JOBS & CAREERS SPRING 2018 - 163
H O US I N G
What skills do I need?
* An interest in people and their living conditions
* Good communication and negotiation skills
* A flexible approach to working
* Business management skills
* Good organisational skills
* The ability to work under pressure and to meet deadlines
* Where necessary, a knowledge of relevant legislation
including building construction and tenants' rights
There are not
homes to meet
demand in the UK
rents mean there are many who can't
afford to rent privately, so they turn to
housing associations or councils for help.
Often tenants living in social housing
need more help than just a house - they
may be unemployed, have physical or
mental health issues, be on a low income
and struggling to support themselves, or
have been homeless. Accommodation
for these individuals is made affordable
through state subsidy, which ensures those
most in need have somewhere to live.
Managing and maintaining the five
million housing association and local
council homes - and those who live
in them - is carried out by a range of
employees, from those who work hands-on
with tenants to those who work behind
the scenes ensuring the
efficient running of the
industry, in areas such as
HR, marketing, IT and
finance. Because of this,
the industry is suitable
for a variety of people.
Because housing stock
and social conditions vary
between urban and rural areas, location
affects the nature of the work involved,
which adds to the variety of the sector.
For those who enjoy contact with a
wide cross-section of the public, there are
many opportunities in the "frontline" of
housing, dealing directly with tenants and
supporting their needs and their options.
You could be involved in managing an
advice centre, helping the public with
matters arising from housing legislation,
landlord and tenant relationships or rents,
or advising tenants on their welfare rights.
Your role may involve giving advice to
homeless people on finding somewhere
to live, managing empty properties or
allocating houses to suitable tenants. On
the other hand, you could be running
a multi-million-pound organisation
responsible for thousands of houses. Work
very much depends on the organisation you
work for, its size, location and objective.
Where do I start?
Entry is possible at junior level for those
with GCSEs or equivalent. You can then
work your way up through the ranks.
Entry at higher levels, including
management, is for graduates and
those who have studied for professional
housing qualifications. As the professional
body for the housing industry, the
Chartered Institute of Housing offers
a variety of qualifications for those
looking to get started in housing
or further develop their career.
Many housing associations also
offer trainee schemes for graduates.
These programmes, which last for
one or two years, allow graduates to
develop well-rounded experience and
knowledge of housing while earning
a competitive salary. Trainee schemes
are accessible for those with related
and non-related degree subjects.
Another entry route into the housing
industry is through an intermediate or
advanced apprenticeship. These involve
structured training with an employer,
combined with study sessions, and
lead to qualifications
at levels 2 and 3.
in housing and associated
subjects, such as community
development and leadership,
are available on a full-time
or part-time basis. Degree
courses require A-levels,
an Access to Higher Education Diploma
or equivalent, and postgraduate courses
are also available. A good starting point
for anyone interested in a career in
housing is to contact the National Careers
Service for advice (see box, below).
Your role may involve
properties or allocating
houses to suitable tenants
Find out more
* Chartered Institute of Housing
* Inside Housing
* National Careers Service
* National Housing Federation
J O B S & C A R E E R S /// 1 6 3