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Choose housing to have a real impact and a career you can be proud of

As National Careers Week continues, Isabel Connolly outlines the benefits of working in the housing sector

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As National Careers Week continues, Isabel Connolly outlines the benefits of working in the #ukhousing sector @IsConnolly @HightownHA ‏ #NCW2019 #NAW2019 #proudtobeprofessional

Having a real impact on communities, improving lives and being part of the @CIHHousing network, @IsConnolly of @HightownHA ‏outlines the best reasons to work in #ukhousing part of National Careers Week #NCW2019 #NAW2019 #proudtobeprofessional

“My role has allowed me to influence the housing experience of people with learning disabilities, mental health needs, asylum seekers, young mothers and those that are homeless” writes @IsConnolly of @HightownHA for #NCW2019 #ukhousing

When we talk about working in ‘housing’, we are talking about working in the sector that provides decent and affordable homes to people who would otherwise be failed by the market.

Right now, people are being failed by that market and so are spending most of their income on housing, living in overcrowded conditions and ending up miles from their support network.

This affects people’s abilities to live full and happy lives, and prevents many children from having the start in life they need to flourish.

Why should you choose to work in housing? You will:

  • Have a real impact on whole communities, through the effective management of estates, regeneration projects and new housing developments
  • Improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable in society, by providing welfare and debt advice, back-to-work initiatives, community mediation and support to those with care needs
  • Be supported by a professional body, the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), and become part of a vibrant, diverse and engaged professional network
  • Complete a professional qualification, attend conferences and other policy and network events, and access webinars, online resources and digital networks

Housing has become one of the key issues of our time. However, it has been subject to a fast-changing external environment, with politicians, regulators and funding arrangements coming and going.

Nevertheless, the fundamentals have stayed the same – people need good quality housing that they can afford.


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You can be part of an innovative sector that responds to change, while working to keep at its heart tenants, those in need of better housing and the homeless. These are the people we come to work for.

I started working in housing in 2008, straight from my undergraduate degree in psychology. Housing suited me down to the ground – I could work closely with communities and feel I was making a difference, and I could work alongside others who were similarly motivated. It also offered me varied and interesting career options.

I spent four years at Housing Solutions, a medium-sized housing association in Berkshire. I had a wonderful time and could move into a variety of roles, giving me experience of policy development, working on the front line and my first management position, overseeing housing for over 55s.

During my four years there, I also completed my masters in housing, accredited by the CIH. I met professionals at a similar point in their careers and visited places such as Amsterdam to gain an international perspective.

“My role has allowed me to influence the housing experience of people with learning disabilities and mental health needs, asylum seekers, young mothers and those who are homeless”

Since then, I have worked in a homelessness department at a local authority and at three other housing associations.

I am currently at Hightown Housing Association in Hertfordshire, working closely with the communities we serve. I am proud to be part of the senior management team as head of care and supported housing.

This has allowed me to influence the housing experience of people with learning disabilities and mental health needs, asylum seekers, young mothers and those who are homeless.

So if you’re considering housing, go for it. You can impact one of the most important aspects of people’s lives.

You can be part of a professional network that wants to work with you to achieve that.

You can have a career you’re proud of.

Isabel Connolly, head of care and supported housing, Hightown Housing Association

National Careers Week and National Apprenticeship Week

National Careers Week and National Apprenticeship Week

National Careers Week

National Careers Week, which is run by a not-for-profit organisation of the same name, aims to promote the importance of good careers education in schools and colleges.

It is founded and backed by a number of volunteers from education and business and is supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

This year National Careers Week runs from 4 to 9 March.

National Apprenticeship Week

National Apprenticeship Week is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service, part of the Education and Skills Funding Agency and is “designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy”. National Apprenticeship Week also runs from 4 to 9 March this year.

Read more:

National Apprenticeship Week 2019: the housing sector celebrates its apprentices Pictures and tweets from across the UK as #ukhousing shares its apprentice success stories

Why it is crucial to promote housing careers National Careers Week offers a great platform to articulate the compelling reasons to work in housing and attract the brightest people to the sector, writes Adam Clark

Choose housing to have a real impact and a career you can be proud of As National Careers Week continues, Isabel Connolly outlines the benefits of working in the housing sector

How a housing apprenticeship changed my life Susan Thompson of First Ark explains the benefits of apprenticeships

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