Denise Fowler
Friday 21st January 2022 - 13:34

Introducing Phoenix's new Chief Executive

Phoenix Community Housing are pleased to introduce our new Chief Executive, Denise Fowler. We caught up with Denise to find out more about her. 

I’m beyond delighted to be joining Phoenix as your new Chief Executive. When the role was advertised I knew I had to go for it. I’ve been a long-time admirer of Phoenix – both for its resident-led model and for the important role it plays in the community. 

I grew up in south London, on estates very similar to those managed by Phoenix, and finding a safe, secure affordable home transformed my life.  I live with my wife just up the road in Catford and we brought up our children here. I want to play my part in ensuring that at Phoenix we continue to work together to build a better future for everyone in this community. 

I’m joining Phoenix from my current role as Chief Executive of Women’s Pioneer – a housing association which was established by suffragettes in 1920 and is committed to providing much-needed housing for women. Before that I was the Housing Ombudsman for England, where I was responsible for determining complaints made by tenants about their landlords and making recommendations to improve service delivery. I also worked for many years as a lawyer, in government, and in private practice where I represented tenants.  

I hope both my own personal background and career experiences help me understand issues from a resident’s perspective. I don’t underestimate some of the ongoing challenges in our community. I’m determined to listen and work with our Board to act on your feedback and ensure we provide you with the best possible service. 

I’m also very conscious that I am stepping into very big shoes. I know many of you know Jim Ripley personally. He is leaving a tremendous legacy after 14 years as Chief Executive, working with three successive tenant Chairs in Pat Fordham MBE, Anne McGurk and now Carmen Simpson. It’s a legacy I want to build on and will look at ways we can involve even more residents in steering the future of Phoenix and our community. I’m particularly excited to learn about the new Youth Council that has just been launched and the opportunity to engage more young people. 

It was a pleasure to meet some of our involved residents when I came to The Green Man for my interview. It confirmed that residents really are at the centre of decision making at Phoenix. I also enjoyed meeting more of you at the fantastic Winter Wonderland event last December. We continue to live through extraordinary times, but I hope I will have the chance to meet many more of you in person over the coming weeks. If you see me, please come and say hello!