Freya Lees

Director

MA (Hons), PG Dip Housing, MSc Research in the Built Environment

Freya has over 20 years experience in housing, research and consultancy. She leads the North Star team and specialises in policy and strategy development, performance review, and governance and regulation.

Freya has carried out many research studies to support local authorities in the development of local Housing Strategies, has written local Housing Strategies on their behalf and has evaluated their processes and outcomes in developing and delivering strategy objectives. Freya has carried out housing strategy development work in many areas in Scotland and the North of England. She has extensive experience in the analysis of housing need and demand data, including analysis of housing association and local authority housing management data. Recent experience includes a study to establish rural affordable need and demand and housing supply targets and research to establish a local authority strategy response in relation to custom and self-build properties. Freya has particular expertise in stakeholder consultation and community engagement and has developed a good working relationship with the CHMA.

Freya has developed a particular specialism in the assessment of housing and homelessness service provision, identifying areas of strength, weakness and improvements required. Frequently this has involved recommendations on the staff resources needed to deliver appropriate service standards. She led the DTZ Pre Inspection Services between 2005 and 2011. She has acted as study manager on many process and systems reviews, and service improvement studies including work focussed on housing management, repairs and maintenance and homelessness services. Freya is familiar with the Regulatory environment in Scotland having assisted many RSLs and local authorities prepare for inspection by the SHR and to develop self-assessment frameworks.

Freya has expertise in housing sector governance including Governance Reviews, Board Member Appraisals, Skills Audits and Training Needs Analysis. She has also developed and delivered RSL Board Member training programmes. She has also provided strategic advice to the RSL sector in relation to mergers, acquisitions and group structures.

Freya has worked with many local authorities in the provision of independent tenant advice, tenant and resident consultation and community engagement. All our research and consultancy studies involve tenant, resident and service user involvement and engagement to ensure an open, transparent and structured consultation process. Freya is currently working with the CIH and HouseMark to deliver the ‘Stepping Up To Scrutiny’ programme.

Freya has delivered a number of rent harmonisation and rent restructuring studies within the social housing sector in Scotland. In these studies she worked extensively with the project team and tenant representatives to develop, model and appraise a number of options for the new rent structures. Each study considered affordability and the impact of any changes on individual tenants and their ability to pay, alongside the impact on the Housing Benefit requirement.

Freya is Chair of Kingdom Housing Association.

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