All female senior management team at the helm of award winning social property business group

Susan Aktemel, Kara Reid, Karen Leigh Anderson (back row left to right)
Joey Lawrie, Lorna Wyllie, Alice Simpson (front row left to right)

Homes for Good, Scotland’s first social enterprise letting agency,  has celebrated International Womens’s Day (Sunday March 8) by unveiling its all-female senior management team, as part of its ambitious growth plans to grow to 1000 homes within the next 4 years.

The Homes for Good (HFG) group, Scotland’s only private sector lettings agency specialising in providing homes for people on low incomes or benefits, has over 500 properties under management and works with around 130 landlords and 800 tenants in and around Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

 Since 2014 HFG has raised around £12 million investment to create its own portfolio of high-quality homes for people in housing need. The award-winning social enterprise has recently been awarded £2.4 million by The National Lottery Community Fund to roll out its successful model across the UK.

Executive Director Susan Aktemel founded the Glasgow-based company in 2013. An experienced property developer, Susan combined these skills with her commitment to improving people’s lives to create Scotland’s first social enterprise letting agency and social landlord in the private rented sector.

Susan previously created and grew Impact Arts, now a leading Scottish arts and regeneration charity, from 1994 to 2012. In 2017 she received an Honorary Doctorate from Strathclyde Business School for achievements in social enterprise and was inducted into the Strathclyde Academy for Distinguished Entrepreneurs in 2019, when she was also awarded the Cambridge Judge Business School / Trinity College Social Innovation Prize. She has also recently been appointed as Visiting Professor at Strathclyde University Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Alice Simpson is Director of Assets & Governance and Company Secretary. Alice joined the team in 2014 and has played a key role in helping to grow the business group.  Her key focus is on managing the organisation’s assets, strengthening the core business operations of the group, ensuring HFG is fit for sustainable growth, and that the group works to best practice guidelines and legislation.  Committed to social change, prior to joining Homes for Good Alice  worked with Orchard and Shipman and Y People, supporting vulnerable people to access emergency housing.

Director of Operations Kara Reid joined Homes for Good in December 2019, after 15 years in management roles within the private rented sector, including working on the national asylum seeker accommodation programme. Kara is responsible at Homes for Good for the day to day running of core business activities, including  business development, lettings, repairs and maintenance, tenancy support and ensuring compliance across all aspects of property management and overseeing the growth of the staff team from its current size of 22 to 40 over the next 18 months.

Joey Lawrie, Head of Tenancy Support and Partnerships, joined the team in 2015 and has been central to the success of the unique approach Homes for Good has developed in working with tenants and supporting them to feel secure in their homes and improve their lives. With a background in psychology and mental health, Joey is leading a growing team of tenancy support officers and specialist advisors, as well as developing partnerships with organisations such as The Wise Group to enhance the services offered to tenants.

Karen Leigh Anderson joined the team in September 2019 as Programme Director for Replication and Learning, enabling other social enterprises across the UK to learn from the Homes for Good unique approach to providing homes for people who need them. Karen’s career spans both the private & social economy, with significant experience in social franchising, replication & growth though her work with more than 80 organisations considering social franchising.   Karen is a member of faculty at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School in the Centre for Social Innovation and is also a Churchill Fellow for Enterprise for 2018.

Lorna Wyllie joined the team in October 2019 as part-time Finance Director with the Homes for Good Group. Lorna is a former partner with Glasgow-based accountant Wylie & Bisset where she headed up the Business Advisory Services team and managed a large portfolio of clients.  She has worked across a wide variety of sectors including third sector and commercial organisations.  

Homes for Good founding director Susan Aktemel said: “I am really pleased to have built this six-strong female leadership team, who have first class experience and a strong track record in their respective fields of housing, care, social business and finance. Over the next 4 years we planned to grow to 1000 homes under management, raise a further £20m investment and work with over 300 landlords and 1500 tenants, providing quality homes for people who need them. We are extremely well placed to achieve this with this excellent team of professional women. I am lucky and proud to have them on board.”

Ends

For more information, contact:

Carol Stewart, carol.s@homesforgood.org.uk, tel 07944 060322

2019 Excellence in the Private Rented Sector Winner is Homes For Good

Homes for Good has won the Excellence in the Private Rented Sector award in The CIH Scotland Excellence Awards and our founding director Susan Aktemel was also shortlisted in the Excellence in Leadership and Outstanding Contribution to Housing categories.

The Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate the creativity, passion and innovation of housing organisations and individuals across the housing sector in Scotland.

Our subsidiary Homes for Good Glasgow has also been nominated for Social Investment Deal of the Year in the Social Enterprise UK awards, which take place in December.

Homes for Good founding director Susan Aktemel said: “We are delighted to be nominated for these awards and to have our work recognised in the housing and social enterprise sectors. It has been very much a team effort. Over half of our staff have personal experience of poor conditions in privately rented homes, while our support model was co-produced with tenants with direct experience of insecure and low-quality rental housing.

CIH Scotland director Callum Chomczuk said: “The annual CIH Scotland Excellence Awards are a chance for us to shine a light on the individuals, teams and projects across the housing sector that are making a positive difference to people’s lives. We know that good quality housing and the services provided by housing professionals improve health and wellbeing, reduce poverty and inequality and create vibrant, sustainable communities.  We are pleased to be able to celebrate these achievements with more than 400 guests this year at our biggest award ceremony ever.”

