The role – effective from 5th June 2017 – will see Mr Connolly replace the current housing ombudsman Denise Fowler.
Mr Connolly will hold this position while the recruitment of a permanent post-holder takes place.
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Ms Fowler was appointed in February 2015 by former communities secretary Eric Pickles and is responsible for the independent complaint resolution service between tenants and landlords, including social housing and landlords in the private sector.