CEO of the Year Awards 2023

SME News- CEO of the Year Awards 2023 | 14 It was clear that there was a need for something different, tenants were speaking up and pointing out how traditional models of housing were not working for them, and perversely trapping some in a poverty cycle. As a result, Twenty11 was formed in 2016 following the deregulation measures offered through the Housing and Planning Act 2016. This allowed Alan the opportunity to address the concerns tenants had been expressing about how the existing model used by housing associations did not meet their needs or support their desire to improve their lives. Alan led a team of equally forward-thinking people, including tenants and colleagues, supported by the board, who shared his desire to see a different model for affordable housing that would focus on what really matters, putting families and households at the heart of the decisionmaking process. Alan explains: “In setting up Twenty11 we first established principles for the company. These set out not only what were the intended values for Twenty11, but also the framework in which policies and practices would be developed. As the concept emerged through tenant feedback, so the company was built from the ground up with help from local tenants. While an affordable home is so important, we also aim to make a positive impact on people's lives through other ways.” Twenty11 is responsive to unexpected life changes that happen for some people, with rents that can change based on affordability. It also strives to help tenants unlock their dreams and build prosperity by working with them on their Personal Success Plans, exploring new opportunities for work, training, education or volunteering. Tenants are also encouraged to engage with neighbours and the wider community, helping people to contribute positively to society. Alan adds, “We’re committed to helping our tenants succeed and we’ve reinvented the traditional landlord/tenant relationship by building empowering and trusted connections.” So how have Alan’s leadership skills enabled him to lead a team that has created all this? Alan shares: “Leadership is always a moving feast, so what was relevant and appropriate years ago may not deliver the same results in 2024. The industry has evolved, working practices have evolved, and so have employees. This generation looks for something vastly different to the last, and therefore leadership has to adapt to the circumstances. “I tend to focus my time on looking at what people’s strengths and character traits are. If you can eke out the best trait within people It’s no secret that the housing and property market has become harder and harder to navigate. People looking for affordable housing often face a near-impossible task to find a suitable home at a reasonable price. Award-winning Twenty11 CEO Alan Keers – along with colleagues – developed a vision of what a housing provider could look like in the 21st century, and led the setup of a new and different type of organisation, specifically to respond to modern-day challenges and to provide tenants with more than just a home. Read more about how Alan’s influence has shaped Twenty11 into what it is today. Most Innovative Affordable Housing CEO - England