Our Board

Our dedicated members of the board have led NLM strategically in strength to become a leading provider of homes within our peer group.

Yahya Hafesji

Chair

Yahya is a Procurement Professional with over 20 years of experience within public sector, independent public body and not-for-profit organisations. He has track-record of success with experience in a corporate environment in handling spend in high risk, high value and complex projects. Yahya’s areas of expertise include: end-to-end procurement, commissioning services, contract management, stakeholder engagement, project management, research & analysis, public consultation and communications.

He has advised and worked within numerous public sector organisations including Competition Markets Authority, Trinity House Corporation, Department for Transport, Ministry of Justice, Transport for London and Financial Conduct Authority to name a few.
Previously, he was employed by the London Borough of Hackney where he worked on various projects and roles ranging from Procurement, Employment Training & Skills to Project Management and Communications. One of his first role at Hackney was within a major housing regeneration project where he led on engagement with a range of key stakeholders in order to gain support for the redevelopment programme.
He has also worked for the Faith in the Future Programme which was a housing plus initiative of the NLM Housing Association. His role was to ensure delivery and development of the non-housing and neighborhood renewal programme sponsored by the Housing Corporation.
Academically, Yahya holds an Honor’s Degree in Business & Finance and Postgraduate Diploma in Management.

Ed Farnsworth

Chair of Audit Committee
Co-Opted Member

Ed has worked at L&Q for 13 years in various Finance roles and currently holds the role of the Deputy Group Finance Director, Ed is a qualified accountant with extensive experience of working in the social housing finance sector and is committed to the positive social impact the housing sector has on communities and peoples’ life chances.

He has been instrumental at L&Q in forging a financial strategy, based on strong commercial discipline while setting risk appetite and tolerance levels that maximise output of news homes delivery while safeguarding social housing assets and maintaining customer, investor, regulator and board confidence.

He has extensive experience of property investment and holds board positions on L&Q’s strategic land business, L&Q Estates, which holds 50,000 land plots and on Barking Riverside a joint venture with the GLA delivering 10,800 new homes, as well as experience of board membership on multiple joint ventures with volume housebuilders.

Clare Norton

Chair of Housing & Services Committee
Co-Opted Member

Clare has worked to alleviate homelessness for over 25 years, striving to help rough sleepers and those with vulnerabilities to find homes with support to develop skills to live independently. For the last nine years, Clare has been the CEO of Peter Bedford Housing Association. PBHA is a small association in North East London housing adults with vulnerabilities, specialising in social enterprise and adult learning. Clare was the Chair of the g320, representing London’s small housing associations from 2016 to 2019, and in during this time became a member of the Homes for Londoners Board advising Sadiq Khan on housing policy, strategy and delivery issues. Clare strives to ensure the impact small associations make in their communities is recognised.

Ebrahim Rawat

Vice Chair

Ebrahim joined the board of NLM Housing Association in 2019, he became the vice chair in 2021. Ebrahim is a civil servant who has worked in various Central Government departments for over 20 years. Ebrahim has strong communication skills as he was involved in drafting letters and Parliamentary questions for Ministers, he also has extensive experience in Government Finance and HR as an Assistant Business Manager. As a local resident Ebrahim is delighted to be involved with NLM Housing Association due to its commitment in providing quality affordable housing for local people.

Bilal Batha

Secretary

Bilal is a Business Management graduate with experience in diverse working environments. He is keen to take on responsibilities and make an impact. He has proven customer care, organisational and time management skills from customer service and administration fields.

He is currently working at Hackney Learning Trust as an Education Attendance Officer, working with schools, pupils and families to support regular school attendance.

Prior to this he was an Admissions Officer (Reception & In Year) at Hackney Learning Trust. He processed in-year admission applications in accordance with The Learning Trust’s schemes to co-ordinate primary and secondary admissions. Also, providing a sensitive and responsive service to parents/ carers who contact the office by telephone to seek information and advice on securing a school place for their children. He dealt with customer enquiries in an efficient, effective, sensitive and courteous manner.

