News27.09.22by Ella Jessel
Former Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs is one of three new board appointments announced by London’s Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association (ISHA).
John Biggs has joined Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association
Former Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs is one of three new board appointments announced by London’s Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association #UKhousing
Alwyn Lewis, the former CEO of London’s Hornsey Housing Trust, and customer experience expert Gemma Colby have also joined the board following an election at ISHA’s recent AGM.
ISHA, which has a portfolio of over 2,500 affordable homes in north and east London, said the new appointments would bring in a wealth of expertise from different sectors and help continue its aim of keeping rents at ‘social’ and not just ‘affordable’ levels.
John Biggs is a former Labour politician who was the mayor of Tower Hamlets between 2015 and May of this year, when he was ousted after voters backed Lutfur Rahman to return to the position this year.
Formerly leader of Tower Hamlets Council, Biggs also served on the London Assembly representing the City and East constituency at City Hall between 2000-16.
Mr Biggs said it was a “privilege” to be joining the board, and he shared ISHA’s frustration with the current climate of “unaffordable affordability”, adding: “We must continue to challenge this in our policies, particularly in the current cost of living crisis.”
Ms Lewis joins ISHA after a period at Hornsey Housing Trust, where he was chief executive. He has also worked for a number of registered providers and local authorities in his 40-year career. He spent nine years as associate director at housing management provider Pinnacle.
Mr Lewis said he shared ISHA’s vision, adding: “I am attracted to organisations that have a strong social purpose, deliver a high-quality public service, and positively effect social change, especially with ethnically diverse communities experiencing various forms of social and economic disadvantages.”
Ms Colby is an award-winning customer experience expert and a former head of customer experience at online marketing directory Yell UK, where her work focused on helping small and medium-sized businesses.
Ms Colby said she was “excited to contribute to an organisation that has ambitious plans with a social purpose”.
Mervyn Jones, board chair at ISHA, added: “The expansive experience John, Gemma and Alwyn bring from their respective fields adds to an already strong and committed board.
“They share our drive to make a positive impact on lives and in communities in north and east London. Against a background of worsening affordability and increasing inflation, the impact of their expertise, passion and energy will be invaluable as we pursue our goals.”
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