Grampian Housing Association elects new chair and vice-chair
Dr Abhishek Agarwal, course leader for the Aberdeen Business School MBA Programme at Robert Gordon University (RGU) has been elected as the new chairman of Grampian Housing Association, while Jim Cargill takes over as vice-chairman.
Dr Agarwal’s expertise spans the areas of strategy, business models, circular economy, social housing, governance and sustainability.
The Association said it appreciates the support given by RGU in assisting Dr Argarwal in this important community role.
Dr Agarwal said: “It is a challenging time to take on the role of chair of Grampian Housing Association. We operate in a demanding environment but I feel that with my background in strategy and passion to help organisations realise their goals, I am well placed to ensure Grampian achieves its ambitious future plans.
“At RGU we place significant importance on sustainability and supporting our local community and this is an example of how we are committed to working in partnership with other organisations to provide a positive contribution to our society.”
Mr Cargill is currently chief executive of PlanSea Solutions Ltd, an independent commercial enterprise of RGU and a director of Calibre International Ltd, a business consultancy. He has just completed a second term as a board member of Montrose Port Authority and is also an adviser to NESTRANS (North East of Scotland Transport Partnership).
Jim Cargill said: “With my extensive experience in business development roles I welcome this opportunity to volunteer at Board level and I am looking forward to supporting Abhishek in driving Grampian’s strategic direction forward.”
Neil Clapperton, chief executive of Grampian Housing Association, added: “These new appointments come at a time when our business transformation process is underway and I am confident that the experience brought by the chair and vice-chair will help us realise our ambitious agenda.
“This will see the move to a new operating model designed to ensure that feedback from our tenants drives service improvements and delivers on our commitment to digital participation.”
One challenge for the Association is ensuring that the needs of applicants for new homes are addressed in line with Scottish Government targets for new build homes while maintaining and improving service quality to meet the expectations of existing customers.
This is reflected in the 500 new homes target set by the Association over the next five years. There is also a commitment to increase investment in its properties through installing new bathrooms, new kitchens and window replacements.
Members receiving the annual review at the recent annual general meeting heard about the Association’s successes in tenant participation and scrutiny; energy efficiency, including the installation of TESLA battery storage in properties with solar panels; support for tenants through its money advice and housing support projects; and building new homes for social rent at locations in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.