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Mick Kent pays tribute to the late Bob Oulsnam, the first Chair and a co-founder of Midlands-based Bromford:

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It's with much sadness that I learnt about the death of Bob Oulsnam, our first Chair, who passed away last week on his 92nd birthday. I have privately expressed my condolences to his family, but feel it's important that we also publicly recognise Bob's crucial role in the history and success of Bromford. 

In 1963 a group of real estate professionals, including Bob, decided to take action to help local people who were struggling to afford to put a roof over their head. Bromford Housing Association was born. Those co-founders worked tirelessly in the early years to create some of Bromford's first affordable housing projects in Sutton Coldfield, Stratford upon Avon and Birmingham.

Today Bromford is much more than a housing association - it's asocial business with the aim of helping people be the best they can be. Employing over 1250 colleagues, managing 27,000 homes for rent and shared ownership as well helping a further 9,000 vulnerable people each year with their support needs, Bromford is thriving. Not only are we a leader in the sector but we're also recognised as one of the most innovative businesses in the country, having been shortlisted at the National Business Awards 2012. This success is in great part due to the legacy that Bob and those other early pioneers helped to build.

Bob was at the forefront of innovation in the affordable housing industry. His work all those years ago has, without doubt, transformed the lives of thousands of people and his contribution to our success cannot be underestimated. He will be greatly missed.

Read this tribute by Birmingham Post: Robert Oulsnam Birmingham Post tribute.