By Elly Hoult, candidate for Chartered Institute of Housing vice presidency

I am excited and honoured to step into the spotlight as a candidate for the position of vice president. This moment is a heartfelt promise to continue the legacy of CIH and contribute to the incredible journey that lies ahead as it supports the sector in professionalising our most resident-facing teams. I firmly believe that professionalism is the bedrock upon which the housing sector’s success is built. I am dedicated to championing the cause, and to ensure that every member of CIH is armed with the tools, knowledge, and support they need to embrace professionalism as a guiding force in their journey.

As I reflect on my own beginnings in the housing sector, I am reminded of the challenges and uncertainties that marked my early career. Navigating the housing profession wasn’t easy. In my experience there was no clear pathways into housing, and once in no clear career pathway to make a real difference. Like many colleagues, I found myself yearning for guidance and clarity. This was made even more difficult by being a young woman, the sector was a lot more sexist then than it is now. However, I did find a way through, my membership with CIH.

CIH became more than an organisation it helped to shine a light and helped me to improve and develop. The guidance, support, and camaraderie that I found within its network (and still find) transformed my trajectory and set me on a path towards growth and accomplishment. I achieved a Masters in Housing (having left school at 16), I created networks, made friends and I grew as a person.  I was so driven by the desire to give back to CIH, I helped to setup CIH Futures and went on to become a governing board member.

My connection to CIH Futures runs deep. I played a pivotal role in its inception, and today, I am committed to its expansion and evolution. The budding talent within our ranks deserves more than just opportunities; they deserve a platform where they can thrive, learn, and connect. I envision CIH Futures as a nurturing ground where the leaders of tomorrow find their wings, just as I did.

Equally close to my heart is the quest for diversity, equality, and inclusion. I have witnessed first hand the transformative power of a diverse and inclusive housing sector. Through my career, I have strived to break down barriers and open doors for underrepresented voices. As Vice President, I will elevate those voices, ensuring that every member, regardless of background or circumstance, feels valued and empowered and can be part of the professionalism journey.

My pledge to the members of CIH, is one of unwavering dedication to supporting professionals regardless of their background, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or race. I am eager to work alongside members, to collaborate, to innovate, and to shape the future of housing leadership. Vote for me!