Wrekin’s long-serving Head of Housing announces retirement
A man who has dedicated over 40 years of his life to helping people in housing need across Shropshire has announced his retirement.
Andy Johnson, has been Head of Housing at The Wrekin Housing Group since 2005, having successfully led and managed the transfer of one the country’s largest social housing stock transfer from a local authority to a housing association in 1999.
During Andy’s time as Head of Housing, Wrekin has introduced a number of initiatives which have helped make a difference to people’s lives. Andy was responsible for establishing Wrekin’s Money Matters team – a service dedicated to helping tenants manage their finances and boost their income. The need for this service has been highlighted during the pandemic – during the last year the Money Matters team received 1,387 referrals and secured £2.4m in additional income for tenants.
Wrekin now boasts a first-class reputation when it comes to making it easier for tenants to pay their rent. As a result of Andy’s efforts, Wrekin is one of the best performing housing associations in the country in terms of rent collection – with nearly 70% of tenants making payments through direct debt.
Andy began his housing career in 1981, joining the housing department at Telford & Wrekin Council as a Housing Management Trainee. His career saw him take on a diverse range of roles, including becoming a welfare officer and homeless advisor and even included a short period working as a door-to-door rent collector.
Andy played an integral role in Telford’s voluntary housing stock transfer, which led to the creation of The Wrekin Housing Group in 1999. Andy’s role wasn’t just limited to behind-the-scenes, he was at the forefront of engaging with tenants to get their views on the potential transfer – attending events and speaking face-to-face with people.
Speaking about his career in housing, Andy said: “It has been a hugely rewarding experience and a pleasure to work alongside so many talented and dedicated people who are committed to making a difference to the lives of our customers and communities.
“I went into housing wanting to make a difference. At Wrekin, we’ve always put our tenants at the heart of everything we do and I’m proud of the support we offer.
“Wrekin is in my blood and I am sad to be leaving, but I feel now is the right time move on and look forward to spending more time with my family and on the golf course.”
Wayne Gethings Group Chief Executive of The Wrekin Housing Group, paid tribute to Andy’s achievements. “We owe Andy a huge amount of gratitude for the work he has done during his 40 years in housing. Under Andy’s leadership, our housing team has grown to become one of the best in the West Midlands, with an excellent approach to support services for our tenants. Andy has a wealth of expertise and experience, and is well respected within the housing sector for his values and ambition to make a real difference to people’s lives.
“He will be leaving our housing service in an excellent position to grow further and meet the challenges of the future, and although he is leaving us, Andy’s legacy will continue for many years.”
Andy’s replacement as Head of Housing is Nick Grubb, who joins Wrekin from Liverpool-based Colbalt Housing Association.
1st April 2022