Scotland’s first social enterprise lettings agency receives £2.4 million from the National Lottery to expand UK-wide

An award-winning Scottish property management social enterprise, which helps vulnerable housing tenants access quality housing, has been awarded £2.4 million in National Lottery funding to roll out its successful model across the UK.

Read more on Firstport – 16 September 2019

£2.4m boost for social enterprise

Third Force News – 16 September 2019

Homes for Good is set to expand across the UK following an initial successful spell in Scotland

Read more here.

Social enterprise bags £2.4m to roll out model UK-wide

In The Scotsman – 16 September 2019

Homes for Good, which specialises in supporting people with limited housing choices including those who are homeless, receive benefits or are on low incomes, has been awarded the multi-million-pound sum from The National Lottery Community Fund.

Read more here.

Glasgow housing project given cash to help vulnerable tenants across UK

In the Evening Times – 16 September 2019

The National Lottery has provided a Glasgow-based social enterprise lettings agency with millions in funding to help in their work housing vulnerable tenants.

Homes for Good (HFG) has been awarded £2.4million to help them take their work supporting people with limited housing choices, including those who are homeless, on benefits or low incomes, UK-wide.

Read more here.

£10,000 Cambridge prize for ‘achievement and ambition’ in social enterprise

£10,000 Cambridge prize for ‘achievement and ambition’ in social enterprise

Susan Aktemel recognised as one of the UK’s top 100 changemakers

Thanks Big Issue for recognising our Director, Susan Aktemel, as one of the UK’s top 100 changemakers.

We have a lot going on at Homes for Good & Susan is keeping all the team on our toes as we continue to grow.

Read all about it here.

Susan Aktemel, founder of the UK’s first social enterprise letting agency

Easter/Spring 2017

Easter is the time of year when we fully recognise that summer is upon us, the clocks have gone forward and it stopped raining for one whole day (the latter only applies to Scotland). We can retire our ice scrapers and woolly jumpers – until at least September- dig out our favourite pair of sunglasses and have an ice lolly!

As it gets warmer the streets get brighter, tulips and daffodils decorate the green patches and bring unsuspecting colour to your day. But how do we bring the colour inside? Here are our top 3 tips to brighten up your home this spring, enjoy.

 

1. Trendy trends

Tropical prints have flooded the interior market this spring/summer and for good reason! These bright and colourful prints will cheer up any room and inject some life. Inspired by nature they bring the best parts of the outdoors inside.The high street

The high street is dominating this trend and showing that having a beautiful home doesn’t have to cost you an arm and leg. ASDA and Primark home sections are an emporium for all home décor needs, and with on-trend bedding sets from £9 you can’t go wrong! Here are our favs:

 

 

2. Family friendly DIY

The Easter Holiday’s or “spring break” (read in an American accent) means that the little ones are off and their favourite saying becomes “I’m bored”. DIY is a cost and weather friendly way to get you and your family’s creative juices flowing and get the whole family having some fun.

You’re never too old for some good old fashioned finger painting! Simply get some craft paper, any old paint and take a pen and get creative, you’ll be surprised how much fun you can have.

For something a little more challenging, you could add splashes of colour into your home with pom-poms! They are deceptively easy and can make endless accessories for your home.

3. Green fingers

Bringing the outside in, literally this time. No matter what size of garden you have or don’t have this tip is still for you! One of the advantages of spring is that it is slowly but surely getting lighter and warmer, this means it is the perfect time to start your very own windowsill herb garden.

Herbs? Where do you begin? Homes for Good are here to help!

What do you need?

  • Empty Jars (old food jars work perfect!)
  • Small gravel stones
  • Seeds of your choice (Basil, bay leaves, chives, coriander, mint, sage or thyme, work great indoors)
  • Potting Soil
  • Most importantly water and sunlight!

 

  1. Take your empty jar and create a layer of gravel at the bottom until you reach one fifth of the way up the jar. On top of
  2. On top of that you are going to add your potting soil until you reach the neck of the jar. Add seeds of your choice then cover with a little more soil.
  3. Add seeds of your choice then cover with a little more soil.Water until the soil is damp and no more.
  4. Water until the soil is damp and no more. Place in your window for direct sunlight, water as instructed on
  5. Place in your window for direct sunlight, water as instructed on seed packet and watch them grow. Not only are they tasty but they’re a great way to bring colour and nature into your kitchen! It’s as simple as 1,2,3…4!

Top tip – label and decorate your jars in any way you wish! Get creative and good luck!

 

Below are some links we thought could be useful if you ever find your family at a loose end this Easter in Glasgow!

New Offices in Bridgeton

Good morning from our new base in Bridgeton. We’ve transformed two shop units and will reveal more with coverage from our official opening on Tuesday the 31st of January 2017.

 

Our new headquarters in Bridgeton.

One unit is home to our business headquarters and in the other, we have created the first dedicated private rented sector tenants’ support hub in Scotland (pictured above and below).

Here, we will welcome both our own tenants and the wider community to access support and advice from our team and partners.

Our tenants’ support hub