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Training the Housing Professional

Identifying as a housing professional

At the Housing Agency we repeatedly use the term housing practitioners in our daily work. Who are we talking about? Principally, our clients are staff in local authorities (LAs) and approved housing bodies (AHBs) across the country. We also work with colleagues from the Department of Housing and staff from other state bodies as well as estate agents, solicitors, banking officials, researchers and a multitude of other professions across the construction industry.

Housing is multi-disciplinary. The sector cannot operate without drawing on a range of skills, but not all working in housing may consider themselves a housing professional. At the Housing Agency the team have come from a variety of backgrounds – social science and humanities, research, economics, architecture, engineering, planning, finance, IT, further education and surveying. We are all professionally working on some aspect of housing, but we only know of one staff member that completed a housing primary degree and that wasn’t in the Republic of Ireland. There is definitely scope for more housing-focused training and education to build on people’s existing skills.

The Housing Agency’s role in housing training

When established, the Housing Agency’s remit (amongst other things) included providing training and information services for LAs and AHBs. As new policies and schemes have emerged, we have facilitated many information and training seminars over the years. We also run www.housingmanual.ie, which is an online resource for LA and AHB practitioners.

In 2017 and 2018 significant efforts have been made in the areas of housing delivery and policy development. In light of this ongoing work, we have reflected on the importance of the role that housing professionals play. As a result, the Agency wishes to assist, in any way it can, to promote current housing education and training programmes and support the development of new ones, to foster the development of the Irish housing professional and set it down as an obvious career path, and not something that may be gravitated towards over time.

With this in mind, we have recently;

  • Coordinated the launch of www.housingtraining.ie – a central point for housing practitioners to access information on housing training and events.
  • Undertaken a survey on local authority housing teams to ascertain numbers working in housing across LAs, as well as key training requirements. At last count in 2016, the number of LA housing staff stood at 5,000.
  • Facilitated the inaugural meeting of a Housing Training Forum, made up of representatives from organisations providing housing training and education in Ireland. This includes the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), the Institute of Public Administration (IPA), the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH).

Get in touch

We want every person working in housing to be informed about training and education opportunities – do get in touch with any queries and suggestions.

 

Visit www.housingtraining.ie for the latest on housing courses and events.