We are delighted to reveal the winner of Housing’s Next Generation competition 2022.

Tom Leon-Grimes, Service Development Manager at Orbit Group, was awarded the prize at the HQN annual conference.

Tom saw off competition from 80 other young people in housing, making his way through three stages before delivering a rousing presentation in the final to take the crown.

A huge congratulations to everyone that was nominated, shortlisted and made it through the various rounds. Particularly the other finalists, Hanifa Blakemore-Raqaz, Gemma Brookes, Gift Ngubane, and Kemba Mitchell.

Tom’s presentation in the final saw him take on the role of housing minister, outlining what we would do were he in charge.

He called for an extension to the empty homes and Housing First funding pots, saying this would significantly help the country get to building 300,000 homes per year.

Tom committed to bringing through the Social Housing Regulation Bill, saying it would ensure safety and disrepair was top of the agenda. He also set out that he would scrap the proposed Right to Buy for housing associations.

He concluded by saying: “The future starts now and working together we can ensure that the future is with safe and affordable homes”.

The other finalists also gave fantastic presentations, with Hanifa focusing on the need to improve the overall housing offer for young people, Kemba looking at four key aspects: climate, housing supply and affordability, building quality, and building safety; Gemma focusing on climate change and how housing can play its role, and Gift said his focus would be affordability, availability, climate change and homelessness.

A huge thank you to the judges throughout the competition, Tony Stacey, Tanisha Rigby, Sheron Carter, Halisha Kaur, and Alistair McIntosh.