Published - 8 May 2019

Housing officer one of sector's "top 20 young leaders"

A housing officer responsible for ensuring older people and former rough sleepers have a safe, secure and quality home has been nominated as one of housing’s top young leaders.

Samehra Arif, who has been a housing officer with Notting Hill Genesis for just 18 months, has become team champion for estate inspections, such is her commitment to good cleaning and estate maintenance.

Housing officer Samehra Arif with her manager Georgina Bavetta

As part of this, her team consistently hits 100 per cent of its monthly inspections – but Samehra’s focus is on quality rather than quantity. She has trained colleagues on how to complete effective inspections, building good relationships with contractors and involving residents.

Georgina Bavetta, housing operations manager and Samehra’s manager, said: “Samehra not only understands how to be a great housing officer, but also why her work is so important to her residents. Her patch is really complex and varied, consisting of two large supported housing schemes, one of older people and one for former rough sleepers. She is able to adapt her approach to meet the needs of residents, many of whom need a really sensitive style of housing management.

Her passion is estate inspections, even if it isn’t especially glamorous. She feels strongly that poor cleaning and estate management impacts residents’ wellbeing and recovery. She believes she has a duty to advocate for those who look to her for support.

Georgina Bavetta, housing operations manager

“Samehra is a natural leader who has always jumped at the chance to step up beyond the basics of her role. The fact she is working at this level at the age of just 23 is incredible. I have no doubt she has what it takes to get to the top.”

Speaking about her nomination, Samehra added: “It is an honour and privilege to be recognised in this way. What I am most proud of is working for a housing association that is actively supporting rough sleepers in becoming independent.

“I hope in the near future that the government provides more ‘move on’ funding so housing associations like ourselves can deliver long-term homes for those who are settled. If I win this award, I hope I can inspire future young leaders to step forward and actively challenge what isn’t working for our tenants.”

  • Voting to decide the final ranking of the top 20 is now open. Please offer Samehra your support by giving her your vote.
Notting Hill Genesis
Communications, Notting Hill Genesis