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About Us

Our Organisation and People


About BSHF’s new Director

David Ireland joined BSHF as Director in May 2014.  He is a housing campaigner and joins BSHF from Empty Homes, where he has held the post Chief Executive since 2007.

In 2012 David was voted one of the 50 most influential people in housing in a poll co-ordinated by 24housing.  He believes in people’s resourcefulness, and the ability of communities to improve their own housing situation.

David wrote How to Rescue a House published by Penguin to encourage more people to renovate empty homes, and was advisor to the BBC TV series of the same name. He was series advisor to “The Great British Property Scandal” TV Series, broadcast on Channel 4 in 2011. 

David was awarded an OBE in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to housing.  He is currently a member of the UK Government’s Department for Communities and Local Government’s housing sounding board, and has successfully campaigned for more legislation and funding for bringing empty homes into use. He was the originator of empty dwelling management orders that became law in England and Wales in the Housing Act 2004, and was instrumental in persuading the current UK government to adopt a range of measures to bring homes into use, from setting up a new grant fund to rewards for councils through the new homes bonus scheme.

David’s thoughts on his new post

‘I am enormously looking forward to working at BSHF. It is an organisation I have known and admired for many years. My work at Empty Homes was all about finding answers to areas of housing that weren't working properly. I see BSHF as an organisation that does the same but over a far wider reach.  BSHF is truly unique in having a global and UK view on housing.  It’s a fantastic strength, and one that I intend to build on to help the organisation to achieve even greater influence.’

The organisation 

BSHF is a registered charity whose objectives are to carry out research into all aspects of residential housing and publish the results of that research. As a company limited by guarantee it has no shareholders and all its funds are used to deliver its charitable objectives. BSHF is governed by a board of directors, who are also the trustees of the charity. BSHF has a small, dedicated team of staff and works in collaboration with a range of organisations throughout the world.

BSHF is financially independent, deriving its income from the land, property and investments that it owns. It is based in the former mining town of Coalville in the East Midlands region of the United Kingdom, where it has strong historical ties. 

BSHF is recognised by the Department of Public Information of the United Nations. Since 2006 we have held Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, reflecting our work in support of the goals of UN-HABITAT.

The members of our staff team are:

  • Mrs Isobel Ashford, Head of Communications
  • Mrs Joanne Hall, Financial Controller
  • Mrs Kate Hartshorne, Research Administrator
  • Mr David Ireland, Director
  • Miss Jennifer Line, Senior Researcher (UK Housing Policy and Practice)
  • Ms Megan McFarlane, Researcher (UK Housing Policy and Practice)
  • Mrs Jelly Moring, Research Officer
  • Mrs Jennifer Neville, Research Administrator (Maternity Leave)
  • Mrs Jen Pearce, Researcher (UK Housing Policy and Practice)
  • Ms Sharon Smith, Executive Assistant
  • Miss Mariangela Veronesi, International Programme Officer

All members of staff can be contacted via or individually using the formula  

The members of our board of trustees are:

  • Miss Stephanie Bamford
  • Dr Carol Dair
  • Mrs Pat Elderfield
  • Ms Jill Gibbs
  • Ms Bosa Opacic
  • Mr Geoff Payne
  • Mr Alan Pearson
  • Mr John Strange (Chair)

We welcome any comments you have on the work we carry out and value any suggestions you put forward so that we can improve what we do. If you have a complaint about BSHF please refer to our complaints procedure in the Related Documents section below.

Related Documents

BSHF Complaints Procedure