By Hony Premlal, candidate for CIH vice presidency

The prospect of serving as vice/president for CIH members presents an incredible opportunity for me to inspire our housing community to fight for our reputation.

I am recognized for my positivity and resilience and confront challenges directly, embracing them with initiative, energy, and passion. In doing so, I not only overcome obstacles myself but also helps others.

My journey within housing started when I arrived in the UK from a small village in India in 1993. I lived in a council home with my new husband and his family.  While I could hardly speak English, I worked hard and got a job in housing as an admin assistant. I have not looked back since. I am now the chair of Eldon Housing Association, the organisation that gave me my first job, and have worked in senior roles for the last 20 years. Furthermore, in my capacity as co-chair of Women in Social Housing London (WISH), I am actively engaged in efforts to confront challenges encompassing domestic violence, the gender pay gap, and the enhancement of diversity within senior positions.

Being a woman of colour with a background spanning various organizations, I’ve witnessed and personally encountered disparities and bias within our sector, both in the services offered and employment opportunities. It is clear also that some organisations have struggled to stay true to their original mission and values.

As a Chartered Member of CIH, I want to develop an industry where young people are inspired to work and where existing workers feel proud of their achievements.   Through my presidential campaign, I will focus on positive stories – examples of inspiring practice, ingenuity, creativity, and community – to help all housing providers be more open and accountable to their customers and to take pride in their work.

Through my campaign, I aim to achieve the following: –

  • Ensure housing providers are accountable to their customers and lean in to their mission;
  • Diversity in Board and senior leadership positions.
  • Increase the profile of social housing by working together with the NHF, politicians and other relevant stakeholders;
  • Present housing as a desirable career for young people;
  • Highlight the need to make key policy changes to tackle homelessness.

Furthermore, I aim to set an example for individuals similar to myself that determination, hard work, and authenticity can lead to attainable success.

Please cast your vote for me to restore and rebuild trust and confidence in our sector.