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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

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Starting your career in housing

In Britain there are over five million homes owned by housing associations and local councils.

Affordable housing needs people who will manage it and provide the services that its customers need. This is where the housing professional comes in.

Listen to two members tell us their route into housing.

What is housing work?

More than 150,000 people are employed in housing in the UK. Most of these work for local authorities and housing associations, housing jobs can also be found with housing trusts, co-operatives, voluntary organisations, the private sector and commercial bodies and in other public service departments such as social services and health authorities.

Housing work is really varied - from giving advice to homeless people on finding somewhere to live, to managing empty properties, assessing repairs on a house, allocating houses to tenants - to running a multi-million pound organisation responsible for thousands of houses.

Work will depend upon the particular organisation, its size, location and objective. Housing stock and social conditions vary from one city to another and between urban and rural areas, which affects the nature of housing work.

There have been many changes in the housing industry over the last few years - growing owner occupation, the rise in homelessness and repossessions, the increasing importance of housing associations, the growth of tenant managed housing, the recognition that housing professionals needs to work with other public services to regenerate the communities in which people live.

If you choose to work in housing, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that your contribution really matters, because everyone needs somewhere decent and affordable to live. This is why many people are attracted to housing work from other fields, as well as when starting a career. The work is not easy and often challenging, but the rewards in terms of fulfilment are high.

Whether you are a school aged pupil about to leave school; a recent graduate; are looking to change your career direction, or alternatively you are a teacher or careers advisor who advises clients on their options you will find everything you need here on the CIH’s website.

Four high-profile housing professionals share their stories of how they started out in the industry - and why housing can be such a rewarding career.  Why choose housing as a career?

More information

Getting started – an introduction to the housing industry and housing work

Careers in housing for school leavers

Careers in housing for graduates

Job profiles of people who work in housing


CIH Careers and communities initiatives directory


NOCN Level 1 Award in Pre Tenancy Skills (QCF)

NOCN have developed a new qualification in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) to help new or prospective tenants understand more about their rights and responsibilities.  Click here for further information  


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