MEET THE TEAM
We are a small but passionate team, dedicated to providing the best possible service to our tenants.
Karen Cooper, Chief Executive
Appointed as Chief Exec of PCHA in December 2016, Karen has worked at a senior level within the social housing and voluntary sector for over 25 years. Her interest in social housing came from being homeless herself when she was pregnant with her daughter; she realised that having a safe affordable home is an essential building block for life. She started off working in supported housing for people with mental health problems, and then went on to be the Chief Exec of three small community-based housing associations. In 2006 she set up her own consultancy business and since then has worked with a range of housing and support providers, offering advice and training to enable them to improve services, successfully engage tenants, and achieve their visions.
Karen is also the Chair of Evolve Housing and Support, a charity working with a range of homeless and vulnerable people in London.
Karen lives in Rochester in Kent, and has an adult daughter living in Croydon. In her spare time she practises yoga, swims and dances ceroc.
Steve Thorn, Director of Operations
Steve joined PCHA in June 2019 bringing with him 15 years of experience gained from within the housing sector in both rural and inner city environments. Prior to that he was a police officer in the Thames Valley constabulary where he carried out mobile patrol duties across Berkshire.
Steve manages the operational team and is responsible for the day to day delivery of housing services to residents such as repairs & maintenance, voids & lettings, rent arrears collection, estate management and resident engagement. He also supports Karen by assisting with strategic management of the organisation to ensure PCHA continues to grow and provide housing services to the local communities across Penge and the surrounding areas.
Steve was brought up in Epsom, Surrey and spent his early adult life working in Croydon. He now lives in Andover, Hampshire with his wife and has two adult children living nearby. In his spare time he enjoys heading off into the countryside in his micro campervan for long walks and al fresco dining.
Natalie Ions, Maintenance & Estates Officer
Natalie joined PCHA in July 2015, originally providing support for both repairs and finance. She now focuses exclusively on repairs and maintenance for PCHA properties and estates, and is responsible for ensuring repairs are actioned effectively and to a satisfactory standard.
Natalie decided on a career in social housing in 2015, and hasn’t looked back. She is qualified in level 2 Repairs & Maintenance with the recognised CIH (Chartered Institute of Housing). She is dedicated to providing great customer service to our tenants and maintaining great relationships with our contractors.
Cassandra Barns, Exec Assistant & Corporate Services Officer
Cassandra joined PCHA in May 2018, originally in the role of Finance & Admin Officer. As Karen's Exec Assistant and Corporate Services Officer, she gets involved in many aspects of the running of PCHA, including finance, IT, events organisation, recruitment, and supporting the work of the Board.
Cassandra lives in Penge and is passionate about the local area. She is excited about being involved in the community and helping to improve facilities for PCHA residents.
Prior to joining PCHA, Cassandra worked as a nutritionist and writer before deciding it was time for a change of career! She is also a fitness instructor and teaches weekly classes in Dulwich, Herne Hill and Croydon. In her free time she loves going to the gym, walking, travelling... and baking healthy cakes.
Danuta Evans, Customer Services Officer
Danuta has had a varied working life since moving from Birmingham to London. She spent several years as a PA including to the Head of the Charity Commission at the Home Office.
Danuta also worked part-time in an Estate Agent’s office and in a Bromley primary school providing literacy support to children. She is a qualified medical secretary and worked for the Bromley Primary Healthcare Trust.
Danuta's leap into housing came in 2003 when she joined Hyde Housing working as a Customer Service Advisor and Housing Assistant in their Bromley office. Enjoying the contact with tenants, she obtained Customer Services qualifications and later became the Manager of a Customer Service Team, leaving Hyde to join PCHA in April 2012.
Danuta enjoys gardening and exploring the countryside, when the weather permits... and eating curries!
Danny Yates, Housing Graduate
Danny joined PCHA in 2019 as a Housing Graduate through the graduate scheme Charity Works. Whilst completing his degree in International Development with Economics from the University of East Anglia, Danny volunteered as a youth mentor with a refugee integration project in Norwich. He also worked as a research assistant on a climate change project in Kampala, Uganda during one of his summers.
Danny currently lives in Forest Hill and is excited to work on his doorstep in Penge where he hopes to help tenants through a number of projects with PCHA.
In his spare time Danny is a big music fan and keen climber who loves to spend as much time outdoors as possible.