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Emma Palmer, CEO at Eastlight Community Homes

For most in the housing sector, housing chooses them. Emma Palmer, CEO at Eastlight Community Homes, chose housing as a career from the start. In this episode, Emma shares with us her story and gives insights into what attracted her to the sector and how it’s changed since she joined it at 18.

Eastlight was formed from the merger of Colne Housing and Greenfields Community Housing in 2020. Three years later, we ask Emma how the organisation has benefited from the merger, including now having a 60% female board. Emma also shares with us how they managed to bring the merger to fruition during the pandemic.

Emma recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Housing Heroes Awards and while she remains ever humble, we grill her for her thoughts on why she won! Emma shares with us a ton of fantastic advice for aspiring future leaders. She has some fascinating insights into how leaders can prioritise today’s challenges of the sector and whether or not the CIH Qualifications are a positive to the sector.

Finally, we get Emma’s thoughts on what the future looks like for housing.

In this episode, we cover:

  • What attracted Emma to the housing sector from the start?
  • Emma’s winning of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Housing Heroes Awards
  • What is a Community Gateway organisation?
  • Eastlight’s Resident Academy and what it gives to residents.
  • How has Eastlight benefited from the merger?
  • Top advice for aspiring leaders.
  • The CIH qualifications – are they helpful to the sector?
  • How do we attract new talent to the housing sector?
  • What do the next 5 years look like for the sector?