Kevin Lowry, the director of housing and local services at Northumberland County Council, and a familiar face to many around the county is retiring from local government on March 31.
Kevin has spent 39 years working in social housing and the public sector. He joined Northumberland County Council in 2011 as head of housing and was subsequently appointed as managing director of Homes for Northumberland where he oversaw the running and management of the council’s portfolio of more than 8,700 council homes.
He played a key role in driving forward the council's long-held ambition to build new council housing to help ease the county's affordable-housing shortage. He paved the way for a number of new affordable schemes in Blyth, Amble, Embleton and Shilbottle, which will see 291 new affordable properties being built by the end of this year.
Last year, Northumberland County Council took over the management of council housing and Kevin was appointed director of local services and housing for the authority.
Steven Mason, chief executive of Northumberland Council, said: "Kevin's dedication, enthusiasm and determination to get the job done have been unfaltering and has helped bring about continued tenant satisfaction and improvement in the housing service. I am sure I speak for all those who know and worked with Kevin, that he will be a big miss. We wish him well for the future."
Kevin said: "I have worked with a great team and the strong partnership between staff, tenants and councillors has in my opinion been the key to the success of the housing service. After almost 40 years, I've decided to take a well-earned rest and am really looking forward to some quality time out with family and friends. However, anybody who knows me will know I find it impossible to put my feet up completely and I’m already looking to do a little bit of work with a youth housing charity in London."
Karen Bailey, chairman of Northumberland's tenant forum, said: "I would like to thank Kevin for the commitment, passion and drive he has shown to tenant involvement, putting it at the heart of everything he did in the housing service. His unwavering support for tenant involvement has been at the forefront of his work over the years I have known him and we, the tenants, wish him all the best for the future."