Jobs and Careers Autumn 2017 - 206

INCREASING NEED

Private rents have steadily increased
over the past five years, and are expected
to rise faster than house prices over
the next five, according to the Royal
Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
These increasing 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 they may have been homeless.

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
any relevant legislation including
building construction, tenants' rights
and government policy

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.
Marija Vida is head of resource
management and HR business
partner at London housing association
Peabody. "When I started working
at Peabody I'd come from a financial
and business background," says
Vida. "But I realised that working
at this company would give me the
chance to give something back to the
community around me as well as to
the company I was working for.
"It wasn't just about money it
was about helping 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 example, 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-millionpound organisation responsible for
thousands of houses. Work very much
depends on the organisation you work
for, its size, location and objective.

FOOT IN THE DOOR

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

HOW MUCH
CAN I EARN?

Pay varies depending on the employer,
but housing assistants earn on
average around £18,000 a year.
A housing officer's salary is in the
region of £22,000 to £30,000, while
managers can expect £30,000-plus,
rising to £50,000 or more for senior
managers and directors.

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.
Higher-education courses in
housing and associated subjects,
such as community development
and leadership, are available on
a full or part-time basis. Degree
courses require A-levels, an access
to higher education diploma or
equivalent to enrol. 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 below).

FIND OUT MORE
Chartered Institute of Housing
cih.org
Inside Housing
insidehousing.co.uk
National Careers Service
nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk
National Housing Federation
housing.org.uk

Photography: Shutterstock

the people who require the houses
as the structures themselves. The
economic climate has caused an
increase in demand for social housing
- properties that are let to low-income
households or those in need of a
home by either not-for-profit housing
associations or local authorities.
There are 1.8 million people on social
housing waiting lists and this figure is
rising. As many as one in four people
are waiting for social housing in parts
of London, while it is affecting one in
six in other parts of the country. There
are simply not enough "affordable"
homes and, as a result, people are
turning to the rental market as they are
unable to get on to the property ladder.

2 0 6 /// J O B S & C A R E E R S

204 J&C JC17 Housing jw4.indd 206

20/11/2017 15:40


http://www.cih.org http://insidehousing.co.uk http://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk http://housing.org.uk

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