LHA London - Director of Estates



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Introduction About us The context in which we work Our hostels Our residents Our partnerships The Director of Estates appointment Working for us Key dates and application process

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LHA is a charity providing affordable accommodation to young working people and students living in Central London. LHA operates 14 London hostels providing nearly 2000 bed spaces. LHA provides accommodation in the boroughs of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Camden, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Hounslow and Islington. A structure of 70 paid staff and over 150 volunteers provide support services. LHA offers accommodation services, which provide a stepping stone to enable young people to advance their careers and education, whilst meeting residents’ reasonable needs and enhancing their well-being. The Director of Estates is required to develop the strategic 10-year plan, tasked with undertaking a full review of the existing portfolio, identifying opportunity for site acquisition and development of new build assets alongside refurbishment of current properties. LHA has ambitious growth plans, focused on growing both its bed numbers and social impact. In the short term, there is a requirement to increase bed spaces by 500 over the next 5 years. Also vital to the long-term strategy is creation of sustainability and environment deliverables across the portfolio. This appointment offers the opportunity to take ownership and be directly responsible for leading the continued evolution of the organisation’s ambitious growth portfolio in to further provide additional affordable accommodation in Central London.



LHA is a charity providing affordable accommodation to young working people and students living in Central London. LHA operates 14 London hostels providing nearly 2000 bed spaces . LHA provides accommodation in the boroughs of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Camden, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Hounslow and Islington. A structure of 70 paid staff and over 150 volunteers provide support services. LHA offers accommodation services, which provide a stepping stone to enable young people to advance their careers and education, whilst meeting residents’ reasonable needs and enhancing their well- being. LHA also supports partner organisations with the objective of reducing homelessness amongst young people in London. During the last financial year, LHA made grants to these partners totalling more than £300,000 .



To be a leading provider in the charity sector of secure, low-cost accommodation in London. OUR MISSION In order to achieve our vision, we will expand our offering by acquiring, developing, maintaining and managing secure, low-cost hostel accommodation. The accommodation will provide a diverse choice of living arrangements that meet the reasonable expectations of young people with limited means that wish to work or study in London.




London is dependent on its young people. Since the turn of the century, there has been a net inflow of young residents from the rest of England, that move to London to study or work early in their careers. With its international appeal, London also draws hundreds of thousands of young people from across the globe for studies and employment, bringing huge economic, intellectual and social capital to the city. The value of international students2 : • £2.3 billion annual net benefit • 70,000 jobs supported Since the early 2000s, London’s population has grown by more than 20%, in line with a rapid increase in the number of jobs. In the same period, the London housing stock saw an increase of only 15%, failing to accommodate the extra demand. Rather than stemming population growth, this shortfall has resulted in a rapid rise in house prices and rents, with average rents increasing by 38% in the past ten years (12% above inflation). As an indicator of how high London rents are, the rent of a one-bed flat was the equivalent of 46% of gross pay, almost twice as high as the UK average (24%). High housing costs are a widespread pressure for Londoners, with and increasingly prevalent overcrowding and homelessness. When housing costs are taken into account, a quarter of Londoners live in poverty.


In 2018, the Mayor of London announced that there was a housing crisis in the city and brought forward their London Housing Strategy, seeking to make the capital ‘A City for all Londoners’. The strategy prioritised: 1. Building homes for Londoners; 2. Delivering genuinely affordable homes; 3. High quality homes and inclusive neighbourhoods; 4. A fairer deal for private renters and leaseholders; and 5. Tackling homelessness and helping rough sleepers. With the implementation of the strategy still in its early stages, it is unclear whether the government is doing enough to tackle the housing crisis. While indicators for affordable housing have shown progress, homelessness rates and overcrowding have increased since 2017. Following Brexit, a new immigration system put an end to free movement for EU citizens, which together with the COVID-19 pandemic, has significantly reduced migration from the EU. The pandemic has disproportionately impacted sectors in which EU migrants are strongly represented, such as hospitality and transport. EU migrants will play an important part in the economic recovery of these sectors, and provision of affordable and flexible accommodation will be key to drawing professionals to the capital. A 2021 survey of young people found that housing, employment, and mental health are the most important issues for young Londoners, with Covid-19 and lockdown having a exacerbating these issues. Providing affordable accommodation for young people in London has never been more relevant. The hostels that LHA provide ensure that young people from across the UK and beyond, continue to have access to affordable accommodation in central London, enabling them to pursue their passions and careers.





