Judges interviews

We’re delighted to have an eclectic mix of esteemed judges on this year’s panel.

 

Recently, we asked each of the judges what they were most excited to see in this year’s entries; and why they feel #UKHA is such an important event in the sector calendar.

 

Here’s what they had to say...

Faisal Butt, Lead commissioner for housing and development, London Borough of Barnet

Faisal Butt, Lead commissioner for housing and development, London Borough of Barnet

Faisal is the Lead Commissioner for Housing at the London Borough of Barnet and has previously been the Director of Employment, Skills and Homelessness at The London Borough of Barking & Dagenham. Faisal brings significant experience in terms of housing strategy and policy, homelessness and business transformation. He has worked in the social housing sector for over 15 years and has previously been Head of Housing Strategy at Camden, Housing Strategy and Partnerships Manager at Tower Hamlets and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing recognising his outstanding contribution to the sector.

 

What are you looking for / excited to see in this year’s entries?


I am excited to see the great range of innovative and pioneering projects that are leading to improving resident lives and experiences.

 

Why do you think UK Housing Awards is such an important event in the sector calendar?


The UK Housing Awards highlight some great practice which helps organisations to improve the quality of services provided to residents. It is important we learn from each other and evolve as a sector to help better understand and meet customer needs.

Julian Higson, Director of housing and landlord services, Bristol City Council

Julian Higson, Director of housing and landlord services, Bristol City Council

I’m Director of Housing and Landlord Services at Bristol City Council. I’m responsible for managing & maintaining 29,000 homes, an exciting council housing new build programme, tackling homelessness and rough sleeping, private sector housing. As a city Bristol is famous for its independent spirit and community involvement – something that we are actively harnessing through, for example, our work on housing first or our sector leading approach to modular housing.

 

What are you looking for / most excited to see in this year’s entries?

As a judge in the supported housing award I’m looking for organisations that are adapting effectively to an ever-changing environment. That might be in new delivery models, use of technology, new partnerships or social value initiatives. What they will need to have is a truly person-centred approach to their work and an ability to show they offer so much more than just a roof and are using every means at their disposal to help people live amazing lives and reach their true potential.

 

Why do you think UK Housing Awards is such an important event in the sector calendar?

 

For me the UK Housing Awards is THE awards event for housing. Its sheer breadth is what’s impressive; it covers every category that a successful housing organisation should want to be recognised for. To be recognised amongst your peers as a finalist or even winner is a great testimony to the quality of service you provide to your residents.

Jill Haley, Chief executive, Byker community trust housing association

Jill Haley, Chief executive, Byker community trust housing association

Jill first began her housing career for Sunderland Council aged 16 and never imagined she would grow to love her work as much as she does. She's a Fellow member of the CIH and has a diverse breadth of experience in senior roles for both public and private housing organisations.

What are you looking for / most excited to see in this year’s entries?


Something new and different, we commonly use the word innovate but what exactly does that mean? For me, ideally that is something which includes both people passion and positive impact, no matter how small.

 

Why do you think UK Housing Awards is such an important event in the sector calendar?


The awards give small organisations an equal chance to showcase the great work that they do in people’s homes, neighbourhoods and communities.

Nigel Wilson, Chief executive, gentoo

Nigel Wilson, Chief executive, gentoo

Nigel Wilson has 34 years’ experience in the housing industry. Nigel started in a customer facing role before working way up to his current leadership position. He has vast experience across various Boards and Committees and is currently CEO of Gentoo Group. Nigel has deep social purpose and is passionate about social investment, community involvement and building new affordable housing.


What are you looking for / excited to see in this year’s entries?


Innovation, good practice and new ideas.


Why do you think UK Housing Awards is such an important event in the sector calendar?

 

Great opportunities for people to celebrate what we do differently and demonstrate innovation.

Andrew van Doorn, Chief executive, HACT

Andrew van Doorn, Chief executive, HACT

Andrew is Chief executive of HACT. HACT is a UK innovation charity, social enterprise and industry-focused think/do tank established by the housing association sector. It seeks to influence and innovate in ways that help all housing providers deliver more effectively within their communities. This includes their pioneering work on Data Standards, Community Insight and Social Value, helping housing associations to demonstrate their social impact and value for money and be fit for a digital future.

 

What are you looking for / most excited to see in this year’s entries?

I am looking for innovation that is transformative, challenges assumptions, evidence based, delivers great outcomes and can be widely replicable across the sector. This can be about whole organisations or just single projects of approaches. I am looking for more than just great service improvement, it needs to be revolutionary.

 

Why do you think UK Housing Awards is such an important event in the sector calendar?

It's one of the most important events as it celebrates the best in housing with entrants from the breadth of the housing industry.

Paul Fiddaman, Group chief executive, Karbon Homes

Paul Fiddaman, Group chief executive, Karbon Homes

Paul is a qualified accountant and experienced Housing CEO and Non-Executive. Paul is proud to be the CEO of Karbon Homes, working with talented and passionate people every day.

 

What are you looking for / most excited to see in this year’s entries?


I’m looking for the little sparks of genius and innovation that characterise the housing sector, and have been central to its ability to adapt in the face of significant challenges over the years.

