Meet Our Team

MHA Board

All housing associations must be led and controlled by a Board which ensures delivery of its objectives, sets its strategic direction and upholds its values. The MHA Board Members have ultimate responsibility for directing the activity of the Association, ensuring it is well run and delivering the outcomes for which it has been set up. These include:

  • Setting and approving policies, plans and budgets to achieve those objectives and monitoring performance
  • Ensuring compliance with objects, purposes and values
  • Ensuring the financial strength, solvency and good performance of the Association
  • Ensuring that the Association complies with all relevant regulation, laws and requirements
  • Dealing with the appointment and appraisal of the Association’s Chief Executive
  • Setting and maintaining a framework of delegation and internal control where appropriate
  • Agreeing all policies and decisions on matters which might create significant risk to the Association – financial or otherwise
  • Ensure that the Association’s vision, mission and values and activities remain true to its objectives.

To see the Terms of Reference for MHA’s Board, please click here.

Board Members

Barrington Billings, Chair

Barrington’s appointment as Chair is a key appointment for MHA.  Following the regulatory downgrade, we needed someone who brought strength in governance best practice and experience of working in both a housing and non-executive capacity.  We believe Barrington brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be of great benefit to MHA.

Barrington began his senior housing career in 1990 as an Executive Director at Hallmark Community Housing, where he worked for six years.  Since then, he has held Executive-level posts at a number of Housing Associations, such as Prime Focus and Places for People, and is currently Head of Asset Management and Development at Tuntum Housing Association.  In addition to executive roles, Barrington has also served on a number of Boards; outside of sector he has been a non-executive at an Academy and an NHS Trust, and was Chair of the Joint Awarding Body of the Chartered Institute of Building from 2007-2008.  Within the sector he has served on the Boards of Gentoo (2008-2017) and Arhag Housing (2007-2013), having Chaired the latter, and was also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing from 2000-2008, serving as President from 2005-2006.

Abdul Ravat, Vice Chair

Abdul joined the MHA Board in October 2016 having previously had a professional relationship for the best part of 15 years or so. He was made Deputy Chair in May 2017. Abdul’s current role is at The Abbeyfield Society as its Head of Development & Relationships, responsible for driving the strategic investment and asset management objectives within the UK business plan.

Abdul has over 25 years of experience in the field of research, housing, investment, regulation and cricket. He possesses a unique blend of knowledge and practice of deploying funds through public and private partnerships in both procuring housing and placed based interventions. He has previously worked as a regulator and an investor and directly worked with over 80 or more housing delivery partners, for profit providers and developers. He also held specific responsibility for coordinating and representing to housing association boards the regulatory engagement and overall assessment of performance.

Abdul is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing and a Member of the International Association of Project Management. Abdul completed his MBA from the world renowned Bradford School of Management. Abdul also Chairs the Independent School Appeals Panel for a number of schools and is an Ambassador to the National Training Awards encouraging others to seek recognition for their own learning and training journey. Abdul is also a board member of Unity Enterprise, a subsidiary of Unity Housing Association that manages 52,000sqft of commercial space and provides 130 managed workspaces for over 80 organisations. Abdul is a member of National Housing Federation’s ‘Delivering Great Homes Group’ providing strategic and practical development input to shape and inform future policies and programmes with government and the sector. Abdul also sits on the BME (Yorkshire Cricket) Forum and advised both Yorkshire Cricket and the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in the context of the South Asian Strategy and Inspiring Generations.

Abdul is a keen club cricketer and an ECB Level 2 Coach and was recognised as the ‘Heartbeat of the Club’ as part of the ECB’s 2017 Cricket OSCAs.

Cath Bacon, Tenant Board Member

Cath is an MHA tenant and is an active member of her local community. Cath is also Chair of MHA’s Customer Panel which scrutinises the services the organisation provides to its residents. The Panel also reviews policy and procedures and makes recommendations for service improvements.

Julia Histon

Julia is a highly experienced housing professional with many years’ experience at a senior level in the sector.  Julia is currently Managing Director of York Housing Association and has been in post since 2011.  Prior to this role she had worked in housing and regeneration for over 25 years, and has worked for Housing Associations, Regeneration Companies and Local Authorities in the North East.  Julia is Vice Chair of the Yorkshire & Humber National Housing Federation Chief Executive Group and a member of the Smaller Housing Associations Group.  She is also the Housing Association representative on the Housing Board for York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP.  She has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing for 25 years.

Vicky Szulist

Vicky is a chartered accountant and audit partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP where she specialises in the audit of not for profit entities.  Vicky has a number of housing clients and has been involved in the social housing sector throughout her career.  Manningham Housing Association is a past audit client from her time as a senior manager at KPMG.

