What social housing means to me: Diana Swift

I chose to enter the housing profession, moving to Stirling from southern England in order to  complete the housing qualification full time,  as I wanted to have a career in a field that had real social value, because I recognised that a safe, secure and well maintained home is central to a person’s wellbeing. 

Over the past 30 years I have gained a wide spectrum of experience in a variety of housing roles. My first position was as a support worker for young people and I have also worked as a housing adviser focusing on the housing options for people with disabilities. I spent time in the housing options team of the local Council, primarily dealing with homeless applicants, and I have had a housing officer role in two differing housing associations, all being within the voluntary or social sectors.    

Having seen how people can experience unexpected and exceptional circumstances which can dramatically affect their lives, it is essential that there is affordable and sustainable social housing made available. This can give people the opportunity to secure a stable base so that they can grow, develop, and flourish within the community. Social housing is important to ensure that there is a wide range of accommodation types available, to meet people’s differing needs and at different stages of their lives.  

In my current role within a housing association, providing both supported accommodation and mainstream housing, I have seen the importance of having the right support in place when people move into their new home, to allow a smooth transition and help to create a sustainable tenancy.  There are clear benefits of joint working by the housing, social care and heath sectors in helping to make this happen.    

On a day to day basis, by listening to our tenant’s experiences and wishes, it can help us to develop trusted and valued working relationships. By taking on board their views, we can be guided on the best way to improve tenant’s living environment.  

Diana Swift

Housing Services Officer