Housing association Southern Housing Group has appointed development director Alan Townshend as its new chief executive to replace the retiring Tom Dacey.

Alan Townshend Southern Housing

Townshend joined Southern in February 2015 and has more than 30 years’ experience in the affordable housing sector having worked with both public and private companies and running his own consultancy firm. Prior to joining Southern, he worked at Wandle Housing, as interim chief executive officer overseeing the operational and strategic side of the business. His other roles have included seven years at Circle Group as group regional operations director.

Outgoing chief executive Dacey said: “I am very pleased to be handing over to Alan Townshend. I have every confidence that the Group will move from strength to strength under Alan’s leadership.”

Townshend said he was “honoured” to take over and had a “clear vision for how we can continue to develop”. 

Earlier this year, Southern completed the acquisition of 496 homes from Hyde Group for £43m. The major stock acquisition was the largest for the housing association since 2015 and saw Southern build up its stock across seven locations: Woking, Thurrock, Southend, Hastings, Rother, Wealden, and Sevenoaks. The homes cover a range of tenures from general needs, shared ownership to supported housing reflecting the blend of the wider portfolio for the housing association.