We have made several important moves during 2020 to support our charitable ambition to acquire new sites and to increase the number, affordability and range of facilities on offer to our residents. In the final months of 2019, LHA purchased a new site in Hounslow and during 2020, developed and submitted a design for planning permission. We commenced a comprehensive and wide-ranging review of our sustainability ambitions, principles and strategy during the last year, with the following key areas of ambition:

• Enhancing the performance of our properties • Empowering our people teams and neighbourhoods • Maximising potential by building resilience • Increasing impact through collaboration


Beyond the 3 hostels shared with other charities during 2020/21, we provided residents with 11 other hostels across London

Torquay House Royal Oak

Belsize House Belsize Park

Davies Court East India Court

Belvedere House Gloucester Rd

Railton House Islington

Leinster House Bayswater

Friendship House Southwark

Bowden Court Notting Hill

Sandeman-Allen Bayswater

Newington Court Islington

Halpin House South Kensington


LHA has an Open Access policy and attracts people from diverse backgrounds and locations, who require affordable accommodation in central London. From the 122 survey responses of current residents, 40 NATIONALITIES WERE RECORDED! Employment: The majority of residents have come to London for employment, with 63% of surveyed residents indicating that they are in full-time, part-time or self-employment. Education: The number of full-time or part-time students has dropped from 31% amongst LHA alumni to 22% amongst current residents, which is likely due to many students moving back home to study remotely during the pandemic.


I moved to London because “I loved the idea of living in a welcoming international environment, and experience all the amazing opportunities London offers to develop myself professionally.”



We are committed to supporting London charities with similar objectives. During the year we made grants totalling £370,500 This year, we funded 16 projects , an increase from the 13 projects in 2019/20.

LHA also granted £116,000 of emergency funds to tackle Covid- 19’s impact on the charities we support. Since its implementation, the LHA fund has grown and continues to strengthen over the years.

Each fund is monitored through conversations with project leads and grant beneficiaries, where appropriate. Additionally, projects capture case studies and track outputs and outcomes. Key considerations include: grant use; outcomes and impacts; circumstances affecting grant use; any future changes ahead.

Established projects

New 2020/2021 projects




JOB TITLE Director Of Estates LOCATION London

LHA have an extensive freehold base and an appetite and ambition to grow in both bed numbers and social impact. The role will be pivotal in designing and scoping a full review of the portfolio’s strategic viability ahead of the 10-year plan. Experience in project management of complex construction projects to expand our reach and impact will be necessary. Reporting directly to the CEO, the individual will be responsible for overseeing and leading on all aspects of Charity’s portfolio. This includes all aspects of real estate strategy, planning, project management, transactions, environmental, health and safety, lease negotiations and land acquisitions. The person will support all functions in the application and governance of these services. They will align with the charity’s best practices and provide a consistent experience for lines of business. The Director is responsible for directing the full life cycle of the real estate portfolio (strategy, planning, build). The portfolio includes 14 locations within London, totalling roughly 430,000 square feet of hostel accommodation in prime locations. This individual will work pro-actively with the charity’s senior management team to align the portfolio with business and financial requirements. They will be responsible for achieving measurable year-over-year improvements in quality, service, and beneficiaries’ satisfaction.


Knowledge and Skills • Over 10 years industry experience. • Bachelor’s degree in business, finance, real estate, or related field. Member of professional body. • Understanding and experience in managing real estate regulatory compliance requirements. • Ability to identify, retain, coach, and develop future team members. • Excellent interpersonal skills and strong written and verbal business communication skills. • Strong team leader with an analytic problem-solving approach and conceptual thinker. • Strong resource management and delegation skills. • Ability to foster strong and trust-based business relationships with key business partners and line of business. • Ability to influence senior executives and other internal and external stakeholders. • Experience presenting complex information and concepts to all levels of management. • In depth data management, analysis, benchmarking and report modelling skills. • Ability to conceptualize, design and direct the implementation of strategic initiatives that enhance the service delivery model. • Results-oriented and self-motivated with a commitment to service excellence. • Builds, maintains and improves upon a high-performance work environment. Key Accountabilities • Management of high quality facilities and property service for hostel portfolio. • Financial management, forecasting, identifying savings and managing to budget.


• Responsible for Leadership, Strategic planning and Team Development. • Program & Project Management, leveraging internal and external resources. Experience of Design & Build Contracts and Tenders Process. • Demonstrate experience managing teams and external providers to deliver first class real estate services. • Provide strategic business plans for real estate opportunities. Design individual building viability plan for future sustainability. • Real Estate transactions, leading negotiations on freehold / lease transactions and subleasing opportunities. Lead on land acquisitions. • Responsible for the governance of building health & safety, sustainability strategy and environment across the portfolio. • Develop an operational plan that is integrated and aligned to the overall Strategy.




• 25 days annual leave • Pension – employee contribution matched up to 10% • Private healthcare (individual cover) • Death in service




For a confidential discussion please contact our retained advisors Stephanie Howe or Ben Duffill of The Management Recruitment Group on stephanie.howe@mrgpeople.co.uk / 07932717431 ben. duffill@mrgpeople.co.uk / 07976125010. Applications should consist of a CV and covering letter (of no more than two pages) and sent to stephanie.howe@mrgpeople.co.uk and ben.duffill@mrgpeople.co.uk Closing date for applications is Sunday 16th January 2021. First stage interviews with MRG to take place w/c 24th January 2021. First stage interviews with LHA to take place w/c 7th February 2021.


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