The search is on to find the housing sector’s Rising Star of 2017

The annual competition from the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and Inside Housing highlights the talent and commitment of up-and-coming professionals.

As well as being crowned the Rising Star of 2017, the winner will also get the chance to – among other things – guest-edit Inside Housing for a day, be a VIP at the Chartered Institute of Housing 2018 presidential dinner and shadow the CIH chief executive for a day.

The victor will be announced at the Housing Heroes Awards dinner and ceremony in Manchester on 26 June, on the eve of the Housing 2017 annual CIH conference and exhibition.

Our finalists


Jameel Malik, head of service delivery, Places for People Group (Cotman Housing Association)

Jameel's career to date:

Jameel entered the housing profession as senior housing and regeneration officer in 2002 at charity Rights & Equality Sandwell, formerly known as Race & Equality Sandwell. He was promoted to acting director within 12 months. Jameel has also worked as a senior policy officer at Sandwell Council and head of housing and property services at Warwick Council.

What he thinks housing professionals could learn from the past:

"I believe as housing leaders we need to be more decisive. We're guilty of repeatedly speaking about the same housing trends ad infinitum. The squeeze on our turnover from cuts in welfare benefits and the 1% rent cut should have been anticipated years ago."

"Our response to the squeeze on our incomes should be to diversify away from public finance-dependent revenue streams and/or to adopt disruptive technology to redesign services. The speed of technological change will be rapid. I believe this is an area ripe for joint collaboration. The technology budgets of the top 15 registered providers ought to be combined (without compromising independence) to lead this change for the entire sector."

What he says are the key attributes of the housing professionals of the future:

"In addition to the values contained in the Chartered Institute of Housing's Code of Ethics 2015, the key attributes are: be decisive, have the courage of your convictions, and change before you have to."

What others say about Jameel:

Jane Warnes, managing director of Cotman Housing Association, says: "He's incredibly enthusiastic. I have never worked with anyone quite like Jameel in all my years in the sector. He's shrewd, he thinks outside the box and he is always thinking about the future.

"He is someone who gets very excited about change. He understands the market. He believes in the social impact of what we do."

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Vicki Maguire, policy and strategy officer, Riverside

Vicki's career to date:

Vicki began her housing career in 2011 as sales administrator for Riverside Home Ownership, processing shared ownership resales and staircasing. She was promoted to business support officer before moving to her current role this month.

What she thinks housing professionals could learn from the past:

"We can learn valuable lessons from our past approaches to regeneration. The 1960s witnessed a dramatic change in the pace of slum clearance and replacement building in the form of brutalist, high-rise architecture within new towns such as Croydon and Runcorn.

"Historically, much UK regeneration has failed to benefit the whole population of a particular area, only serving to widen the inequality gap. What this highlights is the need for a strategic, city-region perspective – central to the increasing number of new English devolution deals – and a more targeted approach to neighbourhood planning that places communities and people at its very heart."

What she says are the key attributes of the housing professionals of the future:

"Future housing professionals should dare to fail. To overcome challenges, we must question and innovate. We cannot just leave this to our directors - creative thinking does not require permission."

What others say about Vicki:

Hugh Owen, director of strategy and public affairs at Riverside, says: “She impressed really, really quickly.

"Part of her role is horizon scanning and briefing the organisation [about significant developments in policy]. She is the eyes and ears of the organisation. She has a fantastic ability to communicate and to get a quick grasp and understanding of complex policy issues.

"Vicki also took responsibility for the whole engagement side of pulling together our corporate plan.

"It is her first strategic role really and she has been very impressive."

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James Sanderson, resident sustainment project manager, Hackney Council

James' career to date:

James began his career in housing in 2012 on Hanover Housing Association's graduate scheme. He became retirement housing manager in 2013. In 2014 he moved to Hackney Homes to become a team leader in estate management.

What he thinks housing professionals can learn from the past:

"The sector currently finds itself at a crossroads. The overarching policy goal of successive governments has been to ensure housing provision is increasingly orientated towards the private sphere.

"Looking to the future, we must not only consider the likely continuation of the long-standing economic and policy agenda around housing but also the challenges around demand and demographics. The role of the future housing professional is not only to fulfil our legal obligations as providers but to proactively and intensively work with residents to ensure social housing is an enabler and a solid foundation stone upon which future residents can build or rebuild their lives. It is in providers’ direct business interests to do this but also renews our social purpose."

What he says are the key attributes of the housing professionals of the future:

"They should be motivated by a clear sense of social purpose and unafraid to innovate technologically in order to deliver targeted and effective housing services to increasingly diverse groups of residents."

What others say about James:

Michael Scorer, interim director of housing at Hackney Council, says: "He is an extraordinarily energetic and enthusiastic young man.

"Hackney's catchphrase is 'Hackney: a place for everyone'. James said 'if I can have from existing resources a small sum of money, what I will do is set up a team that will get things rolling in a different way, so that the work that your busy neighbourhood officers find difficult to do, we will do. We will do it to understand how you can carry that extra responsibility in your everyday work'. It is very much developing new ways of working for the whole service."

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The CIH/Inside Housing Rising Stars competition is sponsored by Orbit Group


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