SOVEREIGN Housing Association, which manages thousands of homes across Dorset, has announced a new chairman.

Paul Massara will take up the role from July 30, when current chairman Gordon Holdcroft steps down after a decade on the board.

Sovereign manages more than 58,000 homes across southern England,with 134,000 customers. As part of its five year plan the association says it is committed to building around 1,900 new homes every year.

On his appointment as chairman, Mr Massara said: "I’m delighted to take up the position of chairman of Sovereign, an organisation that is extremely well placed to deliver on its exciting ambitions.

"The right to live in a good quality, affordable home in a thriving community is fundamental and I want to continue to drive that thinking forward and carry on Gordon’s great work.

"In a period where the sector is facing huge challenges, I want to ensure we continue with our excellent financial management so we can invest more in our current homes, as well as building more."

Mr Massara is an experienced non-executive and executive board director across a range of industries, with particular experience in the energy sector in both Europe and North America.

He was chief executive officer of RWE Npower and on the executive committee of both RWE and Centrica/Direct Energy.

He is also a member of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee on fuel poverty.

Sovereign chief executive officer Mark Washer said: "Paul is renowned for being a strong strategic thinker, with the ability to see critical issues clearly and manage risks effectively.

"Alongside his corporate experience, his previous roles within the charity, government and community sectors, such as his membership of the committee on fuel poverty, will give him an excellent insight into issues facing many of our residents. I am very much looking forward getting to know Paul, and to working with him as we deliver on our ambitions to be a great landlord.

"We want to build better places and spaces where people really do want to live, and cement our reputation as the leading housing association in the south of England.