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About us

What we do

We are a homes and communities organisation managing around 8,400 homes across Co. Durham. Our mission is ‘providing great homes sustaining strong communities and building a successful business.'  We recognise that to make communities vibrant places to live, we must do more than just letting and repairing homes.

Going above and beyond the traditional duties of a landlord we work closely with our communities to improve employment and training opportunities, health and financial confidence and to bridge the digital divide that exists within our communities.

We take an innovative, inspired approach to our work, ensuring that we deliver positive outcomes. We’ve ambitious plans to grow which includes broadening our income streams, investing further in our homes, diversifying our tenure offer and growing the business geographically.

Where we are

Our headquarters are based on the Durhamgate development in Spennymoor and is home to our 130 members of staff. The homes we manage are spread across 19 different communities within Co. Durham. We also have Foundations our community hub situated in Church Street, Shildon which runs a number of community projects. 

livin offices


Farrell House, Arlington Way, DurhamGate, Spennymoor, County Durham DL16 6NL

Foundations, Shildon


Visit Foundations for more information.

Newton Aycliffe


Visit our neighbourhood page for more information.

Aycliffe Village

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For more information visit our neighbourhood page.

Bishop Middleham

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Visit our neighbourhood page for more information.

Byers Green

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Visit our neighbourhood page for more information.



Visit our neighbourhood page for more information.

Spennymoor Town


Visit our neighbourhood page for more information.



Visit our neighbourhood page for more information.



Visit our neighbourhood page for more information.

Dean Bank


Visit our neighbourhood page for more information.



Visit our neighbourhood page for more information.

Kirk Merrington

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Visit our neighbourhood page for more information.

Middlestone Moor


Visit our neighbourhood page for more information.



Visit our neighbourhood page for more information.



Visit our neighbourhood page for more information.

Trimdon Colliery

Visit our neighbourhood page for more information.

Trimdon Grange

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Visit our neighbourhood page for more information.

Trimdon Village

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Visit our neighbourhood page for more information.

West Cornforth


Visit our neighbourhood page for more information.


Day-to-day the running of livin is over seen by our senior management team made up of a Chief Executive and three executive directors, all of which report directly to livin’s board.


  • Senior Management Team
  • Board
  • Committees
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    Colin Steel

    Chief Executive

    Colin started his housing career in Sheffield in 1984. He moved North in 1986 and developed his career in County Durham, Teesside and Northumberland.  He was appointed to his first Chief Officer post, in Northumberland, in 1999. He now has 30 years’ experience in social housing and local government.

    Appointed as Chief Executive for livin in 2009 Colin is responsible for leading livin in accordance with the vision, values, and business priorities established by the Board.

    Colin holds a BA Hons degree in Social Science, Postgraduate Diploma in Housing Administration and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA), he has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing since 1985 and a Fellow since 2004.

    Alan Boddy

    Executive Director Housing and Business Development

    Alan is a housing and human resources professional with over 30 years’ experience in the management and delivery of public services.

    In 2009 Alan took his first director’s role with the newly formed Sedgefield Borough Homes. With a passion for improving lives and communities, as part of his current role Alan is responsible for livin’s Housing and Business Development department which leads on providing added value services.

    This includes tackling the social and economic issues that exist locally through interventions such as community development, digital inclusion/transformation, employability support, community investment and partnership work. Alan also leads on core corporate services including tenancy management, Human Resources, ICT, business strategy, performance and marketing.

    Alan has postgraduate diplomas in Housing, Management Services and Human Resource Management as well as a Master’s in Human Resource Management and is a member of both CIH and CIPD.

    Wayne Harris

    Executive Director Property and Development

    Wayne started his career as a Chartered Architect working for a number of years in Wales before moving into his first social housing role in 1992 at Caerphilly County Borough Council.

    Wayne took his first directors position in 2002 Bristol City Council where he was responsible for public housing repairs and capital investment to 33,000 properties as well as overseeing older peoples services.