Vicky also chairs Healthwatch Manchester and sits on Manchester’s Health and Wellbeing Board.  She has an active interest in social value through procurement. She was previously the treasurer of Manchester Citizens Advice Bureau for six and a half years.  Vicky was born in Shipley and grew up in Bradford where she resided until moving to her current home in Brighouse.

Haroon Rashid

Haroon is a  chartered accountant with extensive financial management, treasury and reporting experience  gained at KPMG and FGH .  Whilst at KPMG, Haroon managed many Housing Association audits and due diligence exercises.  Haroon currently heads the Central Finance department at Freemans Grattan Holdings and his responsibilities include Financial Accounting and systems, pensions, treasury and accounts payable.   Haroon has  also served as a school Governor and enjoys playing cricket in his spare time.

Mushtaq Khan

Mushtaq is Director at Think Inclusive, a consultancy specialising in equality, strategy and inclusive leadership. He has worked for a number of housing and regeneration organisations throughout his career, and was most recently Director of Commercial Partnerships at the Jigsaw Group; this involved overseeing and growing the Group’s non-landlord business activity, with 280 staff and an annual budget of about £15m. He has also worked at a senior level in local authorities for the over fifteen years, including working for large metropolitan councils such as Oldham, Trafford and Lambeth.

Mushtaq is particularly interested in ensuring that disadvantaged communities have access to housing, employment and training opportunities to move forward and achieve their potential. He has experience of a host of regeneration schemes ranging from straightforward homes and environment refurbishment to complex public-private partnership schemes involving new build and community investment. These schemes have sought to address issues such as ethnic segregation through ensuring that the quality and choice of accommodation is enhanced, enabling the creation of more mixed-income communities.

Majid Khan

Majid is a chartered accountant, having qualified with Ernst & Young in London. He has since worked for KPMG (Real Estate) and a number of large listed businesses in Yorkshire, including Morrisons Plc and IPF Plc. His most recent role is that of Commercial Finance Director at IPF PLC.

Other relevant experience includes a secondment to the HCA to advise on the allocation of funding to developers as part of the Kickstart programme. As part of this secondment, he worked closely with developers on a number of regional schemes to advise on all aspects of the development finance.

Khalida Ashrafi

Khalida’s work focuses on raising the profile of and making a positive difference to BME communities and Khalida is currently ‘cultural advisor’ to the script writing team of the channel 4 drama series Ackley Bridge.  She is also about to launch a piece of research on ‘Hijab and Hate crime’ in Bradford for the Muslim Women’s Council.

Khalida has 15 years’ experience of developing and delivering bilingual training on sensitive subject areas that include sexual and mental health.  She has also worked with TAG (Together Against Grooming) and is currently developing a parenting programme to deliver to Muslim parents to assist them in dealing with challenging situations.

Khalida also presents for ‘Radio Asian Fever’ and is a keen writer having recently penned 2 children’s tales. Khalida previously worked as a Policy Manager for the EHRC (Equality and Human Rights Commission) in Leeds for 11 years.

Executive Team Members

The Association has a management team which comprises of the Chief Executive, the Director of Finance and the Director of Operations. The management operations of the Association are delegated to this highly committed and professional management team.

Lee Bloomfield, Chief Executive Officer

Lee is Chief Executive Officer and started with us in January 2018. He has over 20 years’ experience working in housing and has worked across a range of organisations including local authority, ALMO’s and housing associations. Lee was previously Chief Executive of a BME housing association in Leeds and brings a wealth of experience including corporate governance, business development, organisational change and strong strategic leadership. Lee is Vice Chair of the Housing Diversity Network and is passionate about instigating change and improving and developing services for BME communities.

Ulfat Hussain, Assistant Chief Executive and Director of Operations 

Ulfat is the Assistant Chief Executive and Director of Operations. He has specific responsibility for the delivery of housing management, maintenance and asset management services ensuring the highest level of customer satisfaction. Ulfat has over 15 years of senior management experience of driving operations for both small and large housing associations. He is highly committed to customer service excellence shaping high quality services coupled with strong organisational performance. He has been a board member at Pennine Housing 2000; is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing, has a Degree in Housing Studies, a Post-graduate Certificate in Leadership and is qualified as a PRINCE2 Practitioner. Ulfat is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing Yorkshire and HumbersideRegional Board.


Shendi Keshet, Director of Finance and Resources

Shendi is the Director of Finance and Resources. She leads the Finance Team and is responsible for all aspects of financial management and reporting. Her previous roles include Head of Financial Planning at Beyond Housing, one of the leading housing providers in the North-East of England which manages 15,000 homes across Redcar and Cleveland, and North Yorkshire. She has also held the dual London-based roles of Director of Financial Transformation at the Industrial Dwellings Society, and Deputy Director of Finance at Soho Housing.