RUSS’s Trustees set the overall strategic direction for the organisation. They monitor performance against the business plan and ensure the organisation’s resources and finances are being correctly managed. The Trustees also provide leadership, guidance, financial governance and ensure that RUSS fulfils its charitable duties. The Trustees include residents that are expected to move into the first project in Lewisham. Collectively the Board has significant experience of business, social housing, community engagement, construction processes, self-build, financial management, risk management and fundraising.

Anurag Verma

Anurag studied architecture in India and worked in Germany before moving to London for further study. He lives locally and is an associate director at Latitude Architects.  He is passionate about RUSS’s innovative ‘model’ for delivering affordable self-built homes and wants to see it replicated widely across London and other cities. He has a keen eye for detail and believes he can play a key role in ensuring the Church Grove scheme is delivered in an innovative, efficient and cost-effective manner.

Shelina Hooper
With over a decade of social housing experience, Shelina works at the Regulator of Social Housing as a financial analyst. Prior to this, she worked as an accountant and senior finance officer in various departments at Camden, Hackney and Islington Councils. She has extensive experience in assessing and improving the financial viability of housing projects, as well as the governance and regulatory compliance of housing developer organisations. She brings her in-depth knowledge of social housing regulations, funding, finances and management to RUSS.

Anne Kennedy

Active with RUSS since 2015, Anne as experience as a RUSS Trustee and Secretary. She runs RUSS School, where we share our model and pass on lessons from our work to others to help support community housing projects across the country. She manages our membership system and is part of the team developing use of the community hub. Her longstanding contributions demonstrate her passion for our vision and give her a thorough understanding of what we do, how we do it and the sector.

James Kinnersly

James is a Chartered Town Planner with a decade of experience in both planning and development. He has managed the delivery of housing developments ranging from small resident-led regeneration projects to 2500+ home schemes, working for both developers and councils. He has wide-ranging expertise that includes negotiating and holding relationships with planning authorities, conducting feasibility studies, engaging and involving residents, and advising and overseeing housing projects through to delivery.

Benny Lee

Benny has experience in accounting, finance and risk management and has been a RUSS volunteer. Previously secretary to the Board of Trustees for one of the largest pension schemes in the UK, he has valuable insight into how to establish, improve and use best practice governance procedures. His experience in cashflow modelling and company accounts, both as an actuarial consultant and a company secretary, enables the board to maintain effective oversight of our finances and develop the functioning of the organisation.

Eleanor Margolies

Eleanor is an experienced campaigner and community leader, she was Chair of the East Dulwich Estate Regeneration Project Team for five years, where she worked with residents and Southwark Council to plan and oversee new building work and refurbishment of estate landscaping, ensuring that residents’ views and interests were heard and acted upon. In this role, she helped fundraise and create a new community garden and organised community events. Eleanor is a future Church Grove Project resident and longstanding member of RUSS.

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.

Jessica Tsang
Jessica is a Vice President in Operational Risk Management at Goldman Sachs. She brings to the board a keen understanding of governance processes, board reporting and project management. Jessica is a longstanding RUSS volunteer with a background as an economist researching land use, planning, growth and regeneration. She has experience in managing relationships with financial sponsors and aims to support RUSS to manage and secure grants and loans for Church Grove Project and our core organisational work.

Ethan Williams

Ethan Williams is a researcher at the King’s Fund healthcare think-tank, where he has been exploring the ways in which local government, the NHS and the third sector can work together across the built environment and asset-based community development in order to benefit the populations they serve. Ethan has access to a diverse network spanning health, housing and the third sector, and is keen to help develop RUSS’s support base and collaborative working.