    Since 2009 Wayne has lead livin’s property and development section managing the repairs and maintenance contract, asset management, new build development, facilities, sustainability, energy efficiency, grounds maintenance and adaptations service.

    Wayne is a member of the Accent North East Region Customer Services Committee and also sits on the Ferryhill and Chilton Master Plan Steering Group.

    Sean Brodie

    Executive Director Finance and Governance

    Executive Director Finance and Governance since July 2015, Sean has worked in both industry and the charitable sectors and has 13 years’ of housing experience. 

    Sean started his career in housing with Gentoo, before progressing to Finance Director at Romag Limited in 2011. Prior to joining livin, Sean was the Director of Financial Planning and Risk for Moat Homes based in the South East of England.  

    Sean has a wealth of expertise and leads the Finance and Governance function. He is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and is qualified corporate treasurer.

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    Ian Youll

    Chair of the Board

    Ian is Chair of the Board and has been a Board member since 2009.  Previously he served for more than thirty years for the Fire and Rescue Service, holding board level responsibility for risk and resilience, learning and development, HR, health and safety, information and communication technology, research and development and diversity as well as sharing the corporate responsibility for the overall performance and budgetary status of the service.  

    Having attended many incidents in people’s homes, this unrivalled experience taught Ian the importance of the relationship between community safety, social housing provision and the community well-being.

    Through this experience and expertise, Ian is able to play a positive role in helping to lead livin to its continued future success. Ian is also a Master of Business Administration and holds professional qualifications in Human Resource Management and Health and Safety Audit as well as being a past member of the board of the National Tenants Voice.

    Alan Fletcher

    Vice Chair of The Board

    Alan has been a Board member with livin since 2012 and is Vice-Chair of the Board.  He is a member of the Human Resources and Remuneration, Housing and Communities and Assets and Development committees and sits on the Board of the new homes subsidiary.

    Most of Alan’s working life has been in transport and distribution in a variety of operational and management roles. Since retiring he has trained and worked in the voluntary sector, with a particular interest in welfare rights and benefits.

    Values of social justice, decency, a strong Christian background and belief in the strength of the family are key drivers in Alan’s approach.  Alan is committed to making a meaningful contribution to livin’s success as a housing provider, which benefits tenants, their families and communities.


    Adele Barnett

    Independent Board Member

    Adele has been a Board member since 2014 and previously chaired the HR & Remuneration Committee.  She is currently a member of the Audit and Risk Committee, Human Resources and Remuneration Committee and is Chair of the Housing and Communities Committee.

    A graduate of sociology, Adele has worked in health and social care for over 14 years in local government and voluntary organisations, and has managed an information service providing advice to disabled people and carers about a variety of issues including housing and employment.

    Adele believes in quality service provision having worked for Durham County Council Children and Adults Services with responsibility for the Services Quality Assurance Programme and Policy Framework. Currently Community Events Manager for Darlington Elim church she is responsible for the development and delivery of community outreach events, and is passionate about building strong community links. 

    David Walton

    Independent Board member

    David has been a member of the Board since September 2016.  He is currently a member of the Audit and Risk and Assets and Development committees and sits on the Board of the new homes subsidiary.  

    Masters qualified, David, has worked as an independent environmental consultant since 2013 and brings experience and knowledge of planning, project management and the environment after a career in local government and both the private and public sector.

    David believes the natural environment can dramatically affect the quality of the places where people live and views achieving a balance between maximising the use of assets and delivering social value as key to being a successful housing provider. 

    Oliver Colling

    Independent Board Member

    Oliver has been a Board member with livin since 2015 and is currently Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.  He is also a member of the Assets and Development Committee and sits on the Board of the new homes subsidiary. 

    A Durham University graduate, Oliver has built three successful businesses and is a qualified accountant.  With over 25 years’ experience Oliver runs a management consultancy business and has helped a broad range of organisations and individuals reach their full potential through strategic business advice and enabling them to ‘do things better’. 

    Oliver’s business and finance skills bring commercial acumen to livin’s Board, underpinned by his belief that everyone deserves a decent home regardless of their background.