 

Why do you think UK Housing Awards is such an important event in the sector calendar?

 

UKHA is a great opportunity to learn and be inspired by the best in our sector

Anne Power, Professor of social policy and head of housing and communities, LSE

Anne Power, Professor of social policy and head of housing and communities, LSE

Anne Power has been involved in European and American housing and urban problems since 1965. She is Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Head of LSE Housing and Communities, a research group based within the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion. She is author of many books, reports and articles on housing, cities, low-income communities, and sustainability in the built environment.

What are you looking for / most excited to see in this year’s entries?


I am looking for a project that is going to make a real difference.

Why do you think UK Housing Awards is such an important event in the sector calendar?

 

It is important to acknowledge and recognise the brilliant work people are doing.

Alison Knight, Executive Director – Neighbourhoods, Sandwell

Alison Knight, Executive Director – Neighbourhoods, Sandwell

Alison is Executive Director Neighbourhoods at Sandwell Council which covers Housing, Communities and Regeneration. They have 28,000 council tenants and are delivering an ambitious housing programme. Alison has worked across local government for 17 years and prior to that worked in the skills and employment field.

 

What are you looking for / most excited to see in this year’s entries?

 

I was excited to see a number of schemes that had really integrated communities into their development. Some schemes had worked with local people to help them develop their skills which has led to employment opportunities. I was also excited to see self-build programmes and other innovative approaches to helping communities thrive and be sustainable.

 

Why do you think UK Housing Awards is such an important event in the sector calendar?


Good housing has to be one of the most important human requirements – having a safe place to call home. Making sure are developments are more than just about providing the quantity of houses is also very important – design, health and wellbeing and creating safe and supportive communities is hugely important and awards such as these celebrate good practice and encourage others to follow suit.

Sally Thomas, Chief executive, SFHA

Sally Thomas, Chief executive, SFHA

Sally is Chief Executive at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), the national representative body for Scotland’s housing associations and co-operatives. In my previous work for housing associations, the Homes and Communities Agency and the Housing Association Charitable Trust, I have championed community-led development and social purpose.

 

What are you looking for / most excited to see in this year’s entries?

 

I really want to see how the best housing associations go that extra mile to be more than just a landlord, by investing in their staff, their customers and their community. I am really pleased to see so many of the entries do just that, whilst also paying close attention to key performance measures.

 

Why do you think UK Housing Awards is such an important event in the sector calendar?


It is vital that we showcase what is best in our sector for three important reasons:

  • To demonstrate to government the impact that we deliver and the value of investment in our sector
  • To highlight to our customers the range and quality of service that can be provided
  • To inspire all in our sector to do more, go further and aim high.

Joanna Killian, Chief executive, Surrey County Council

Joanna Killian, Chief executive, Surrey County Council

Joanna's experience lies within the housing sector. She started her career as a housing officer. Over the years, Joanna has helped to develop robust inspection methodologies, growth strategies and housing investment vehicles. In her current role as CEO of SCC with over 1 million residents, housing is a key factor in determining health outcomes of residents.

 

What are you looking for / most excited to see in this year’s entries?


At a time where housing demand is increasing, partnership working is key. I’m excited to read about multi-agency and multi-disciplinary approaches, where partnership working is helping to deliver the best possible outcomes for the most vulnerable people.


Why do you think UK Housing Awards is such an important event in the sector calendar?


There are some brilliant housing projects being undertaken all over the UK. It’s right that these fantastic schemes get recognition for the impact they have within the communities they serve.

Jennifer Daothong, Commercial director, Waltham Forest Council

Jennifer Daothong, Commercial director, Waltham Forest Council

Jennifer has worked across housing and sustainability for over 15 years, holding roles in local, sub-regional and regional government. Jennifer was sustainability lead at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which involved working with partners to deliver zero carbon homes connected to the largest District Energy Network in the UK, smart mobility solutions and more. She now works for London Borough of Waltham Forest as Commercial Director of Housing Delivery, directly delivering affordable, sustainable homes for residents. Addressing Climate Change remains one of her top priorities.

 

What are you looking for / most excited to see in this year’s entries?


I am excited to see examples of environmental innovation being taken to scale within the sector, we need to encourage and shout about the people making it happen on this agenda as there is a mountain for us to climb if we want to respond to the climate change emergency fully.

 

Why do you think UK Housing Awards is such an important event in the sector calendar?

 

It’s a great opportunity to celebrate success, show our peers the best of what can be achieved and encourage others to do even better!

Andrew Wallhead, Chief executive, WDH

Andrew Wallhead, Chief executive, WDH

Andrew has worked in the Housing, regeneration and Local Government sectors for over 29 years and appreciates how difficult it is to truly transform and sustain changes within neighbourhoods.

 

What are you looking for / most excited to see in this year's entries?

 

I am excited to be a judge in these prestigious awards as I know I will see the very best examples of neighbourhood transformation that has been delivered across the country.

 

Why do you think UK Housing Awards is such an important event in the sector calendar?

 

By sharing and recognising the hard work of our sector we can learn from each other and motivate others to develop best practice.

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