South East Consortium (SEC)
The Housing Sector
In the UK we have one of the most diverse and successful supported housing systems in the world. In fact approximately 1 in 4 homes in the UK is owned by a local authority or registered housing provider. In London & the South East the sector spends £8.5bn on services. The housing sector landlords have a vast set of responsibilities. Everything from building management, maintenance and compliance, to the development of new homes and communities. But most importantly serving, maintaining and caring for communities up and down the country.
Working in housing is not just about the bricks and mortar - it’s a skilled job, about making a positive difference to people’s lives, their communities and their life chances by providing them with a decent home and environment in which to live. A career in housing is exciting and can provide an incredible variety of options. Put simply, if you want to make a positive difference, working in housing is for you!
What's it like to work in the industry?
Unlike many private sector careers a career in the housing sector, considered the public or sudo-public sector can be truly rewarding. With fantastic benefits and career paths and progressions both within organisations, but more broadly across the whole sector. Because the sector and all of its organisations serve a common goal, to provide safe and comfortable places to live, movement and progression across different companies is often supported and respected. We have mapped out below some of the career progression opportunities.
Career Paths Examples
Housing Officer Roles
A critical role in any social landlord is the range of staff managing their homes. Some organisations have generic housing officers whilst others have specialist fields such as rent arrears, anti social behaviour and relocations. The role make you’re a critical contact between residents and the organisation. The role will include tasks such as, inspecting vacant homes housing and following up on new residents, carrying out communal checks, being seen and heard by your communities with regular attendance to community groups, liaising with 3rd parties such as health and social care where required.
Pay Grades: £20,000- £35,000
Progression Opportunities: Individuals in these roles can move on to asset specialist roles, housing managers or executive assistants.
Graduates Suitable: Housing, community development, social policy, estates or building surveying Grads
Finance Officer Roles
Most Social Landlords also employ finance professionals to help them manage their accounts. In practice this might include processing the organisations day to day spending, monitoring budgets and preparing financial reports. Accountancy is a skilled role and much of the sectors success is led my highly skilled finance professionals, managing large spend, borrowing and investment and return accounts.
Pay Grades: £23,000 - £30,000
Progression Opportunities: Individuals in these roles can move on to assistant accountants, finance managers/officers and further along, Director of Finance or Director of Treasury
Graduates Suitable: Economics, Finance, Mathematics Grads
Information Technology (IT) Support
Like most businesses, social landlords rely heavily on technology to carry out their day-to day work. Many employ IT specialists to ensure the smooth running of their business by maintaining vital hardware and software, fixing problems and supporting staff make proper use of their systems. Some social landlords are now becoming more digital in their service offering creating greater demand for skilled professionals
Progression Opportunities: Individuals in these roles can move on to support analyst technicians, IT managers, Head of IT & Infrastructure, IT Directors
Pay Grades: £20,000 - £28,000
Graduates Suitable: IT, Computer Science, Business Analytics
Career success stories
Laura Wood’s story, PR and communications at North Star Housing
Jacqui’s story, Housing Community officer and Newington Housing
Chartered Institute of Housing Futures Group
The Chartered Institute of Housing is the professional body for housing in the UK. If you are interested in seeing what a career in housing can do for you, #futuresfam is a good place to start exploring some of the career options and speak to the diverse range of members who are already doing the day job. You can also apply to become part of the #futuresfam group or become involved in one of the multiple project groups available as a steppingstone into the housing sector. Explore CIH Futures work through following the @CIHFutures twitter and Instagram handle.
A job in housing, requires a particular set of skills and knowledge, and it is vital that those working in the sector work to acquire these and to keep them up to date. Values are also extremely important when considering a career in housing as you will have the power to change lives. These demands, for particular specific skills, knowledge and values, are the defining features of a ‘profession’. While it might never be an absolute requirement for those working in the housing sector to be qualified, in the way that doctors and accountants have to be, it is still important to demonstrate these ethical qualities. The Chartered Institute of Housing sets the defining features of what every housing professional should demonstrate through it’s professional standards. Take a look at the sector’s professional standards here and use the reflective self-assessment tool to understand more about the sector and your own personal professional development needs.
Sponsored by South East Consortium
South East Consortium (SEC) is a central purchasing body. We are a not for profit organisation providing services relating to public procurement. We were specifically created to support the housing sector. Established in 2005 and retains its heritage by being a Membership organisation owned by Housing Associations and Local Authorities. We go beyond public procurement. In addition to technical work SEC also provide customers with a range of training, events and networking opportunities.
In 2020 we at the South East Consortium launched our SEC Prospects Initiative. A £250,000 investment into the development of the people that want to work, currently work in, or lead and manage the housing sector.
Our investment with GRB is to inspire and create more graduate opportunities within our client network but equally raise the profile of the sector to help aspiring graduates understand the opportunities within Housing.