Siraj Gajia

Treasurer

Siraj has worked for over 15 years in the field of Road Safety Engineering. He currently holds the post of Road Safety Engineer/Auditor within a large engineering consultancy firm primarily on projects within the county of Hertfordshire.

Siraj has worked extensively in the Middle East, undertaking a number of safety audits at all stages within Dubai, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. In his work for the Road Traffic Authorities in Dubai during his tenure at Australian Road & Research Board, Siraj was involved in one of the largest single Road Safety Audit projects recorded in the Middle East, involving the safety audit of almost 6000 Lane Km’s of highway. He also worked with the Abu Dhabi Municipality where he undertook a road safety audit of all the internal roads within the city.

Siraj’s work within the UK includes that undertaken for Transport For London (TFL), where he was part of a team that recorded a reduction in the number of collisions on the roads of London by over 40%, across all classes.

Siraj has a Bachelors degree from Queen Mary, University of London and has completed several courses by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) in road safety engineering and road safety auditing. Siraj is a Member of the Institute of Highways and Transportation (MCIHT) and the Society of Road Safety Auditors (SoRSA). He also holds an accredited certificate in competency for Road Safety Auditing from Highways England.

Siraj is an active member of his community and involved in community and sports projects within his local area. Siraj was a member of a comprehensive task force set up in response to the Covid19 pandemic.

Fatima Gajia

Board Member

In Fatima’s most recent post as the Senior Technical Officer, she has built upon a wealth of knowledge, practical experience and skills. Working for over 20 years with Pathmeads, Hackney Homes and currently with Hackney Council, she has gained a very good understanding of local government and it’s democratic process, knowledge of the law and practice relating to Social Housing, including voids and re-housing.

As a Senior Technical Officer she has developed management and leadership skills, as her role has expanded from just technical support to managing Void re-servicing works and scheduling works.

She attends and Chair’s meetings to represent the business, negotiate work for the section and write procedures. She deals with complaints and any general issues that may arise. She also finds practical solutions to issues that other team members may have.

Fatima has a good understanding of constraints of budgets and has always ensured stringent expenditure monitoring process to ensure the service achieves Value for Money whilst meeting published service standards and performance targets.

She has worked in the Major Works team where she would monitor the external contractors and carry out any administrative duties that may be required. She also has a Betec National in Housing.

Ferzana Hafesji

Board Member

Ferzana has worked as a Housing Officer for over 30 years, so has considerable
experience and knowledge of Social Housing and a strong background in Housing Allocations and Letting Policies, within a Local Authority setting.

Ferzana started her housing career in housing development and has worked on housing stock transfer schemes.

She has attended many Housing Association liaison meetings in her role as a
Housing Officer for the London Borough of Hackney and therefore understands the importance of service delivery and service improvement for community led
organisations such as NLM. She also has excellent knowledge of part 6 and part 7 of the Housing Act.

She is familiar with working towards Corporate Business Plans and Annual Budgetsfor both Revenue and Capital Expenditure.

Ferzana has also worked on bench marking exercises whilst a housing officer, and was part of a working group in the setting up of the Housing Association Agreement Plan between LBH and Housing Associations working within the borough.  She has worked on a number of LBH regeneration schemes, in particular the Woodberry Down Scheme, where she gained experience working with private developers as well as local community groups.

She has worked on the Council’s Succession of Tenancy Programme and is familiar with the Pan London Scheme initiated by the Mayor of London.
Ferzana is currently a volunteer at St Joseph’s hospice in Hackney and has recently applied to become a Magistrate at the family courts in London.

Mohammed Daya

Board Member

Mohammed has extensive experience through his academic studies, profession, business and volunteering activities. He is a graduate in BSc Computer Science and has worked in senior roles across multiple organisations and sectors. Furthermore, he has assisted in numerous community initiatives, ranging from establishing a local community hub to sporting events.

