Bradford housing association credited for diversity and inclusion

Manningham Housing Association has regained its status as the UK’s first housing association to be accredited for promoting diversity and inclusion.
Manningham Housing Association (MHA)'s building in Bradford.
Manningham Housing Association’s office in Bradford. Credit: MHA

Bradford-based Manningham Housing Association (MHA) has regained its status as the UK’s first housing association to be officially accredited for its work in promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.

MHA, which manages over 1,400 homes in Bradford and Keighley, has managed to re-attain its Customer Service Excellence (CSE) accreditation, which is awarded to organisations that offer efficient, effective customer service.

The housing association, which largely serves the South Asian community, has also been awarded the British Standard for Valuing People through Diversity and Inclusion, known as BS76005.  It was already the first housing association in the country to achieve this accreditation.

The national certification body Centre for Assessment awarded MHA the two accreditations after completing external assessments, giving MHA Compliance Plus status in 15 separate areas of the CSE accreditation.

The CfA said in its assessment report for the CSE accreditation: “The organisation was clearly focussed on providing the best service for its customers.

“Staff that worked for MHA came across as being firmly committed to the success of the organisation through the provision of effective services to the many people that came into contact with them.”    

In a separate report for BS76005, the CfA added: “The assessor felt it was a pleasure to speak to such absolutely committed staff who really were committed to the provision of excellent customer services through valuing inclusion and recognising that people have different needs.”  

The CfA inspections were co-ordinated by MHA’s assistant chief executive and director of operations Ulfat Hussein.

Hussein said he was especially proud of the association’s efforts given the challenges it faces in delivering its services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our staff have been incredible this year and I am delighted that their hard work and professionalism have been acknowledged by the assessor,” Hussein said.

“In his written conclusions, he praises the team for going the extra mile to support people and ensure that our absolute commitment to inclusion was maintained despite the COVID-19 restrictions. 

“We see the renewed accreditations as confirmation that we are continuing to deliver for our customers, stakeholders and communities we serve in Bradford and Keighley.

“With the pandemic likely to dominate everyone’s lives for some time to come, everyone can be assured that MHA’s determination to do the very best job we can is undiminished.”

MHA’s chair Barrington Billings credited the association’s culture of positivity and high energy for helping it to carry its staff and customers through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Billings said: “The extra COVID-19 restrictions on Bradford and Keighley have made life particularly tough locally.

“But because of our cherished position as a community-based organisation, we are succeeding in partnership with those whose needs we strive to cater for.  The award of these prestigious accreditations are accolades to be shared by all.”   

MHA manages more than 1,400 homes for over 6,000 residents in Bradford and Keighley. The housing association has 36 staff and an annual turnover of £8.2 million, while over 80% of its residents are of South Asian origin.

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