We're excited to officially welcome Zeena Farook, our new Board member, to Hightown. Zeena will contribute to developing our corporate strategy and long-term direction.
We caught up with Zeena to find out about her experiences and what motivated her to apply for the Board member role at Hightown.
Tell us about yourself? What is your background?
I’m a Director in Arcadis, with 20+ years of experience in infrastructure and development. I have been the Resident Engineer for major works, such as the Victoria and Albert basement extension in London, but I have also dealt with emerging issues within the industry, including our Net Zero transition and digitalisation.
What made you apply for the Board member role at Hightown?
I wanted to use the expertise I had to benefit my local area, but also make an impact. With Hightown’s social purpose around supporting the homeless and care and social housing, it was connected to my value. They also have aspirations to develop and address some of our issues around low housing stock, so that allowed me to bring my experiences to life in the role.
How are you finding it so far?
The Executive team and Board are passionate around our delivery to our tenants, end-users and staff. This is energising. However, the highlight for me was meeting the tenants and staff who are working tirelessly to improve our services. Hearing their stories moved me more than I could have believed.
What experience do you bring to Hightown and the role?
Understanding the opportunities and risks around development, whilst continuing to work within the industry, gives me the ability to add insight to our meetings. Additionally, we are working through the challenges to transitioning to Net Zero in my current full-time role, and I am bringing that experience and commitment to the Board.
The Housing sector has been under a lot of scrutiny recently. If you could change one thing about the sector, what would it be?
Across the UK, the ageing housing stock is the biggest risk to our tenants and closing the gap between the have and have-nots. Everyone deserves to live with dignity and comfort, and I want us to update this stock and improve the supply. The happy end result of updating our housing stock would be that this helps our transition to Net Zero as a county.
What do you think Hightown’s strengths are?
Hightown’s strength are its people. Its employees and its wonderful residents. Working together, we can make a difference to the area and individual’s lives.