.

5. Funding sources

In the year to 31 March 2018, our total income was £17.3m and our total spend was £14.7m, giving us a surplus of £2.6m.

Some of our main sources of income in 2017/18 included rent and service charges (£12m), grants (£2.6m) and gains on property sales (£1.2m).

Our main areas of expense in 2017/18 included £4.2m on housing management and services, £4.1m on maintenance and £3.9m on depreciation of our properties.

More information on our income and expenditure is available in our annual report.

Download the Annual Report

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