By Alysha Burrell, candidate for CIH vice presidency

Skills shortages are crippling the housing market. There is inadequate investment in social housing, tenant and resident voices are rarely heard, and there is still a slow and glaring lack of diversity and inclusion.

We know what the problems are, but what about the solutions?

My campaign as vice-president of the Chartered Institute of Housing offers a solution focused on shaping housing’s future. A commitment to championing innovative and transformative change and providing  visionary leadership are a few of the traits that I will bring to the role, along with my passion.

My passion for housing began when I went on a study abroad trip to India in 2015. I visited one of the largest slums in Asia called Dharavi and my eyes were opened to the vast levels of poverty, homelessness, and inequality. The trip established my belief that having a stable roof over your head is one of the keys to being able to reach your full potential and this is why I chose housing as my career of choice.

After completing my dissertation on the role that slums and housing plays in a country’s economic development, I joined Homes England and gained my CIH level 4 qualification through the GEM Programme. I also joined the CIH Futures Board, where I actively encourage more young people to join the sector and I gave up my role at Taylor Wimpey to become the founder & director of Building Future Leaders, where I support organisations to attract and retain the next generation of future leaders across the sector to address the skills shortage.

As president, my overarching goal is encapsulated in the acronym AIIM:

  • Advocate – I will advocate for the housing profession and the social and economic benefits that good quality, affordable homes bring in improving health and wellbeing and creating community cohesion.
  • Inspire – I will use my leadership skills as a director, accredited coach and Non-Executive Director to inspire more young professionals into CIH membership.
  • Innovate – I will champion new ways of working and challenge the status quo to bring new ideas to ensure a forward-looking sector.
  • Mentor – I will mentor and promote the benefits of mentorship, including reverse mentoring to encourage all with their professional growth and encourage knowledge sharing and inclusion across the sector.

As president, I pledge to uphold ACCT as a guiding principle:

  • Awareness – As 20% of the sector are set to retire by 2027, I will promote awareness of the housing profession amongst the young by increasing engagement with schools, colleges and universities and actively promote the sector as an attractive career of choice.
  • Cultural diversity – I will promote cultural diversity by encouraging open conversations and promote a sector where diverse young people can visibly see themselves represented at the top.
  • Collaboration – I will promote collaboration and encourage the sharing of best practise between the public and private sector, as well as staff and wider communities.
  • Transformation – I will promote the sector’s social purpose and support in transforming the image and reputation of the sector, including championing digital transformation, behavioural transformation and skills transformation.

As a passionate advocate for the housing sector, I am committed to being a positive ambassador of the CIH and representing the membership and acting as a role model for housing’s future leaders. Please exercise your democratic right and vote for me to be the next vice-president of the CIH.