A KEIGHLEY housing group has achieved a global first.

Manningham Housing Association has been awarded the international Standard for Diversity and Inclusion in HR Management.

The organisation – which manages more than 1,400 homes, for over 6,000 residents, in Keighley and Bradford – is the first housing association in the world to earn the accreditation, known as ISO 30415.

Before the certification was granted, an extensive onsite assessment was carried out, including discussions with employees and stakeholders.

An assessor's report describes Manningham Housing Association as "an exemplar organisation in respect of diversity and inclusion", and "truly reflective of the community it serves".

It adds: "The culture of the organisation is one where people feel valued and respected, and are treated as individuals. People are proud to work for, and be associated with, the organisation and as a result often go the extra mile.

"Diversity and inclusion are deeply embedded in its DNA – the values have not only endured over the decades, but the sense of inclusion has increased as the organisation reaches out to wider communities.

"Everyone is totally focused on enhancing the life of customers by providing good-quality homes, maintaining existing homes, investing in the community and developing partnerships. And the association has the leverage and standing to become a lead voice for black and minority ethnic communities."

Ulfat Hussain, deputy chief executive and director of operations at Manningham Housing Association, says: "I am delighted that we have been awarded ISO 30415 accreditation, and to be informed by the independent assessor that we're the first housing association to receive it.

"As he recognises in his report, the Manningham Housing Association family is made up of a diverse range of individuals, with our staff coming from backgrounds reflecting the communities we serve.

"The assessor also describes the feedback from staff, partners and service users throughout the assessment as extremely positive, highlighting the unique culture which has been created.

"I am incredibly proud of the outcome and pay tribute to everyone involved, with a special mention for Carolina Padovezi De Oliveira, our corporate project manager, who ensured the whole assessment process ran smoothly."

Association chair, Rupert Pometsey, describes the award of the accreditation as "a landmark moment".

He adds: "Our absolute commitment to our tenants and communities is only matched by a desire to ensure the needs and aspirations of our staff are met in a diverse and inclusive environment. The assessor’s report confirms that we are achieving these objectives. I congratulate everyone who contributed to such a remarkable result."