St Mungo's announces new chief executive

03 Jun 2020 News

St Mungo’s has named Steve Douglas as its new chief executive.

He will replace Howard Sinclair, who announced his intention to leave St Mungo’s last November after six years in charge.

Douglas, who was awarded a CBE for services to housing in 2019, was previously the group chief executive officer with Aquila Services, which advises housing associations and the government.

He has also worked as chief executive of the Housing Corporation, interim corporate director of neighbourhoods and regeneration for the London Borough of Hackney, and as the chair of One Housing Group. 

Douglas advised BME London on its the Leadership 2025 initiative, which aims to help senior black and minority ethnic professionals to become leaders of the future.

Working with government

Douglas said: “I look forward to working with the board, the client advisory board and great staff and volunteers at this important charity.

“I will also look forward to working with central government and notably with the ministerial advisory group on rough sleeping and Dame Louise Casey in her current role, a range of strong partners at regional and local government level, and the many committed and dedicated partners in homelessness charities, to tackle the scourge of homelessness.”

Robert Napier, chair of trustees at St Mungo’s, said: “I am delighted to be welcoming Steve at what is a critical time in the homelessness sector. Steve brings with him a huge wealth of experience relevant to our mission to ensure that everyone has a place to call home and can fulfil their hopes and ambitions.”

Praise for Howard Sinclair

Napier also thanked Howard Sinclair for his work at the charity. Napier said: “Howard has been outstanding in leading the organisation and I thank him for the role he has played at St Mungo’s, and indeed before that with his many years working in the homelessness and charitable sector.

“His commitment to the cause of homelessness and his passionate belief and leadership have been integral to making St Mungo’s the organisation it is today.

“We thank him for all he has done as he steps down at the end of June with our very best wishes for the future.”

Controversies

Douglas joins after two years for the charity which have been marked by controversy.

In 2018, the Information Commissioner’s Office found that it was likely St Mungo’s had shared information about rough sleepers with the government without those people's consent, as part of a Home Office programme to identify and deport foreign citizens from the UK. Sinclair later apologised for the charity’s involvement in the scheme, although the charity also disputed some details published in the media.

Earlier this year, hundreds of charity staff voted for a three-day strike over employment terms and conditions. Unite the Union, which organised the ballot, called the charity's management style "heavy-handed and bullying".

St Mungo's income last year was just under £95m, according to the latest filings with the Charity Commission. Douglas will start in his new role on 1 July.

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