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All smiles as Manningham Housing Association community celebrates at Mela

More than 600 Manningham Housing Association (MHA) customers have attended a Mela to thank them for their support and collectively celebrate the organisation’s achievements since the onset of the pandemic in 2020.

The family event, held at Bradford City Football Club, included a host of fun activities including a bouncy castle, magician, penalty shootout, rodeo bull, virtual bowling and face painting, together with performance stages and a hot buffet.

Representatives of MHA’s community partners and agencies were also present including Bradford Hate Crime Alliance, HSBC, Hollings Youth Association, Staying Put, Bangladeshi Youth Association and Bradford District Credit Union.

MHA is the first housing association in the country to be officially accredited for its work in promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. It also recently had its Customer Service Excellence accreditation reconfirmed with the independent assessor’s report describing the organisation as a “beacon of hope.”

In 2021, the organisation won the Outstanding Approaches to Communications prize at the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Northern Awards “for incredible work with tenants and residents during the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic,” and was shortlisted for two UK Housing Awards including Landlord of the Year.

So far in 2022, MHA has won two Northern Housing Awards including Team of the Year for its work on the Building Bridges Bradford project which sought to bolster community resilience and challenge racism, prejudice and community division through social action activities.  The initiative also supported people affected by Covid including those experiencing mental health challenges, loss of income and isolation.

Ulfat Hussain, MHA Deputy Chief Executive and Director Operations, said: “I want to thank our magnificent team of dedicated staff – led by Amar Khan, our Customer Involvement and Engagement Officer – for their tireless work in making the Mela such a success.  We are blessed with fantastic people who always pull together in testing times to do the best they can for our customers.  We have received overwhelmingly great feedback which demonstrates the ever-important role we play in the community.

“It has been an incredibly difficult two and a half years for everyone.  We were determined to create an event filled with smiles, joy and hope for the future.  Happily, we managed to exceed even our own high expectations.

“The deepening cost of living crisis and the prospect of further energy price rises have created a new set of challenges but, with the collective spirit on display at the Mela, I know we will conquer them together.”

Barrington Billings, MHA Chair, said: “The Mela was a fabulous opportunity for everyone to enjoy and celebrate being part of the MHA community.

“Our staff moved rapidly after the first Covid restrictions were announced to support all of our tenants and that commitment never waned, including through providing regular social contact and opportunities for physical exercise.

“It is wonderful that their efforts have been recognised externally and it is particularly satisfying to celebrate these achievements with our customers because their needs will always be our absolute priority.”

Yusaf, an MHA tenant who attended the Mela, commented: “Great staff and welcome.  It was well organised, lots of respect.  Fab.”

Julie added: “I spent the evening at Bradford City with FoodSavers and the Credit Union. I was blown away by the event that Manningham Housing Association put on for their customers. It was a great event, magician was awesome, food was awesome, company was brilliant and your staff were a complete credit to you.”

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Team MHA (from left to right): Ulfat Hussain, Zahid Hafajee, Prafula Parsotam and Nazneen Zafar at the Mela

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Manningham Housing Association (MHA) has a proud track record of delivering homes and services to communities in Bradford and Keighley. It was founded in 1986 following a piece of research on the housing needs of Black and Asian communities in Bradford. This research proved that the needs of the South Asian community were not being addressed. With an annual turnover of £8.2 million and a staff of 42, the association now manages more than 1,400 homes for over 6,000 residents. Around 75 per cent of MHA properties are large family homes with three or more bedrooms. Over 80 per cent of MHA residents are of South Asian origin but the association proudly serves all of those in need.

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