    Norman Rollo

    Independent Board Member

    Norman has been a Board member since November 2016.  He is currently Chair of the Human Resources and Remuneration Committee and a member of the Audit and Risk Committee.

    With a professional career in human resources and management consultancy, Norman has also, in previous roles been responsible for developing community services and providing excellent customer support. 

    Brought up in a council house, Norman, is proud of what good social housing can offer to tenants and the respect and self-worth it can bring to those it supports.  He is committed to ensuring livin’s tenants receive great services delivered with care, courtesy fairness and respect.

    Dennis Bradley

    Independent Board Member

    Dennis has been a Board member since November 2016 and prior to that he was Chair of livin’s Scrutiny Group.  He is currently Chair of the Assets and Development Committee and sits on the new homes subsidiary Board.  He is also a member of the Housing and Communities and the Human Resources and Remuneration committees. 

    With two master’s degrees, Dennis has over 40 years’ experience in the public sector. Driven by a strong social conscience and experience of the workings of large, complex organisations Dennis spends his time since retiring assisting as a Chair of Governors as well as his work with livin.  

    Dennis believes that a secure, affordable home is a necessity for all and is committed to bringing his experience and skills to help support the Board.

    Charlotte Harrison

    Independent Board Member

    Charlotte has been a Board member since February 2017.  She is currently on the Assets and Development and Housing and Communities committees and sits on the new homes subsidiary Board. 

    With over 20 years’ experience in the housing sector across a variety of housing organisations, Charlotte began her career in London working for a Latin American Housing Co-operative which was part of a wider network of agencies working with the Latin American community.  Since then Charlotte worked in the South West and North East before joining the Northern Housing Consortium where she led the policy and public affairs service for 12 years.

    Charlotte is passionate about the role housing can play in supporting opportunity for both individuals and communities and is committed to bringing her experience and knowledge to the Board.

    Mark Simmons-Powell

    Independent Board Member

    Mark has been a member of the new homes subsidiary Board since September 2016.      

    Holding a Bachelor of Science degree, Mark’s career has seen him perform multiple roles in building surveying, construction and maintenance.

    With the lifelong belief that social housing really can make a difference to the vulnerable Mark brings with him 26 years of helping disabled people access good housing.   Mark has a broad understanding of housing matters and a wealth of property and asset management knowledge and during his career has established relationships with key stakeholders to represent local issues in the community. 

  • The Board is supported by four committees: Housing & Communities, Assets and Development, Audit and Risk and HR and Remuneration. The Committees are responsible for reviewing effectiveness and making recommendations to the Board for changes where necessary.

    Housing and Communities Committee

    The Housing and Communities Committee comprises: Adele Barnett (chair), Dennis Bradley (vice chair), Ian Youll, Charlotte Harrison and Alan Fletcher.

    The committee is responsible for monitoring customer experience and satisfaction levels.

    Assets and Development Committee

    The Assets and Development Committee comprises: Dennis Bradley (chair), Alan Fletcher (vice chair), Ian Youll, Oliver Colling, Charlotte Harrison and David Walton.

    The committee reviews and monitors livin’s programme of development and the effective management of livin’s existing assets, paying particular focus to risk management.

    Audit and Risk Committee

    The Audit and Risk Committee comprises: Oliver Colling (Chair), Norman Rollo (Vice Chair), Adele Barnett and David Walton.

    The key responsibility of the committee are risk, control and governance and associated assurance through a process of constructive challenge.

    HR and Remuneration Committee

    The HR and Remuneration Committee comprises: Norman Rollo (chair), Adele Barnett (vice chair), Ian Youll, Alan Fletcher and Dennis Bradley.

    The principle responsibilities of the committee is to provide oversight over the appraisal arrangements for the Chief Executive, and remuneration arrangements for the Chief Executive and Executive Directors in accordance with their contracts of employment.

