Day 26 of MSV: An interview with Yvonne McDermott (Executive Director of Growth, Partnerships and Business Development)

Day 26 of MSV…… An Interview with Yvonne McDermott

We met with Yvonne McDermott who was appointed as new Executive Director of Growth, Partnership and Business Development following the merger of Mosscare Housing Group and St Vincent's Housing Association.  Prior to the merger, Yvonne was Director of Business Development for St Vincent's.

What was your background before you joined St Vincent’s?

 I became a General Practice Chartered Surveyor straight form University because of a strong interest in the built environment from valuation, property management and development to shaping deals that had a significant impact on our urban and rural environments.   I started out in the commercial world with Manchester Ship Canal Company and Peel Holdings where I was involved in developing and managing commercial buildings and land. This included industrial warehousing in Liverpool Freeport and the early developments in Salford Quays, the Trafford Centre and Trafford Park.

What brought you into housing?

 After moving to the United States I gained my Real Estate Licence and I moved into managing low income Section 8 housing in the New York and New Jersey areas and very different experience than the UK. After returning to the UK I later decided to take up a role in St Vincent’s Housing Association, developing new homes, using my transferrable skills as a property professional and found the housing world hugely rewarding, enabling me to use my professional skills to create housing for some of the most vulnerable people who would not be able to access housing in the general market.

What are you most proud of achieving so far?   

Some of my proudest achievements have been  in the provision of specialised supported housing, becoming involved in the personal stories of families who have cared for their family members over the years but who need a long term secure home for their sons and daughters, this has included accommodation for those with autism or physical or learning disabilities. Other notable projects have included our work with Caritas and Cornerstones on housing for the homeless and refugees and the provision of our young person’s foyers and Snugbug projects all of which have gained national recognition.


Yvonne (top left) at the opening of the first HAPPI scheme in Bury

What are you excited about following the merger and what do you hope to achieve in the next three years as MSV?   How many homes are we looking to develop? 

The merger brings together two organisations that have not abandoned their principles in tackling some of the ‘difficult to do’ jobs and MSV pledges to continue to provide housing for those in most need from housing for the aging population, solutions for Millennials whose housing options are more limited than their parents, supported housing of all types and for the homeless and refugees. But while we do all of this we also aim to balance this with continuing to provide low cost housing for sale such as shared ownership and market rented housing for the growing number of people who require good quality private rented housing. Our business case will open up opportunities to build up to 1000 more homes as MSV.   

To start this off we have 94 homes on site nearing completion and a further 477 in the pipeline including new build homes for affordable rent, shared ownership and rent to buy as well as specialist schemes for learning disabilities and an extra care scheme.  MSV will target areas of Greater Manchester where there is strong demand for housing for rent and for sale and take advantage of opportunities in areas like the Ribble Valley to secure S106 homes from housebuilders.

Are you looking at developing homes for other tenures? Why is it important to do so in the region? 

Whilst there is a strong preference in the UK to own your own home, the fact is many young people and families will be renting for longer with the availability of homes and mortgages meaning they are locked out of home ownership, often until they are in their 30s. With private rents on the increase and a fixed supply of social rented housing, housing associations find that they need to address the new housing crisis and provide housing for low and middle income earners as well as those in the gravest housing needs. MSV has the opportunity to meet this range of needs and to play its part in contributing towards the ¼ million new homes needed each year.


29th August 2017

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