An interview with Nicholas Arthur

An interview with Nicholas Arthur

Nicholas Arthur, director of partnerships at the National Housing Group (NHG), shares insights into his journey to NHG, his overall and day-to-day responsibilities, and what he thinks the future holds.

What did you do before joining NHG and what were you doing?

I used to work for a housing association that was part of the G15 organisation in London as an operations manager. I was there for seven years, then I saw the opportunity to work at National Housing Group. It was everything I wanted – a company with a good ethos, helping the homeless and vulnerable community by providing them with good quality housing. It’s what I’d always wanted to do. I graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science with an MSc in Housing, Social Policy and Law.

What is your role at NHG and what are your responsibilities?

My role is director of partnerships. In a nutshell, this means that I am responsible for bringing in key partners to the business. These key partners are local authorities, charities, and housing associations. We partner with those who have a good track record and reputation. 

Our partners are who we work with once our developments and refurbishments are completed. They take the houses on lease and let them out to those who need them on a local allowance rate. These relationships are important for the business and the end residents. We are able to collaborate together, listen to feedback and constantly improve the end product.

We also partner with companies that we can do joint ventures with, such as construction companies and developers, where we provide funding or expertise.

Name three tasks you have to do every day as part of your role?

Three things that are a regular part of my day working at National Housing Group include speaking to partners, team meetings, and property viewings. I speak with existing partners to inform them of any new offerings we have, or to find out what their needs are. I also speak to potential partners to see if we can work together. 

Another task I do every day is view the properties we’ve got, and ensure our partners have all they need from us, and that we’re delivering what they want.

I also meet regularly with the team in the office to discuss strategy and next steps. I’ll share new land or property opportunities with Jon and Stephen and we’ll discuss if it’s financially viable as well as what we can do with it and see if it matches any of our clients requirements.

What’s the best thing about working at NHG?

What I like about working at National Housing Group is the people I work with. The office environment is great and it makes you want to turn up the next day. There are no miserable people here – everyone I talk to puts a smile on my face. The atmosphere is encouraging and supportive and people are willing to share their opinions and views as they know they’ll be taken seriously.

How do you relax outside the office?

My free time mostly involves watching football on TV, but I do occasionally go to the games in person. I put on a lot of easy listening music, either Magic or Smooth Radio as I find it relaxing. I have three sons and a daughter and I spend a lot of my time catching up with them.

Two nights a week I spend time mentoring. I’ve been doing this for 15 years. People will reach out after hearing about me from my previous mentees and we meet either virtually or in person for an hour. I help them prepare and coach them through applications and for upcoming interviews within all aspects of the social housing sector, but also for personal development. We work on their confidence and what they need to progress to the next step

I am also a board member for the Lambeth and Southwark Housing Association and have been for the last two years. I advise on various aspects, especially governance, regulations, and remuneration.


What does the future hold for NHG?

National Housing Group has a big future ahead of it. We have big plans. Our business strategy and ambitions are ethical – we want to help those who are homeless and people in low-income accommodation, and we want to continue creating more high standard homes for those people. We want these high quality homes to be the standard across all social housing.

We are determined to have a positive impact on our tenants. The housing first model is our priority, we are building good quality homes that people can build their lives around.