A national housing forum has announced that Thirteen’s director of assets will be its new chair.

Russell Thompson, Thirteen’s executive director of assets, has taken up the role of Chair of the Direct Works Forum, for the next three years.

Founded over 20 years ago, The Direct Works Forum (DWF) is a specialist industry organisation, for in-house repairs and maintenance teams in housing, which provides advice, information and an opportunity to share best practice to its members in asset management, maintenance and compliance.

As well as his voice for the North East, Russell takes with him a wealth of experience, having worked for several housing providers and 10 years as a consultant during his 41-year career in housing.

He holds responsibility for property compliance, assets, facilities, environmental management and investment planning and delivery at Thirteen.

Russell said: “I’m delighted to take up the role with the Direct Works Forum.  Over the years, it has become a fantastic way for industry professionals to build a network where they can work together and share best practice and I’m very much looking forward to an exciting future for the forum.”

Keith Simpson, founder of the Direct Works Forum added: “The forum has gone from strength to strength and we have no doubt that with Russell’s expertise this will continue.

“The process of choosing my successor was considered at length by the steering group and myself, as the role is pivotal to the successful running of the organisation.

“With most of us having known Russell for many years, he was an obvious choice to take on this responsibility.  I wish him well for the next three years as he implements the exciting changes that are planned.”