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Unity Homes and Enterprise announces new board appointments

Four new members have joined the board of BME housing association Unity Homes and Enterprise which manages almost 1,400 affordable properties for around 5,000 tenants in Leeds and Kirklees.

Mahara Haque has worked as a community development specialist for more than a decade and has a wide range of board experience including with housing associations and in the NHS.

Moreen Pascal has had a career in business support services, local government and the voluntary and community sectors mainly in London and Hertfordshire, where her focus has been on social justice initiatives in the community, leadership performance and workforce development.

Nasim Qureshi has been the chief executive officer at Inspired Neighbourhoods Group for 14 years, and brings considerable experience in the housing, health and social care and enterprise sectors.

Abdul Ravat has previously served on the board of Unity’s not for profit subsidiary company, Unity Enterprise, and has accumulated three decades of experience in housing and regeneration.

Abdul Hamied, Unity Homes and Enterprise interim chair, said: “I am excited to welcome our four new members who will each bring their own unique skillsets and experiences to the board table together with a shared commitment to Unity’s social purpose.

“We are proud of the work we do, not just as a provider of first class affordable homes but also in supporting local entrepreneurial activity and providing bridges to employment and training.

“Unity has exciting plans in place and in development which my new colleagues will have key roles in advancing in the months and years ahead.”

Cedric Boston, Unity Homes and Enterprise chief executive, said: “One of Unity’s great strengths as a community-based organisation is our eagerness to listen to different voices and implement innovative ideas in the quest to improve people’s lives.

“The new board members will make significant strategic contributions to what we do and how we do it for the betterment of local neighbourhoods.

“They are excellent appointments and, on behalf of the senior management team, I look forward to working closely with them all.”

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Notes to editors

Unity Housing Association was formed in 1987 with the objective of building a strong, BME-led, community housing association to address the needs of black and minority ethnic communities in Leeds.  The initial focus was on Chapeltown, but this has widened to other areas of the city including Harehills, Beeston, Holbeck, Chapel Allerton and Pudsey.  Alongside two schemes in Huddersfield, a new affordable housing development has recently been completed in Cleckheaton.  With a turnover of £6.8 million and an annual investment in new and existing homes of around £6.5 million, Unity now manages over 1,386 properties for tenants from all communities and ethnic backgrounds. In 2000 the association established its not-for-profit subsidiary company, Unity Enterprise, to support local entrepreneurial activity.  It now provides 142 affordable business units for more than 80 diverse businesses across three centres in Leeds. Unity Employment Services (UES) was set-up in 2011 to support Unity tenants and their surrounding communities in accessing employment and training opportunities.  It has since supported more than 1,700 individuals into work and training.

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