Mhairi Harley, a recent graduate who joined SFHA from Yoker Housing Association shares her views on housing as a career
Having recently graduated with a degree in Social and Public Policy, I am driven by a sense of social justice and a desire to make a difference through my work. While I was forced to complete a significant part of my degree from home during lockdown, I became very aware of the importance of ‘home’ in providing a safe place for people to live, work and play. As a result, I took an interest in housing and homelessness policy which influenced me to pursue a career in the social housing sector following graduation.
My first position within a housing association allowed me to see first-hand the positive impact of social housing on people and communities. Working as part of a frontline housing team gave me a valuable insight into the diverse needs of tenants and the complex systems that are in place to support them. My trainee role offered a lot of opportunity for learning and development within the sector, and progressed my interest in policy work in this area.
With that on-the-ground knowledge, I was able to join the SFHA as a policy coordinator which presented an exciting opportunity to make an impact and shape housing policies on a national scale. In my role, I engage with policy makers, housing providers and local authorities to promote affordability, equality and sustainability across the sector – allowing me to contribute towards positive social change. My current job sits across many areas of policy work, giving me a broad perspective on the challenges and opportunities for the social housing sector in Scotland which I look forward to exploring throughout my career.
My career in housing to date has been short but varied. Working in the sector offers a diverse range of opportunities centred around providing affordable homes and supporting local communities. From development and asset management, to allocations and tenancy sustainment, a career in the housing sector can be really fulfilling, giving you the opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives.