The RUSS Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place this year on Saturday 24 June, from 2-4pm. RUSS members can sign up to attend here: (And if you’re not a member, you can join here.) Full details of the AGM speakers, agenda and papers here.

At the AGM each year, RUSS elects new trustees onto the board. Here, we set out how the process works and introduce the candidates who are standing.

How trustees are elected

Ahead of the AGM, the RUSS board invites people to apply for the trustee role. Candidates need to apply at least 21 days before the AGM, and need to be proposed and seconded by two other RUSS members. The board can have up to 12 members (or up to 15 in any given year if this is approved by members at the AGM). Over the past few months, we have called for applicants through our newsletter, our website and our social media channels.

The current board carried out a skills mapping exercise to establish the types of background and expertise for incoming trustees that would best suit RUSS’s needs over the coming year. The board assessed applications and conducted interviews of applicants with this in mind, to decide on a set of candidates to recommend for election at the AGM. This year, the board are recommending three candidates whom we will introduce below.

According to our rules 63.1 and 63.2, if there are more candidates than there are vacancies, then the appointments are decided by members at the AGM through a ballot. If there aren’t more candidates than vacancies, then the chair can declare the candidates duly elected. In the case of a ballot, all members have one vote per vacancy, and can only vote for each candidate once. The candidates with the most votes are elected to the board.

As a result of the process set out above, the board is recommending three candidates to members for election. At the meeting, the candidates will introduce themselves to members, and there will be space for questions and comments from members about the candidates and the election process.

The candidates nominated by the current board of trustees are:
Joel Simpson

Joel has been a lecturer in the Fine Art department at Chelsea College of Arts for the last 4 years, where his teaching explores how socially engaged art practice can empower communities in contexts of environmental change. He recently received an MSc in Urban Development Planning from UCL, where he partnered with Homebaked CLT in a publication aimed at scaling up community-led housing in Liverpool. He is committed to working with young people who have been homeless or threatened with homelessness, and currently assists residents in securing employment and education opportunities at a supported living accommodation in Hackney.

Anita Rasaratnam

Anita has over 12 years’ experience advising the affordable housing sector. She is a Legal Director specialising in property development and regeneration for registered providers, focusing particularly on development site acquisitions, site assemblies and stock disposals. Typical examples of her work include carrying out due diligence for site acquisitions and the negotiation of project documentation, development agreements, provisions including overage and clawback, negotiating and advising on exclusivity agreements, option agreements and land agreements (including subject to planning sites). She also sits as a director on an Estate Management Company and has extensive insight into the mechanics of efficient estate management and effective resident engagement.

Elly Greig (information to follow)

Anurag Verma and Phil Morris will formally step down from the board and stand again at the AGM.

Anurag Verma

Anurag is an architect by training and active in practice and education. He is an ambassador for the Community Land Trust Network and sees housing as a resource that can deliver long-term sustainable benefit to communities via the land trust model.  He lives locally and promotes the organisation in public forums. Deeply invested in demonstrating RUSS’s community self-build model at Church Grove, he also oversees theRUSS School and is seeking to replicate the RUSS model across London and other cities. 

Phil Morris

Phil is a semi-retired accountant who has worked in social housing for most of his career. He is a board member of Coin Street Community Builders, having been involved at Coin Street since 1984. In the early 1990s he was the finance director at South London Family Housing Association, where he developed funding arrangements for self build housing for rent and shared ownership, and worked with Chisel Neighbourhood Housing Association. This resulted in innovative self build schemes in South London, Brighton and Essex

Other candidates standing for election
We will update this page with information on other candidates as and when they apply.

How to stand for election to the board of trustees
All members are welcome to stand for election to the board of trustees. If you wish to do so, you will need to be proposed and seconded by two other members. It would be helpful if you could let us know in advance of the AGM if you wish to stand, so that we can communicate this to our members ahead of the AGM. Please email with the names of the two RUSS members who have proposed and seconded your candidacy, and a short paragraph about you and what you could bring to RUSS as a trustee, which we can share with other members.

If you have any questions about any of this ahead of the AGM, please feel free to get in touch with us at