Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, is one of only two people within the residential property sector to receive a gong within the New Year’s honours list after being made a Commander of the British Empire.
The 54-year-old has headed up Shelter since 2017 and ensured it played a major role in persuading the government to bring in the tenant fees ban last year.
Neate spearheaded the campaign, arguing that letting agency fees were ‘not transparent’ and did not reflect the amount of work done, both points that the industry tried to thwart, unsuccessfully.
“This honour is a wonderful recognition of the activists I work with at Shelter – and previously at Women’s Aid – who believe passionately, as I do, that with compassion, skill and commitment, change for the better is possible,” she says.
“I’m delighted to pay tribute to our people at Shelter who defend the right to a safe home every day, working alongside individuals, within communities, and across society. We will continue to defend that right together, until it is a reality for everyone.”
Helen Baker, Shelter Chair, says: “We are delighted to see Polly’s career recognised in this way. She has been, and continues to be, a powerful advocate for those who have been failed by our housing system, just as she has been for women facing domestic abuse”.
The other recipient of an honour is Peter Freeman, who was also made a CBE. He co-founded construction giant Argent, which specialises in mixed-used developments including residential.
Read the NY honours list in full.