We are thrilled to announce that Kemba Mitchell is one of 20 people who have been shortlisted in HQN’s Housing’s Next Generation competition. The competition celebrates people working in the housing sector that have shown commitment to diversity and inclusion, learning and leading, and moving forward in their careers.

Kemba is a Project Coordinator in our Asset strategy and Development Team, and is also a graduate of the GEM Programme. Here she talks a little more about her role and why she loves working in housing.

I did an architecture degree – I fell in love with the built environment, but I knew I didn’t want to be an architect. As a student I volunteered at South Yorkshire Housing Association and I loved it. I felt the whole ethos of the company was amazing and enjoyed the work I did. It isn’t just about providing people with a house, it is so much more than that – it really is a wellbeing organisation and it was something I wanted to be a part of.

The real thing I got from my degree was a real passion for making housing better and a bit of an understanding of how to do that, and I think that was a key part of me getting the job.

I think that I am very attuned to people’s feelings and I think in this sector that’s important: keeping an eye out for your colleagues, but also being able to put yourself in the place of our customers.

My role is to assist the whole development team and this means I do lots of different things! I am also working on our collaboration with The University Of Sheffield – I think the ideas the students are coming up with are so innovative, and it’s an amazing opportunity for them. We take what they give us really seriously, and the design work they are doing could really help inform the work that we do in the future.

So far I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity of being involved in the competition. The process has given me chance to reflect on housing and the challenges we and our customers are facing more broadly.

We’re wishing Kemba the best of luck with the competition, and her career!