Last week (1st December) Incommunities’ Group Chief Executive was made a Doctor of the University of Bradford at a graduation ceremony in its Great Hall.
A delighted Geraldine Howley received her honorary degree in recognition of her outstanding contribution to housing across the district.
Geraldine Howley leads one of the largest social housing providers in the Yorkshire and Humber region, with nearly 22,600 homes for rent and almost 1,000 leasehold properties.
She started as a temporary housing receptionist with Bradford Council over 30 years ago and has gone on to build a successful and rewarding career. Since 2003 she has led an organisation which has invested over £400 million modernising and delivering new homes and transforming neighbourhoods.
In May 2016 Geraldine was appointed Vice Chair of the Governing Board of the Chartered Institute of Housing following her one-year term as CIH President.
During her year as president she helped raised over £47,000 for The Prince’s Trust and its work turning the lives of young people around.
Geraldine recently won a National Landmark Achievement award for her work in housing and supporting young people.
She is also co-founded the GEM – Graduate Employment Mentoring – Programme which goes from strength to strength in developing young graduates to become leaders of the future. Over 100 GEMs have moved into exciting careers since the launch of the programme seven years ago.
Locally, Geraldine is a member of the Bradford District Partnership, Chair of the National Housing Federation Yorkshire and Humber Chief Executive’s Forum and Council Member of the Yorkshire and Humber CBI.
On receiving her doctorate, Geraldine said: “It is an incredible feeling to receive this honour and I’m particularly proud that my family were able to be with me at the ceremony.
“It is great recognition for the enormous work and investment that Incommunities as a group has made in modernising thousands of local homes across the district and investing in improving people’s lives. I am a strong believer in team work and I would also like to thank staff and colleagues for the support I’ve received over the years.
“Equally, to be recognised by the University of Bradford alongside such nationally respected figures is very humbling.”
In addition to Geraldine, three further honorary graduations were made. They were Bradford-born composer and producer Benson Taylor; Neil Hunt who joined the Royal College of General Practitioners as Chief Executive in 2011 and Ash Soni OBE, a former Chairman of the National Pharmacy Association Board of Management. Helen Hirst, Chief Officer of Bradford City, Bradford Districts and Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven Clinical Commissioning Groups also received an Honorary Fellowship