Leadership team

Chief Executive

Matt Forrest

4995 Matt Forrest 1

Matt joined Thirteen from Home Group, where he was executive director of operations..

Having lived and worked in the North East for nearly 30 years, the former teacher and chartered accountant has held several executive and senior roles. He brings exceptional knowledge of the sector and a wealth of experience from social housing and the private sector.

Deputy Chief Executive

Chris Smith

Chris Smith

Chris is Deputy CEO for Thirteen, focusing externally on developing and growing strategic relationships and inwardly on driving business strategy and culture. 

Chris has more than 35 years’ experience in housing, with over 20 of these at senior management level.  She has led a number of complex regeneration schemes in partnership with Homes England, local authorities and communities.

Executive Director of Assets

Paul Jenkins

Paul Jenkins

Paul is the strategic lead on property compliance, building safety, asset optimisation, investment planning and delivery for Thirteen.

Paul also leads on implementing our stock environmental management activity, focusing on decarbonisation, sustainability and climate change adaptation.

Paul is also responsible for the facilities management services. 

He is a Chartered member of the Institute of Civil Engineers with a background in consulting engineering, strategic asset management and infrastructure investment. He is from Teesside and passionate about making a difference across the boundaries of the Tees Valley.

Executive Director of Customer Services

David Ripley

David Ripley

David's role is to focus on customer experience, including neighbourhood operations, repairs and support services, ensuring these services meet customers’ housing and support needs and going beyond to really delight our customers. 


Chief Finance Officer

Jane Castor

Jane Castor

Jane manages the financial affairs and financial strategy of Thirteen, leads on governance and acts as company secretary.

Jane is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and has a wealth of financial, commercial and governance experience gained in the public and private sector.

Before joining Thirteen, Jane worked at Homes England and its predecessor bodies for the last 16 years, most recently as Finance Director with responsibility for multi-billion pound annual budgets and balance sheet. 

Jane is from Teesside and is keen to ensure that we optimise the efficient use of resources to have a positive impact on customers.

Executive Director of Development

Joy Whinnerah

Joy Whinnerah

Joy leads on Thirteen Homes and the affordable homes delivery team.

Joy has experience leading on a wide range of projects including, large scale regeneration, joint ventures with private and public sector partners, developing specialist and supported accommodation and delivering a number of modern methods of construction build types.

Her appointment strengthens our commitment to completing thousands of new homes across the North East, Yorkshire and Humber over the next five years.

Joy is no stranger to the North East and is especially passionate about great homes in the Tees Valley, which has been her home for the last 30 years.