GERALDINE Howley – group chief executive of Incommunities – has been elected chairman of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) governing board.

She received more than 97 per cent of the vote in a members' ballot.

Mrs Howley, who was CIH president in 2015-16, said she was delighted to be elected and "humbled" at the level of support.

"I look forward to taking-up this important role," she added.

"These are challenging times for the sector but also exciting ones."

Mrs Howley has worked in the housing sector for over 35 years.

She began as a temporary receptionist with Bradford Council, before progressing to become the local authority’s director of housing.

Her appointment to the top job at Incommunities followed a major stock transfer in 2003.

Today, the group manages over 22,000 homes across the Bradford district as well in other parts of West and South Yorkshire.

CIH chief executive Terrie Alafat welcomed Mrs Howley's election.

"She’s already made a huge contribution to CIH as interim chairman and I look forward to continuing to work with her," she said.