James O'Grady

James O'Grady CEOCEO.

James O’Grady is the CEO and founder of Keystage Housing, a supported living housing company. 

James became involved in the property industry after becoming heavily influenced by the building industry through family ties, and, aged 14, decided he wanted to become an architect.  

However, a set-back at school knocked his confidence when a teacher told him he would never achieve his dream career.  

James left school aged 16 feeling disillusioned. But through hard work and determination, sourced an eclectic mix of work – from bath restoration to manufacturing birthing pools – which resulted in him being able to buy his first home aged just 18.  

From then on, a love of property restoration began and in 2011, he and his wife were developing schemes for a local authority when an opportunity arose to take over the running of a supported living service. James jumped at the chance and over time progressed from being the landlord to service provider, managing 21 tenancies.  

From here James built a portfolio and founded Keystage Housing in 2018. The company set out to provide holistic, person-centred support with the help of local partners and charities to help people navigate their way out of homelessness for the long-term.  

The company has since grown to a team of 80, and supports those facing rough sleeping with safe and supportive places to stay. Its vision is to end the revolving door of homelessness by working with policy makers and the community.

James believes his own background gave him the passion to help others: “Aged 16, after a number of set-backs, I felt very unworthy. I’m still on the road to finding my own potential and have had to navigate that on my own. But I really value the opportunity to help other people see and reach their own potential and give them a second chance in life.”  James has seen hundreds of people benefit from the work of Keystage Housing. His long term aim is to eradicate homelessness and hopes to help achieve this through providing the right place for the right person at the right time. 


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