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Croydon brings onboard new housing boss who promises to ‘listen closely to residents’ – South London News

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Croydon council has brought a housing boss on board with a salary of up to £150,000 a year – not far off what Prime Minister Boris Johnson is paid.

Sumsita Sen takes up the role of corporate director of housing and will earn between £141,965 and £150,547 a year.

This is just £11,000 shy of the £161,401 a year the Prime Minister picks up.

She joins the authority at a tough time as the council works to improve housing in the wake of the Regina Road scandal.

Shocking living conditions were exposed in March 2021 and revealed council tenants living with thick black mould and soaking wet floors.

So far, 18 families from the South Norwood tower blocks have been moved out but the council admitted there were still outstanding repairs a year on.

Following an independent report which revealed systemic problems in the department, the council set up a housing improvement board.

Ms Sen will be in charge of improving things and will work with the board.

She will also be responsible for addressing homelessness and problems in the private rental sector.

The job was previously covered by temporary appointments Alison Knight, there for six months up to November 2021 and David Padfield who took up the interim role in November.

Ms Sen joins Croydon after six years as chief executive for Tower Hamlets Homes which is responsible for 22,000 council homes in the borough.

She has previously worked at Ealing, Hackney and Hillingdon councils.

She said: “This is an exciting time to join Croydon and its new executive team as we work to right ongoing challenges and make a huge difference to local communities.

“I plan to listen closely to residents as we shape and strengthen the housing service to deliver on their behalf.

“No council service can be seen in isolation and I look forward to working with Croydon’s diverse stakeholders and workforce to take forward the council’s overall renewal vision.

“I assure tenants, leaseholders and all residents of my firm commitment to working collaboratively to deliver much improved services.”

Councillor Hamida Ali, Croydon leader, said improving the quality of housing and the service for residents was one of the council’s “top priorities”.

She said: “Susmita’s significant experience and resident engagement background mean she will make a big impact leading the much-needed change our residents rightly need to see.”

The director of housing’s salary range was revealed in a Croydon council appointments committee agenda in December 2021.

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