Unity announces appointment of Interim Chair

Abdul Hamied has been appointed Interim Chair of Leeds-based housing association Unity Homes and Enterprise.

He succeeds Shruti Bhargava, who has stepped down as Chair after nine years, and will be in post for up to 12 months before handing over to a new Chair for a six-year term.

Mr Hamied, Deputy Director of the Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Programme at NHS England, has served on the Unity board since 2018.

He previously spent six years on the board of Manningham Housing Association in Bradford.

A graduate of Sheffield Hallam University, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Sheffield, Mr Hamied has held a series of senior positions in the NHS and local government supporting, facilitating and stimulating transformational change and service improvement.

Established in 1987, Unity Home and Enterprise manages 1,386 properties for tenants from all communities and ethnic backgrounds in Leeds, Huddersfield and Cleckheaton.

Abdul Hamied said:

“It is a great privilege to become Interim Chair of such a highly respected and valued organisation with its roots firmly in the local communities it serves.

“I recently attended an away day with Unity’s senior management and fellow board members. As one of the country’s leading BME housing associations, there was a real sense of shared purpose to continue being ambitious, resilient, adaptive and willing to embrace new initiatives whilst ensuring we remain in touch with our customers and committed to the tackling inequalities in housing. That is the mantra with which I will approach the year ahead.

“One of my priorities will be to help attract the best possible candidates to lead Unity through the following six years of our development. That process will begin shortly, and I encourage anyone who believes they have what it takes to succeed in the role to get in touch.”

Cedric Boston, Unity Homes and Enterprise Chief Executive, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Abdul as Interim Chair.

“He brings a wealth of experience and, having worked closely with him since I joined Unity almost three years ago, I am a huge admirer of his talents.

“Abdul’s familiarity with what we do is also incredibly helpful and will enable him to have a swift and positive impact on the many exciting ventures with which we are involved.”

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