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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

London - board member biographies

26/10/2016


Catch up with the London regional board.

Duncan Brown, Kristian Melgaard, Martyn Kingsford OBE; TD, Kate Dodsworth, James Caspell, Monica Kaur, Helen George, Ronald Albert, Debansu Das.

Kate Dodsworth
I work for AmicusHorizon where I’m Executive Director, People and Strategy

Great housing is integral to the success of London and we need to support those who work in the sector. CIH membership does just that – as well as boosting career credibility with professional standards. I’m proud to be part of it at such a crucial time. Join us!

One thing you should know about me: I took up running five years ago. Also talk to me about couch to marathon runner….

Jess Page
Tenancy Support Project Manager, Notting Hill Housing Group.

CIH membership benchmarks standards in the housing sector, giving those working in housing a voice which can be used to champion policy and best practice. Together we can maintain these high standards create improvements and influence our environment. When I’m not at board meetings I’m trying to make my own clothes – if I am wearing a slightly wonky dress it’s probably better not to comment.

Helen George
Day job:- Housing Strategy and Policy Officer at Lambeth Borough Council

Why I became involved in CIH:- I’ve worked in housing for 23 years. I find it never ceases to be exciting or satisfying, and I think CIH has a really important role to play in the greatest city in the world!

One thing you should know about me:- In 2001 I worked as a Policy Officer at CIH. The BBC rang up to ask me for advice on homelessness legislation for a future storyline!

The storyline was Pat and Roy asking Barry and Natalie to leave. I told the BBC researcher that Barry and Natalie wouldn’t have priority need for accommodation from Walford Council because they didn’t satisfy the priority need criteria of pregnancy, dependent children or other vulnerability criteria. Very shortly afterwards – Natalie was pregnant!

James Caspell
Head of Business Improvement, Sutton Housing Partnership

Joining CIH has helped me to fast-forward my career. After winning the Rising Stars competition in 2014, I was given the opportunity to guest edit Inside Housing, take part in a Presidential Commission promoting equality and diversity and speak at conferences up and down the country on a range of housing issues.

I chose a career in housing as I recognise the massive contribution our sector makes in meeting the needs of millions of people in the UK and across the world. I would encourage anyone interested in increasing their knowledge of the housing sector, and networking with sector leaders and practioners, to join us.

Debansu Das
Director of marketing, The Albany Partnership

I work for The Albany Partnership (a specialist temporary accommodation provider) as a Director of marketing but my role also involves market insight, industry analysis, product management & business development. My expertise lies in housing & renewables, with special interests in innovative technologies like modular homes and battery storage. Hence, CIH helps me to uplift my professional standards and gather insights. I am also the Vice-chair of Housing Diversity Network. I love Bollywood music and is a lead singer of a semi-professional band.

Martyn Kingsford
Policy Adviser to a National Tenants Organisation

CIH is a strong benefit to all its members by getting members ahead of the game and by directly influencing national policies. We all have a lot to do in housing and CIH gives us all great support.

Like our Chair I also run and love long distance walking. This year I walked Hadrian’s Wall.

Duncan Brown
Managing Director, The Rental Income Consultancy Ltd

I set up 'The Rental Income Consultancy Ltd' and love going into different organisations in London to help with their operational and strategic decisions to maximise both rental income and tenancy sustainment.

For my main current social housing client, as a result of my promotion of CIH learning, three staff members are now completing the CIH Level 4 Certificate in Housing Practice.

In my 'spare time', I manage 17 PRS flats in North London.

What attracted me to the CIH London Board? The Board has a great mix of different people who I wanted to learn from and offer my skills to help shape brilliant offers for our members.

One thing you should know about me: I have twice met David Beckham.

Kristian Melgaard
Operations Director, CCHA

I work for CCHA where I’m Operations Director, and I also Chair the East Regional Board at One Housing Group.

London is the greatest city in the world but we lag behind many others in the way we house people in need or those who can’t afford sky-high rents and inflated prices. I’ve been a member of the CIH for almost 10 years have seen first-hand some of the great work they’ve done to date. However, we’ve never faced an environment as challenging as the one we’re in so it’s more important than ever that the CIH’s voice is heard and is active in influencing policy in the region!

Not a lot of people know that I’m originally from Liverpool, although my football team is Everton so if you ever see me looking miserable that’s usually the reason!

Monica Kaur
Senior Engagement Officer- Old Oak Park Development Corporation (OPDC)

Having worked in various housing roles for over 15 years, I wanted to give something back to such an important industry. Being a Board member on the London Regional Board has given me the opportunity to work with some great people, share expertise and knowledge and be part of some great events. If you are not already, then seriously consider becoming a member of the CIH, it will enhance your learning and provide you with great opportunities to network.

If you want to find out more come along to some of our “Drink Think Tank Sessions” that take place and meet the Board members along with various speakers. I will be the one with the red glass of wine!

Ronald Albert
Anti-Social Behaviour Officer in the North London (Northside Region) - Hyde Housing Group I have previously 7 and half years experience of similar role with Lewisham Homes.

I decided to get involved in the London C.I.H because I wanted to increase my working knowledge in housing management and to increase my learning to go on to work towards being a Team Leader/Managerial role.

Having been working as a front line officer since 1996, I regard myself as an expert in Housing (tenancy management) dealing with day to day tenancy issues, especially around tenancy breaches and enforcement action. I have previous experience of being a Tenant Participation Officer and current working with some resident groups across the North Region between Brent and Islington. I have strong customer care skills and I am confident at speaking and organising various resident group and consultation meetings.

Tugba Gungor

I work for Newham’s language department and work two days of the week for a local charity as an advisor, I used to be a director for Enfield Homes.

I got involved with the CIH due to my passion for housing and the importance housing plays in the London region. CIH membership-great route for self-development, understanding good practice and learning innovative ideas


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