Chief executive retires after having ‘huge influence’ on housing in region

Stephen Javes, CEO of Orwell Housing Group, who retires this weekend. Picture: Anthony Cullen

Stephen Javes, CEO of Orwell Housing Group, who retires this weekend. Picture: Anthony Cullen - Credit: Archant

A long-standing chief executive, who has had a 'huge influence' on housing in the region, has announced his retirement.

Stephen Javes, chief executive of Orwell Housing Group, retires this weekend after 27 years with the organisation.

Mr Javes, who was born in Lowestoft and still lives in the town, 'will be greatly missed and has been a huge influence on housing in Lowestoft,' according to a spokesman for Orwell.

After joining the organisation in 1991, since his arrival the Group has grown steadily from 800 homes with a turnover of around £750,000 per year and a staff of 15 to some 4,500 dwellings for people in housing need.

He leaves an organisation that now employs 800 people and in 2017 turned over £50m.


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Early on in his time at Orwell, Mr Javes moved the organisation from a traditional housing association that just provided general needs housing to a more diverse provider ensuing that they provided the homes, care and support that was needed in East Anglia area at the time.

Over the years, he has sat on the boards of many organisations such as Mencap, Stonham, Housing 21, the North East Suffolk Citizens Advice Bureau (NESCAB), St John's Housing Trust (now Access Community Trust) and was the chairman of the board of Eastern Procurement Limited.

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Currently he is chairman of Community Action Suffolk, as well as being a member of the Suffolk Strategic Housing Partnership and the East Suffolk Partnership Board. He has just been shortlisted for chief executive of the year, which is organised by Housing 24.

Mr Javes said: 'Every day has been a joy and a privilege to work in such a great organisation that has improved the lives of people across the region.

'I have worked with some wonderful people, who will always remain a big part of my life.'

Mr Javes will hand the reins over to Wendy Evans-Hendrick, who is currently director of development and property services. He added: 'I am delighted that after 25 years of working together Wendy will be stepping into my role from October 1.

'Wendy will be a great leader, she has the knowledge and skills to drive the business further forward. I wish her every success. I'm leaving a fantastic team and business, 27 years is a long time, I will miss the buzz of the business but the time is right to spend more time with my family and to enjoy retirement to the full.'

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