17 September 2019

For the latest 'leaders in the spotlight' blog post we caught up with Henry Terefenko, ForHousing CEO, to talk about what he loves most about his role and how to keep tenants at the heart of everything you do.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into the housing sector.

I’m Henry Terefenko and I’m ForHousing CEO. I started out in housing as a rent officer back in 2008 and since then I’ve worked in lots of different roles across the sector.

My brother had worked in housing for a number of years and said it was really rewarding. I wanted to work in an industry that truly helped people and allowed them to fulfill their potential. The housing sector is a great fit for those who have both a commercial mind and a social heart.

2. What do you like most about your job?

The everyday challenges you come across as we try to be the best possible landlord we can be and improve people’s lives.

Being in my role means you’re involved in every aspect of the business. I love working with our leadership team to develop new ideas and concepts that make a lasting difference in communities.

3. And what do you find most challenging?

Overcoming challenges like the Bedroom Tax, Universal Credit and general welfare reform issues, along with the ever-changing political landscape.

4. The tagline for the event this year is ‘lead from where you stand’. Have you got any tips or words of wisdom for the leaders of tomorrow on making an impact in their current role?

My advice would be to focus on the tenant. Your aim should be to ensure high quality services. I believe passionately that tenants should be at the heart of everything we do – we need to listen to them and involve them in shaping our services.

Be bold. Make informed, bold decisions. Not all of them will come off but we need to create a culture where people feel comfortable to take risks.

5. Tell us about fictional character from a book or film that you admire and think demonstrates great leadership skills.

Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mocking Bird springs to my mind. He stands up for what is right, is heroic, bold and a role model for others.

Find out more about joining the next Future Housing Leaders cohort.

Henry Terefenko

Henry is CEO of ForHousing

Henry is passionate about reducing health inequalities and improving the economic and social sustainability of communities. In his role as CEO he is responsible for all aspects of tenant services, neighbourhood services, maximising income and also ensuring that services delivered on behalf of ForHousing operate effectively.

Henry is a highly regarded, innovative and experienced senior executive with a proven track record of delivering large scale corporate change. He has a wide ranging knowledge of the housing and construction sectors, having been the Commercial Director of construction company ForWorks before becoming Director of Operations at ForHousing in Ellesmere Port in 2017. More recently, Henry held the role of Group Director of Communities at ForViva.

Leaders in the spotlight: Henry Terefenko