Derwent Living chief exec makes top 50 Power Players list

Peter McCormack, chief executive of Derby-based housing provider Derwent Living, is officially one of the top 50 most influential people in the housing industry, according to a new poll.

Peter has been included in the coveted 2013 Power Players Top 50, compiled by industry housing magazine 24 Housing. Others included in the poll include London Mayor Boris Johnson and the Prime Minister David Cameron. David Orr of the National Housing Federation came out top in the poll.

The top 50 is a comprehensive guide to the most influential people currently working in, or impacting on the housing sector. Peter said: “To be included in this list alongside such influential people in the housing sector is a real honour, but it’s down to the impact and innovation of Derwent Living as a whole.

“While I’m thrilled by this accolade, it is the organisation that has achieved great things and I look forward to being a part of Derwent Living’s continued success.”

The ‘power’ list was compiled after polling more than 200 of the country’s most senior housing chief executives, politicians, commentators, academics, lawyers, and other movers and shakers, as well as frontline managers. Respondents were asked to rank the people they considered to be the most influential in the sector.

Gary Moreton, head of social housing at Baker Tilly recommended Peter as a Power Player, he said: “Peter leads an association which has shown itself willing to think differently. It was the first association to finance the purchase of a £50m social housing property portfolio through a pension fund route”.

This happened in 2011 when Derwent Living partnered with Aviva Investors to secure direct institutional investment into social housing, a first for the UK housing sector. Derwent Living secured an initial £45million to acquire over 1,000 properties from the Home Group in the Midlands.

Peter continues: “Investing in affordable housing has one of the greatest impacts on the UK economy, greater than offshore wind investment, financial services and human health services. This builds a strong case for further investment in the sector.”

The National Housing Federation recently calculated that for every £1 invested in building affordable housing, an additional £1.41 is generated in the UK economy. This year alone, Derwent Living has a development programme of 220 homes, the bulk of which are being delivered without public subsidy. Aside from the £26m involved in all aspects of the build, these developments directly generate an additional £13million for the regional economy and support 186 jobs. Indirectly they generate another £31million and support 465 jobs in the UK as a whole.

“Derwent Living doesn’t just provide affordable housing –our turnover will be £50m in 2013 and we now employ 540 people across our entire group. We are involved in construction in the commercial sector too, building new student accommodation, as part of the Uliving consortium, for the University of Essex and the University of Hertfordshire. Our reach is wide reaching, supporting over 1,200 jobs in the UK economy from our day-to-day activities.”

Peter joined Derwent Living, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, as chief executive in 2008 and has more than 30 years’ experience in housing. He started out in local government at Newcastle City Council and has had various roles Peter was director of operations with the Housing Corporation in the East Midlands between 1992 and 1995 and Chief Executive at Acton Housing before joining Derwent Living.