Our Board

Our Board is drawn from across the housing industry and is supported by a wide network of partners and supporters.

Ellie Horwitch-Smith, SHAP Board Member

Ellie Horwitch-Smith


An experienced energy project management leader who creates lasting partnerships and strong relationships. Ellie Horwitch-Smith has joined Birmingham City Council as Assistant Director – Route to Net Zero Carbon this month.  Ellie is heading up a new Route to Zero (R20) team and acting as lead officer on the Council’s response to its Climate Emergency Declaration, net zero target and green and inclusive economic growth objectives. The public sector has a key facilitatory role but needs a wide range of partners to succeed and this new team will work collaboratively across all sectors and levels to bring forward investment and support residents and businesses in a City-wide net zero transition. She looks forward to working alongside colleagues and wider organisations in scaling up net zero activity, building local delivery capacity and supporting skills and knowledge growth.

Alan Yates, OBE, SHAP Chair

Alan Yates, OBE

Alan has 28 years’ senior management experience in the affordable housing sector in regeneration, development and strategic asset management having joined the sector from the construction industry. Originally qualified in building, he has also completed executive training in Advanced Management Practice at Henley Business School. Alan has a particular interest in low carbon housing and is Chairman of the Sustainable Housing Action Partnership (SHAP).
Formerly Deputy Chief Executive of Accord Housing Association where he established award-winning Local Homes which was the first offsite manufacturer of low carbon homes by a housing association, Alan is now a property developer and independent consultant.
Alan was awarded an OBE for services to housing in 2019, and was named a Housing UK Climate Champion in 2020.

Rebecca Lane

Rebecca Lane has joined the Energy Capital team as Net Zero Neighbourhood Delivery Manager, where she will be enabling the investment of £2m into retrofit measures to prove the concept of Net Zero Neighbourhoods. The Net Zero Neighbourhood programme aims to demonstrate street-by-street retrofit and neighbourhood regeneration across a mixture of housing tenures. Between 3 and 7 neighbourhoods will be identified across the West Midlands, sharing learning across the cohort to achieve scalable approaches to community engagement, technical delivery and finance models. 

Rebecca’s interest in sustainability has been a longstanding passion, having focused on sustainability and climate change policy during her BA (Geography) at the University of Oxford. She is currently completing an MSc in Sustainable Energy Provision and Demand Management at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), which has led her to develop a passion for more sustainable homes in the future.

Samantha Crichton

Sam specialises in energy policy development and stakeholder engagement in the built environment sector. She has worked with clients across the sustainable energy and decarbonisation sector including housing providers, manufacturers and local and national government helping them shape the policy debate and communicate complex policy to a range of target stakeholders.
Sam has a First-class BSc (Hons) in Environment, Economics and Ecology from the University of York accredited by the Institute of Environmental Sciences. Sam is a Senior Consultant at Ecuity, having joined the organisation after graduating as a Policy and Commercial Analyst.

Sally Hancox

A strategic and collaborative individual with over 30 years’ experience working in social housing, Sally has held senior roles for 15 years and has strategic and leadership skills with a track record of building strong working partnerships and building high-performing teams. Sally is an optimistic innovator who embraces change, with excellent motivational skills and an extensive network. Driven by a strong sense of social justice, she has extensive experience of influence in Whitehall and Westminster. Creator of the Gentoo Green brand and identity within the social housing space, Sally has financial experience with significant capital and revenue budgets and making efficiencies.
Sally has a bias for action and a deeply-held belief that everyone is great at something – its just her job to find out what!

Gwyn Roberts

Gwyn’s passion is to empower others to help drive change, improve society globally and tackle climate change. Gwyn has represented national Government on a number of occasions and taken part in discussions with national broadcasters. Gwyn appeared on Radio 4’s ‘You and Yours’ programme, and is quoted in national press. His background as a civil servant enables him to have a strong knowledge of how UK, devolved and local government work. Gwyn was a key part of the team that encouraged UK Government to wind down the Code for Sustainable Homes in an orderly fashion. His government work has helped him understand legal issues, in particular intellectual property rights. Gwyn provided the main technical direction for BRE’s Home Quality Mark and technically developed the Code for Sustainable Homes. On site, he has air-tested countless homes and carried out detailed thermal imaging.

Steve Hale

Steve is passionate about sustainable housing and excited to join the SHAP Board. A housing professional of many years, Steve has worked in the private, public and voluntary sectors. The main skill Steve brings to the SHAP Board is his experience and knowledge of the practical challenges in delivering large-scale energy schemes to housing, with a focus on how this work results in real and tangible benefits to the lives of the people living in the