Arhag welcomes new board members

Friday, January 26, 2024

Arhag welcomes three new board members - discover more about their backgrounds and goals ahead.

Arhag is delighted to announce the arrival of three new members to our board. Kassira Yacoubou, Simon Davies and Claire Howe joined us late last year, bringing with them a wealth of professional experience and passion for impactful, socially driven housing solutions.

Chris Harris, Arhag’s Chief Executive said “I'm pleased to welcome our three new board members. They bring diverse perspectives and practical ideas that align with our mission. Together, we aim to provide excellent housing services with a strong social purpose.”

Read on to find out more about our latest arrivals, their backgrounds, and what they hope to achieve in their new roles.

Kassira Yacoubou

Kassira Yacoubou, with over twenty years of experience in financial services, has worked for several large institutions. Currently serving as the Head of Audits at HSBC, where she oversees UK Insurance Audit activities, Kassira brings a wealth of experience in advising companies. Her extensive financial background equips her with the tools to contribute effectively at the board level.

Ms Yacoubou’s deep passion for social issues such as social mobility and inclusivity was what initially drew her to Arhag. She believes that housing associations have a key role in addressing these challenges. In her lived experience as a migrant, Ms Yacoubou faced several housing challenges that helped shape her belief in the importance of housing associations, especially for the most vulnerable.

Kassira said, “I am delighted to step in as a new board member at Arhag. As someone passionate about housing solutions, I firmly believe in the key support residents have to receive to fully contribute to our community. Part of our goals at Arhag is to actively engage with our tenants and ensure they are heard and contribute to high-level decisions. I envision Arhag as the go-to organisation leading the way to provide good-quality housing”.

Simon Davies

Simon Davies is a passionate and vastly experienced procurement professional with over 20 years' experience working for and with housing associations, central government, charities and private sector contractors in England & Wales. Simon is a Company Director at 4i Solutions, a consultancy specialising in providing strategic consultancy, cost management and people development services to social landlords in support of delivery of high performing asset management services to residents.

Simon’s experience working with housing associations boards, tenants and staff on a day-to-day basis gives him valuable insight into the challenges faced by Arhag in the successful delivery of core services. For Simon, engaging effectively with tenants is a key issue. He said “An important aspect of transformational change involves making the right adjustments to ensure your customer/tenant base is properly attended to, and that their voices feel heard. I’m delighted to be joining Arhag and look forward to making real contributions in this area, as well as the overall strategic and executive direction of the board”.

Claire Howe

Claire has worked in the housing sector since 1999, taking on a wide range of roles. She is currently the Executive Director (Corporate Services) at Hertfordshire-based housing association B3 Living, and has a background in governance, HR, marketing and communications. Prior to this, Claire founded and ran a part-time personal coaching business, crafting and implementing bespoke training programmes focusing on a range of key skills, from presenting to leadership competencies and beyond.

Many of Claire’s clients were housing professionals themselves. In her opinion, applying personal training/leadership coaching principles is essential for those working within the sector – “Housing is a challenging sector with complex issues. Regulations and building safety standards are constantly changing, as are our budgets, which can make for a tumultuous working environment and difficulties in delivery. Leadership training is a great way to build resilience in housing professionals, better equipping them to take on and overcome these challenges”.

Claire also deeply values a strong professional network and was enthused by Arhag’s close collaboration with a variety of partner organisations. She said “the current environment is particularly challenging. Housing associations are being asked to do more and more, with dwindling resources. A strong professional network offering a wide range of services can provide the necessary support to fill this resource gap and ensure we can continue to deliver high-quality housing solutions for our tenants”.