A KEIGHLEY housing group has a new vice-chair.

Cym D’Souza has been appointed to the post at Manningham Housing Association, which manages more than 1,400 homes – for over 6,000 residents – in Keighley and Bradford.

She is a well-known figure in the UK housing sector.

Between 2012 and last year, she chaired BME National – an umbrella body for black and minority ethnic housing associations.

A qualified chartered accountant, she has been a member of numerous boards in the commercial and housing sectors and was recently appointed vice-chair of Church Housing Association – established by the Church of England following the publication of a groundbreaking report by the Archbishops' Commission on Housing, Church and Community.

Ms D’Souza was also chief executive of Manchester-based Arawak Walton Housing Association for nearly 25 years until stepping down from the role last autumn.

She says she's "excited" to join the Manningham Housing Association board.

"The association has established a well-earned reputation as one of the leading BME housing associations in the country – not only providing high-quality homes for residents but striving to improve the life experiences of the wider communities which surround them," she adds.

"I know that exciting plans are in place to build on the progress Manningham Housing Association has made in recent years, and I look forward to playing my part in delivering them."

Her appointment is welcomed by the association chair, Rupert Pometsey.

He says: "Cym is one of the most respected individuals in housing and brings an unrivalled breadth of experience to the boardroom.

"She is also a prominent champion of BME communities, which makes her the perfect fit for Manningham Housing Association."

And the association's chief executive, Lee Bloomfield, says: "I have worked alongside Cym on the executive group of BME National for many years.

"Her CV speaks volumes about her achievements and absolute commitment to the task in hand.

"She is a great addition to our board."

Founded in 1986, Manningham Housing Association was the first organisation of its kind in the country to be officially accredited for work promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.

And it is the only housing association in the world to achieve the global Standard for Diversity and Inclusion in HR Management.

Before the accreditation – known as ISO 30415 – was granted, an extensive onsite assessment was carried out, including discussions with employees and stakeholders.

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