Property people: Unity Homes and Enterprise, and Savills

Cedric Boston

The board of Leeds-based housing association Unity Homes and Enterprise has appointed Cedric Boston as interim chief executive.

He will replace Ali Akbor who led the organisation for more than two decades before stepping down to serve as a member of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Panel.

Boston has over 30 years of experience in social housing, including 25 years at senior executive level.

He is a former chief executive of Arhag, a London BME association which specialises in addressing the needs of migrants and refugees.

He was previously director of housing at Lambeth Living, one of the UK’s largest arms-length management organisations.

Boston has a degree in law and politics from Keele University and is a member of Gray’s Inn where he qualified as a barrister.

Unity was formed in 1987 and now manages more than 1,300 properties for tenants from all communities and ethnic backgrounds in West Yorkshire.

Boston said: “Unity has a proud history and a wonderfully bright future. I welcome the opportunity to play a role in what comes next.

“My first priority is to get to know the staff at all levels who have worked so hard to make the association what it is today.

“I am also keen to meet the many partners and stakeholders who contribute to Unity’s success and encourage anyone who wants to get in touch with me to please do so.”

Unity chair, Shruti Bhargava, said: “Cedric has a good understanding of Unity and is closely aligned with our values and social purpose.

“We are really pleased that he is joining us on the next stage of our journey. He comes with a strong track record of working with partners, local agencies and communities to improve lives.

“We have every confidence that Cedric will fit really well into the Unity family and work collectively with all staff and board members to help deliver our mission.”

Boston will take up post on Friday 4 December.

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Savills has strengthened its residential sales team in Yorkshire with the appointment of director Ed Stoyle.

Stoyle, who has over 23 years’ estate agency experience – 13 of which have been operating in and around York for another national agent, will be responsible for the team’s property sales throughout Yorkshire, Teesside and County Durham.

He will be leading a team that has overseen a surge in activity in the region since the housing market reopened earlier this year.

James Abbott, head of Savills residential business in the Midlands and North East, said: “We are thrilled to welcome someone of Ed’s calibre to Savills.

“His wealth of expertise of the property market in Yorkshire will be a tremendous asset to an already experienced team.

“Over the course of 2020 the market across the region, and the UK as a whole, given the economic backdrop, has been little short of remarkable.

“The number of agreed sales in Yorkshire has been substantially boosted by activity in villages, with particularly strong demand from those who want the benefit of countryside living within striking distance of a bigger, well-serviced town or city – which the region has in abundance.”

Stoyle added: “I am really excited to be joining such a well-respected brand and team in an area I absolutely love.

“Savills already has an excellent reputation in the market and has invested significantly in the residential department in recent years.

“With experience of both living and selling properties in Yorkshire, I hope to bring a new dimension to the business and improve our offering across the board.”

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