Pile Of Books

Thank you for considering joining the Board of St Luke’s. Our website includes a large amount of information that board members need, but we suggest that you should start with the induction material highlighted in this introductory note, which guides you through some of the more important documents and introduces you to the world of social housing if you come from a different background.       


This introduction is divided into four parts with links to the appropriate documents taken from the Society’s website.


Part 1: The History of St Luke’s and its Mission


Part 2: Organisation Structure and Recent Events


Part 3: Government Policies for Social Housing


Part 4: Key Recent Documents


Part 1: The History of St Luke’s and its Mission

A short history of St Luke’s can be found here.

Perhaps the key document for new (and existing) board members is the Governance Policy Manual which includes information on:    

  1. Principles on which our governance policies are based

  2. Mission, vision and values

  3. Structure of the organisation and the governing body

  4. Legislation

  5. Standards of behaviour

This document can be found  here


Part 2: Organisation Structure and Recent Events 


The organisation chart for the society is available here.


           The Board  is chaired Malcolm Fearn and members come from a wide range of backgrounds, bringing a range of different skills.

The two key working committees of the Society are the Finance (Chair: Peter Hendricks) and Strategy and Governance (Chair: Linda Hobbs) Committees, both of which report to the Board.

The General Manager of the Society is Jo Dancer.  Jo is responsible to the Board for the overall management of McMaster House. Jo is the Company Secretary and on a day-to-day basis also oversees the governance, finances, staffing and maintenance of McMaster House.  Prior to joining St Luke's, Jo worked in Social Housing for over 15 years, for both a Housing Association and Local Authority.  Jo has  solid foundation in Housing and Tenancy Management across tenures, specialising in Tenancy Enforcement and Anti-Social Behaviour.  


  The House Manager is Shimbo Chand.  Shimbo has responsibility for the day-to-day running of McMaster House with her main focus being supporting the residents.  Shim is responsible for carrying out the routine health and safety checks and support planning.   Shim also has a background in Social Housing and managing Sheltered Schemes in Oxfordshire so has a sound understanding of Housing for Older Adults and Support Needs.


Trudy Cox and Malcolm Parker look after the maintenance and advise on the need to bring in specialist contractors.  Both have extensive knowledge and experience across a breadth of different areas.  With this, they bring unique skills and problem solving.


McMaster House currently consists of 38 purpose built flats in Headington, Oxford generally let to those over the age of 55. All the flats are self-contained and let at an affordable rent.  We are proud to have increased our stock in 2020 from 36 to 38 by  the construction of three new flats and the remodelling of two studio flats into a one-bedroomed flat. 


The Annual Accounts to March 2019 (showed an operating surplus of £18,648 in 2019 and total reserves of £611,464.


Part 3: Government Policies for Social Housing


The National Housing Federation has published a useful guide to the regulation of housing associations entitled Leadership and Control: A Governance Manual for Board Members. This is a helpful reference document based on the NHF Code of Governance and is is supplied to all new Board Members.


However, if you do not come from a social housing background you might find it helpful to appreciate a little of the historical development of current government policies related to affordable housing. Two chapters from Understanding Affordability: The Economics of Housing Markets by Geoff Meen and Christine Whitehead are available here.


Part 4: Key Recent Documents  


The members section of the Society’s web site includes all the key documents. These include:

  • Board minutes,

  • Finance Committee minutes,

  • Strategy and Governance minutes,

  • Policies and procedures,

  • Financial risk assessment.

Information for Prospective Board Members