Producing more homes resurrecting empty properties

Cromwood Housing’s ambitions to build strong foundations for growth have been bolstered in recent months with the recruitment of two experienced professionals from the worlds of HR and finance.

The addition of Hassina Kara and Roger Maddams to the London office has rounded off an important year in Cromwood’s development with a new board of directors having been formalised in early 2023.

Hassina brings a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience from a career that’s included two stints at the UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom, as a business partner, HR advisor, and more recently supporting its performance management team.

In her previous role as a HR manager at a housing association in Sheffield, Hassina built up the organisation’s people function from scratch developing and executing the HR strategy to align with the company’s vision and objectives. This included crafting new HR policies and guidelines from the ground up to create a solid foundation, overseeing the end-to-end recruitment process and implementing an effective talent management strategy to attract, retain and develop top tier talent. 

‘What I like about Cromwood is it’s an opportunity to apply all the experience I’ve gained around people management and play a pivotal role to support expansion,’ Hassina explains. ‘It’s a really interesting project, there’s lots of things to get involved in working closely with senior leadership team to support growth and establish a comprehensive HR function to foster a positive employee experience.’ 

She has hit the ground running and is currently looking across the organisation to ensure Cromwood has the right blend of skills across its workforce to ‘grow the business’.

Cromwood’s ethos and the nature of its work, in particular its role in helping to house former rough sleepers, are a real strength in the recruitment market, says Hassina.

‘When you think about what Cromwood does, it’s really remarkable and offers a rewarding environment to work in. When I’m dealing with people management – especially around recruitment – I have that in the back of my mind.’

But it’s also about creating a platform for existing staff to grow and develop their careers.

‘People are so important to an organisation and we need to build their career aspirations and make sure they are supported in their development,’ she explains.

Having joined Cromwood in November as finance director, Roger is enjoying being part of a fast-growing organisation that’s eager to take on board the guidance he can offer having spent more than 20 years working in social housing. 

‘It’s a very entrepreneurial organisation with a can-do attitude and the management have their heart in the right place in terms of wanting to solve housing issues,’ he says. ‘I think what I can offer is support around keys areas such as governance and business planning.

‘It’s exciting being part of something that’s still developing. It’s challenging, interesting and they’re good people to work with. It feels like there’s momentum and that I can make a difference here.’