Alumna appointed as the new President of the Chartered Institute of Housing

An image of Lara Oyedele

Lara Oyedele has joined the Chartered Institute of Housing as its new President, with the aim of tackling passiveness on ethnic diversity within the housing sector.

The alumna, who graduated with a degree in Communication and Media Studies in 1994, began her role in October. During her time as Presidentshe is looking to use campaigns and encourage open discussion about the importance of racial diversity and representation within the housing sector. 

The Chartered Institute of Housing is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation aiming to support the housing sector. 

Lara has a rich amount of experience within the housing sector, previously working as the founding chair of BME National, a body for Black and minority ethnic housing associations, and as the Chief Executive at Oda-Dua, a north London Black and minority housing association. She has also worked in other housing organisations and councils. 

Her passion for the housing sector and drive to help diverse and low-income communities came from her own experience. Lara noticed that the housing sector lacked people like her when she was evicted in her late teens, and she had to seek support from her local council to find a new home. This experience encouraged Lara to pursue further education in the housing sector, and following her master's degreeto explore a career in the industry.  

Whilst her experience working in the industry was mostly positive, Lara had faced some discrimination as a result of her Nigerian heritage and noticed some exclusionary practices whilst working in the sector. 

Through her work, Lara intends to make the housing sector more inclusive by tackling the concerns she has encountered throughout her career.  

Her main objectives in creating a more inclusive housing sector include creating non-exclusionary events for staff – for example, making sure that staff with children are not excluded from attending due to childcare issues.  

One of the alumna’s biggest aims is to highlight the importance of diverse boards in big organisations. Lara is encouraging people to use the hashtag #representationmatters to prompt others to talk about their own experiences and amplify the issue of underrepresented minorities.  

Throughout her role as President of the Chartered Institute of Housing, she is looking to create a conversation about homelessness and also raise money for Shoe Aid, a footwear charity. 

In addition to this, her campaign will involve a blog series aimed at raising awareness of ethnic diversity in boardrooms and provide people with educational resources.  

Congratulations to Lara on her new role.