Claire Higgins

Claire Higgins

Claire was born and raised in Stockport.  After graduating from Southampton University she moved to Hackney in London.  Claire secured her first job as a development officer for Newlon Housing Trust, working on a number of new build and rehabilitation projects, as well as managing special needs accommodation. Claire remained with Newlon for three years finishing as general manager of the company's non-charitable subsidiary which specialised in low cost home ownership projects and the management of the association's commercial property portfolio.

She then joined Circle 33 Housing Trust, also in London, in 1988 as managing director of their non charitable Home Ownership arm looking after commercial and non-charitable activity such as low cost home ownership projects, shared ownership and outright sales, home improvement agencies and mortgage rescue schemes (a big area of business during the last recession.)

Before joining Cross Keys Homes in September 2004, Claire spent seven years as executive regional director for Housing 21 - a large national specialist housing and care provider for older people, where she was responsible for all housing and care related operations in a region that encompassed 33 counties across central England. In her director's role, in addition to her operational responsibilities, Claire also had national responsibility for the association's leasehold portfolio, its asset management strategy and implementation, all property-related services and stock re-investment, making sure Housing 21's housing was fit for purpose into the 21st century and beyond.

Claire took over as Chief Executive of Cross Keys Homes in November 2014.

She is also involved externally as the vice chair of the connecting families board (the government’s ‘troubled families’ initiative), a member of the ‘Prevent’ strategic board, chair of the children and families commissioning board for the city and also chairs the statutory community safety partnership for the city, the Safer Peterborough Partnership.

Presently, Claire is particularly immersed in the implementation of the Cross Keys Homes community strategy in making sure it aligns and complements Peterborough's sustainable community strategy as well as making a real difference to people's lives given the current and unprecedented changes to the national welfare reform framework.

Recently it has been agreed by the Board that the organisation should test out a diversification of the business into the care services market, providing personal and domiciliary care to those who require it.  Claire will be over-seeing the strategic growth and delivery of a high quality and affordable care service which will add another dimension to the work of Cross Keys Homes. This is an area that Claire has a great passion for and is a welcome challenge that she is embracing wholeheartedly.

Claire is also a qualified mentor; another aspect of her work which she also finds extremely rewarding.