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BuildEast appoints new chair

Emma Palmer

Emma Palmer, Chief Executive of resident-led housing association, Eastlight Community Homes, is the new chair of BuildEast.

Emma succeeds James Francis, Chief Executive of Saffron Housing Trust, who was Chair of BuildEast since April 2022, when Emma became Vice-Chair.

In both her role as Vice Chair of BuildEast and Chief Executive of Eastlight, Emma has been committed to influencing and promoting diversity, equality and inclusion in housing associations across the East, which resulted in BuildEast’s Positive Practice Library.

In addition, Eastlight frequently hosts Lunch and Learn sessions available to all members, featuring inspiring experts on subjects ranging from Windrush to Allyship, and has become the sector lead and Founding Partner of Purple Tuesday, a national disability organisation.

Emma has also led a collective response of all BuildEast members on the recent “Awaab’s Law” consultation.

Emma said:

“BuildEast plays a vital role in demonstrating the positive influence housing associations have on meeting local housing need and supporting communities. In today’s world, it more important than ever that housing associations create more equitable and inclusive workplaces that are reflective of the residents and communities in which we serve, and creating environments where residents can live safely and independently in their homes.

“I would like to thank James for his work as Chair, and I’m looking forward to maintaining the momentum that BuildEast has.”

Under Emma’s leadership, BuildEast now aims to consult on the efficiencies of our repair services, work with the National Housing Federation to ensure leaders are well informed on what’s next for housing associations and residents in the East, meet with the Housing Ombudsman on how to deliver the right outcomes for residents, and continue our work on diversity, equality and inclusion.

View the Positive Practice Library here.

You can view the joint BuildEast response to the Awaab’s Law consultation here.