Shahjalal's 17th Annual General Meeting
Published by Dawn Prentice for Dawn Prentice Communications in Communities and also in Care and Support, Education, Environment, Health, Housing
Malik Ullah, Chair, Shahjalal & Faisal Ahmed, Asst High Commisioner, Bangladesh HC
Shahjalal Housing Cooperative reported a successful year at its Annual General Meeting in Aston, Birmingham earlier today, with special guest speaker, Faisal Ahmed, Assistant High Commissioner of Bangladesh High Commission, Birmingham.
Building on the success of previous years, which includes two new homes for local families (built in 2013), Shahjalal will begin the year in a sound financial position and continue to serve the needs of its communities in Northwest Birmingham.
A democratic organisation, controlled by its members, Shahjalal welcomed over 80 members and guests to learn more about the cooperative, get involved in debate, hear how Shahjalal has been performing and put questions to the board and Chair. Part of the ethos of this cooperative is to promote open discussion and give members, almost half of which are women, the opportunity to help shape the future of Shahjalal.
Established by the Bangladeshi community and run by the community, in partnership with a range of organisations including Birmingham City Council, the Trident Social Investment Group, Matrix Housing Partnership, the Accord Group and BCHS, this unique organisation is true to its values, which includes sharing resources to meet members’ needs.
Malik reported that despite the growth in the economy, there are still many challenges in the operating environment, the success to date was the result of good financial management and the determination of members working together for the good of the community.
Since inception in the mid1970s, Shahjalal has been highly successful in solving the housing needs of its community in Birmingham, providing 79 homes for families and elders and is keen to share its ethos with the wider community. Although a relatively small housing provider, Shahjalal has a high profile within the cooperative sector and in the media, for being one of the most forward thinking housing cooperatives in the UK.
Malik Ullah, Chair of Shahjalal said: ‘I would like to thank our members for their continued support. I believe that because Shahjalal’s management team listens to members, we are able to tailor our services to meet the needs of our communities. We are always looking for ways to improve our services to enable us to deliver all of our promises. Meeting the needs of our communities is the reason we exist. By working together, we can build strong and vibrant communities, and improve the quality of people’s lives and increase their life chances.’
Faisal Ahmed, Assitant High Commissioner of Bangladesh High Commission, Birmingham said: ‘I am delighted to join Shahjalal for their 17th Annual General Meeting. The work of this housing cooperative is very impressive and much of its success can be attributed to working in partnership with members and other organisations that understand, and are striving to address, the needs of this under-represented community. I am proud to be involved in this event and to meet members who play an active role in the management of their homes and willingly share resources with other members.’
One of the reasons it is important to raise awareness of the needs of the Bangladeshi community is that they are one of the most disadvantaged communities. They have one of the lowest life expectancies and are most likely to be living in over-crowded housing. Demand for large, affordable homes for this under-represented community far outstrips the supply.