Howell was put forward for the award by the Department of Communities and Local Government, where she was seconded from Shelter’s National Homelessness Advice Service to help deliver the scheme and keep struggling borrowers in their homes.
She has worked on the scheme since October 2008, which has so far enabled 38,000 people get help from their local authority with mortgage debts and led to 2,600 new homes being added to social housing stock.
Shelter says Howell has played a key role in promoting better action to prevent repossessions with the government and lenders, pointing out that in a letter sent to Shelter the DCLG said her work directly helped to reduce the number of people who were repossessed in 2009.
Howell says she is thrilled to have been given such a great honour and is very proud to have helped thousands of people stay in their homes through the Mortgage Rescue Scheme.
She says: “I have been greatly impressed by the commitment from people across a range of sectors to reduce the number of repossessions in the UK and would like to acknowledge that without the significant amount of work undertaken by people on the frontline of housing advice, the scheme would never have enabled so many people to receive the help they needed.
“We will keep working with people in mortgage difficulties to ensure they get help as well as supporting households through the MRS process.”
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, adds: “I would like to say huge congratulations to Carolyn for this important and well deserved recognition.
“The difference she has made in helping people stay in their homes and avoid the devastation that repossession causes cannot be underestimated and we are extremely proud to see her honoured in this way.”