The National Housing Federation’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in Housing member group has appointed Victor da Cunha as its new Chair and Ijay Onyechi, as its new Vice Chair, both starting in October.
Victor is Chief Executive of Curo with over 20 years of experience in the social housing sector. He chairs Homes for the South West, a collaboration between housing associations working together to increase affordable housing supply.
He’s also an active member of our EDI in Housing Member group, working with leaders to make positive changes and drive inclusion across our sector. Victor da Cunha replaces Colette McKune, Chief Executive of ForHousing who served in the role since 2019.
Ijay is Director of New Build and Customer Care at Peabody, with over 15 years of experience working in social housing at Peabody, working her way up within different roles.
During her time at Peabody, Ijay has been an advocate for inclusion and change. This includes championing the need for equality and diversity as part of her role as co-chair of the Peabody Race Equality Network since 2020.
“I’m very excited to become chair of the NHF’s EDI in Housing group at this critical time for the sector. Our purpose in social housing requires us to be a beacon for diversity and inclusion and we must prioritise that ambition now, more than ever.
“Embracing EDI must include transforming our leadership and Board characteristics so they are more truly diverse, representative of our communities and our workforce.
“This is a cultural change programme which will take time but we must all have a relentless determination to drive change as it’s an important way to improve service outcomes for the people we serve and build trust.”
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to foster conversations around EDI and contribute towards work that helps to increase the diversity of our leaders while attracting new and diverse talent to our sector.”
“I believe celebrating diversity goes hand in hand with thoughtful inclusion and there needs to be a commitment in the housing sector to develop a culture of inclusion. Our leaders, colleagues and residents do not just need to be different, it’s important they are fully involved in decision-making that affects them and that their voices are heard."