Our Governance


We are required by the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) to adopt an appropriate code of governance.  We have adopted the National Housing Federation Code of Governance 2020. The Code sets out four key principles with which we must comply.  Where we do not follow the Code, we must explain our reasons for not doing so.  We review our compliance each year and this is reported to our Board and published in our Financial Statements.

Our structure

Our group structure comprises of:

  • emh group – a registered Provider under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Society Act 2014 – non-charitable;
  • emh housing and regeneration Ltd (trading as emh homes)  – a registered provider under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014;
  • emh care and support Ltd – a company limited by guarantee and registered with the Charities Commission.

The Group also includes four specialist legal entities:

  • EMH Treasury PLC, a special purpose vehicle established primarily to raise funds through the Debt Capital Markets;
  • Midlands Rural Housing provides management and development services to four rural housing associations, managing around 1,500 homes around the East and West Midlands.  It also provides specialist rural consultancy services and campaigns for more investment in rural affordable housing, brings rural development opportunities to the Group and is a non-registered provider under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014;
  • emh Sharpes is our in-house landscape maintenance company;
  • emh Development Company Limited, provides Design and Build services across emh group.

Meet our Group Board Members

Our Members are recruited for their skills, experience and diversity as set out in our Board Recruitment, Succession and Remuneration Strategy.

Dr. David Russell, Chair

David is a Professor of Corporate Social Responsibility. He is an accountant by profession, member of the British Accounting & Finance Association, and the Institute for Fiscal Studies. David’s research encompasses sustainability paradigms, carbon emissions, taxation and valuation. He has led change programmes introducing commercial principles into not-for-profit organisations, and the transition of public services to commercial activities. David was appointed Chair in June 2017.

Patricia McCabe, Vice Chair

Patricia McCabe

Patricia is an experienced Non-Executive with 16 years’ experience serving on boards in housing and the wider third sector. She is a Group board member of emh group, Chair of Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid, and a board member of Homecome Ltd. She is also independent Chair of the Birmingham Ageing Better Strategic Partnership.

Patricia’s career was primarily in Organisational Development, working in Housing, Social Services, the NHS, charities and the private sector. She was previously Managing Director of Central Consultancy & Training, specialising in governance and Board development.

Patricia is professionally qualified in company direction, general management and Human Resource Development.

Chan Kataria OBE, BSc (Hons), FCIH, MBA.

Chan is Group Chief Executive. He has held numerous positions at senior level in both the housing association and local authority sectors since 1985. He is a former Chair of the National Housing Federation in the East Midlands and a member of the steering group of housing association alliance PlaceShapers.

Amanda Ashton

Amanda has a wealth of leadership experience at executive board level in higher education and health care transformational change, within local, national and international settings. Amanda now runs her own consultancy company and provides support to NHS foundations. She values team work and has a reputation for developing people to develop both their professional and personal potential.

Tim Brown

Tim works as an independent consultant and is a Corporate Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

He was an Honorary Senior Research Associate in Housing and Local Government, in the Department of Politics, People and Place at De Montfort University and previously was Director of the Centre for Comparative Housing Research.

He has recently been involved in consultancy projects for Housing Quality Network on affordable housing provision, social housing allocations, homelessness strategies, and the private rented sector.

Margaret Coward

Margaret brings to the board more than 30 years’ experience in housing and regeneration having covered senior roles in public and voluntary sectors delivering housing management, supported accommodation, new build social housing, redevelopment and regeneration at Nottingham, Derby, Surrey, Hampshire, Belfast, Sheffield and Leeds.

Her volunteer experience includes Chair of an almshouse charity providing accommodation for older people, Trustee of charity providing support services around domestic abuse and previous Board Member roles at Citizen (then WM Housing).

Margaret has an extensive understanding of emh’s care and support operation, having served as an Independent Member of the Care & Support Board and Audit Committee since 2018.

Shabir Ismail

Shabir is the Deputy Principal and CEO of Leicester College. He has worked in the education sector for 26 years in colleges, private firms and a government agency. He is a qualified accountant and has previously worked as a consultant supporting a range of organisations in governance, risk and financial matters. He has a strategic role at the college and is responsible for Student Services (including safeguarding), Marketing, Estates, IT, Finance and Funding.

Shabir is an experienced Executive and Non-Executive Director who has worked with several boards, committees and senior posts including George Eliot NHS Trust and the Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership Executive team.

Shabir is passionate and committed to providing the best possible opportunities for all to improve their lives. He knows from first-hand experience how crucial a secure and safe home environment is to an individual and a family.

Roger Merchant

Roger is a Chartered Accountant and a Charity Specialist Partner for UHY Hacker Young, a national accountancy and business advisory firm.

After graduating from Bristol University in Economics and Statistics, Roger worked in London and Warsaw as a partner with PwC, before moving to the East Midlands 25 years ago.

He is a former Chair of Charnwood Neighbourhood Housing, and his additional not-for-profit experience includes roles as trustee/audit committee member at Warwick Care, Derby Museums, Leicester College, Chartered Accountants’ Benevolent Fund and Leicester Business Voice.

Outside work, Roger - who has four sons - enjoys playing golf and is a season ticket holder at Leicester City FC.

Gail Puttock. Resident board member and Complaints Champion (Member Responsible for Complaints)

Gail is a highly experienced HR and employment law consultant with over 20 years’ experience within consultancy firms and the health sector. She now works as a self-employed HR consultant providing advice for SMEs on HR and employment relations. She also currently works for the Citizens Advice Bureau within the foodbanks in the Hinckley area. Gail has in the past, worked in the voluntary and education sectors, and was a parish councillor for two years, helping to improve services in the local community.

Sarah Woolley

Sarah is an experienced non-executive and executive board director with over 18 years' experience working in the social housing and healthcare sectors.

She is Senior Research Fellow at Warwick Business School where her research interests are in strategic management, leadership, innovation and change in not-for- profit sectors.

Sarah completed her undergraduate scientific training at Manchester University (BSc. Cell Biology) and holds a PhD in Business and Management (Warwick Business School) and a PhD in Immunology & Biochemistry (Birmingham University.) Sarah is a qualified executive coach.

In her spare time, Sarah enjoys exploring and adventuring with her dog Alma.

Paul Casey BA (Hons)

Paul has more than 40 years’ experience in the social housing sector particularly in asset management and development functions. Currently a Director of an affordable housing consultancy providing development and asset management services to small contractors and developers and a number of social housing providers. He is also Property and Asset Director of Horizon Infrastructure Ltd an Institutional Investment Management Company.