How we do it

Our vision and strategy

Our mission is... 'Providing great homes, sustaining strong communities and building a successful business'

Our vision is 'Building a sustainable and successful business that provides great homes and supports tenants to improve their lives'

Our values are FOREVER PLUS which means Fairness, Openness, Respect, Enterprise, Value, Excellence, Reliability, Productive, Lean, Unified and Sustainable

Why we do it

To improve lives by raising the aspirations and ambitions of our organisation, our people and our communities

Plan A - Our Business Strategy

Plan A sets out the business objectives for livin. The two year plan outlines our strategic direction and sets clear priorities including how these will be measured and what success will look like. Agile in its development and design, Plan A will be adapted to deal with unforeseen circumstances or changes in the communities or markets in which we operate.

To view Plan A click here

To view our previous corporate plan click here.


Financial statements

Our Financial Statements contain details about our financial position and performance. 


Financial Statements 2016/17

Financial Statement 2015/16

Financial Statement 2014/15



Value for money

Our Value for Money report is an annual assessment we undertake to assess how resources are being used and to ensure we provide the best services at the best prices.

The report includes how much our services cost, how they compare to other housing associations, how efficiencies are being made and how all of this contributes to providing quality homes, support and vibrant communities.

Value for Money Self-Assessment 2016/17

Value for Money Self-Assessment 2015/16

Value for Money Self-Assessment 2014/15

Value for Money Strategy

Equality and diversity

We are committed to the principles of equality and diversity.  Equality is about ensuring that people from all sections of the community have fair and equal access to our services and employment and training opportunities. Diversity is about understanding and valuing people’s differences and making sure everyone is treat in an appropriate way.
If you’d like to speak to someone about Equality & Diversity at livin email or telephone 0845 505 5500.

Equality and Diversity Policy

HCA Transparency

We will be delivering 146 new homes over the period 2015-21 with funding secured from the Homes and Communities Agency’s Affordable Homes Programme.

From 2017 we will be publishing quarterly reports here of all spend over £500 related to the development of these homes.

Where a payment is subject to a contractual requirement for commercial confidentiality, the name of the creditor will be replaced with the words Redacted: Commercial Confidence.

Where information is classed as personal data, which by law we cannot publish under the Data Protection Act, we will state Redacted: Personal Data.

Quarter 2 2017/18

Quarter 3 2017/18


Our performance

Our performance management framework aims to ensure we deliver efficient and effective services that are continually improved and aligned to Plan A – our Business Strategy. Performance is measured against three key corporate themes which are:

  • Building a successful business
  • Providing great homes
  • Sustaining strong communities

We measure our performance against other similar housing associations using data from HouseMark to ensure at both a regional and national level we are delivering high standards.

Annual report

Our Annual Report sets out what livin has achieved during 2015/16, including examples of the good work that staff have done and the outcomes achieved for our tenants, communities and livin as a business.


Annual Report 2015/16


Performance - The Detail

  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Managing Empty Properties
  • Business Processes
  • Employee Satisfaction
  • Improvement Programme
  • Rent
  • Repairs and Maintenance

Careers at livin

  • Why work with us
  • The rewards and benefits
  • Learning and development opportunities
  • Equality and diversity
  • Work/life balance
  • Why work with us

    We are a dynamic and forward thinking business with  ambitious objectives.  If you are a committed professional ready to make your mark in the social housing sector then we’d love to hear from you, visit our current vacancies page to find out more.


  • Rewards and benefits

    We offer an excellent salary structure and career average pension scheme, as well as a range of salary sacrifice employee benefits including a car scheme, bicycle purchase scheme, critical illness cover, gym membership, childcare vouchers and more. We provide excellent facilities for our staff, located at our newly built office at Durhamgate in Spennymoor.

  • Learning and development opportunities

    We believe that our staff are one of our greatest assets and are key to helping the company move forward. In a vastly changing environment we recognise the need to develop our staff through corporate and individual training, to make them the best in their field.

  • Equality and diversity

    livin places equality at the heart of everything it does and welcomes applications for employment from all people regardless of their characteristics.

  • Work/life balance

    We are a family friendly employer with a generous annual leave entitlement, flexitime scheme and flexible working policy to help you to find the right work/life balance for you.


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