He is accustomed to compliance measures for Health and Fire Safety regulation having acted at Director level of a property firm. His experience allows him to appreciate what such regulations entail. For example, the need to procure, install and maintain the required hardware and equipment, establish, assess and amend processes as needed, and prepare and undertake scheduled internal/ external inspections.

He has led teams of varying sizes, skillsets and expertise across multiple organisations. This has afforded him the opportunity to develop both personal management and development skills, as well as learn about Human Resources from an organisational context. This has ranged from managing employment of staff, conducting appraisals, formulating development plans, and addressing poor performance and disciplinary issues. He has also managed internal and external restructures, and therefore adhering to HR involving TUPE and consultation of Unions.

Mohammed’s core profession is in IT and he is highly experienced across a significant range of IT related functions.

His experience in a range of sectors has allowed him to benefit from exposure to a broad spectrum of measures, ensuring control, Value for Money, and quality are central to the products and services being delivered. He has also worked in highly regulated environments such as ongoing financial reporting, articulating risk profiles and mitigations etc. Such assets are scrutinised by a central function focussed on Governance.

Ayodele Laleye

Co-Opted Member

Ayodele is a well-experienced versatile professional Director with G15, experience of leading large finance teams, delivering statutory reporting, management accounting, budgeting, treasury management and business planning functions.

He has strong Leadership skills with extensive change management experience, successfully implemented processes which have resulted in cost and efficiency savings.

He is also a proactive forward-looking individual with excellent communication, collaborative and leadership skills demonstrated by the ability to build and sustain relationships with senior executives and external stakeholders to deliver the corporate objectives.

He is proficient in system design and implementation, has in depth knowledge and experience in financial analysis, interpretation and presentation of financial information and is experienced in process redesign and automation, change and project management.

Ayodele also has experience in Business Planning and Treasury Management, and in depth knowledge and experience in the preparation of public, commercial and charity sector statutory reports.

Guy Palmer

Guy Palmer

Co-Opted Member

Guy is Director of Regeneration for Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, one of the country’s largest housing providers operating across London, South East, East of England and Midlands.

An experienced project management professional with a primary focus on estate regeneration & residential development, strategic asset management and stock rationalisation with experience in client, consultant and developer environments.

Guy leads the group regeneration activity at MTVH and is responsible for major estate regeneration programmes at Clapham Park (+2,500 homes) and West Hendon (+2,000 homes) as well as small site and infill redevelopment programmes. Guy also leads MTVH stock rationalisation activity which involves in sector stock transfers and asset sales.

Guy is a member of the National Housing Federation London Development Group, Lambeth Housing Partnership Group and regular sector contributor and speaker.

Sheron Carter

Co-Opted Member

Sheron has a strong track record spanning 36 years in social housing and charity sector. She has successfully led three organisations as a Chief Executive and one as a Managing Director. She has also held several non-executive director and committee member positions.

Her leadership roles have given her a good grasp of social housing, public service, governance, regulation, corporate strategy, business planning, and strategic partnerships. She has solid experience of ‘start up’ as she established a new charity in the 1990’s.

She has built a good reputation for helping organisations to turnaround – Arhag and Habinteg are good examples of this. At Gateway she developed a strategy to give the organisation unique purpose amongst competing local providers which resulted in significant growth and a diverse service offer. She is attracted to organisations that have a strong social purpose, deliver public service and/or effect social change.

Sheron is currently the Interim Director of Housing at LB Ealing. She has been appointed on an interim contract to support the Council on two major projects, Housing Safety and Commissioning Arrangements for Broadway Living and Broadway Living RP. Under the housing safety projects there are five workstreams including high risk buildings, implementing the requirements of new legislation, resident engagement, FLAGEL compliance, and data quality assurance.

Sheron is an Associate at HQN and has taken on a range of assignments including speaking at workshops, writing blogs and undertaking governance reviews. She was also the Chief Executive at Habinteg Housing Association. She provided leadership and direction to the Association, ensuring a secure business and financial platform for success and future growth.

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