New senior leaders named to support Grenfell recovery

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) has announced the recruitment of three new directors to lead the rehousing effort for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire and help enhance local community relations.

The appointments come as the Council secures more than 100 properties for Grenfell survivors and spends tens of millions more to add an additional 200 homes to its property stock by the end of the year.

The Borough’s Chief Executive Barry Quirk has confirmed the new appointees as:

  • Maxine Holdsworth as Director of Housing Needs and Supply. Moving from Islington Borough Council, where she is their Housing Needs and Strategy Director, Maxine picks up the reigns of housing matters on an eighteen-month secondment and returns after working on the Grenfell Response Team over the summer
  • Doug Goldring as Director of Housing Management. With a long career in housing management in the capital, he’s currently working at Hounslow Borough Council
  • Sheila Durr as Director of People & Communities. An accomplished social work leader with significant experience transforming services for children, young people and families across a number of London boroughs, she has previously led services for the London Borough of Hackney

RBKC Chief Executive Barry Quirk said:

“Finding new homes for those affected by the tragedy of the Grenfell fire is our number-one priority. Maxine and Doug will bring strong leadership to the teams responsible for helping residents out of hotels and into their new homes, so that they and their families can rebuild their lives.

“We know that community relations have been strained by the awful events of this summer. Sheila’s experience in working with communities will be key in strengthening our relationship with the local community in North Kensington.”

RBKC has earmarked £40 million to fund new permanent accommodation for residents from Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk. The money will be used to secure housing stock available at social housing rents, ensuring tenants will pay no more in rent during their lifetime than they would if they were still renting from the Council.

RBKC has also committed to meeting the rent, service charges, council tax and utilities bills of all those directly affected for a year.

Maxine Holdsworth, Director of Housing Needs at RBKC said:

“I’m really pleased to be joining Kensington and Chelsea at this important time and am committed to ensuring that every person affected by this disaster have the keys to their new front door as quickly as possible.”

Doug Goldring, Director of Housing Management at RBKC, said:

“I look forward to steering the council’s housing department forward, putting residents at the heart of everything we do, as we reshape the future of local housing for the better.”

Sheila Durr, Director of People & Communities at RBKC, said:

“I feel privileged to have the opportunity to serve the community of North Kensington.”