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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

CIH Careers Week 2018: 'Why I love housing.'


CIH Cymru director, Matt Dicks, explores his route into a career in housing.

I have just chalked up my first year in the housing sector as Director at CIH Cymru, unless you count the five years I have spent on the board of a South Wales RSL.

One thing I hear a lot is this view that many of us have fallen into housing, we didn’t choose it as a profession; it’s something we came to by accident.

I don’t think that’s true. I believe that many of us have gravitated towards housing because it is a natural home for people who want to make a real difference, who want to deliver on the values of social justice and equality.

I’m a journalist by trade, working in newspapers and television for more than a decade covering Welsh and UK politics, before crossing the Rubicon to become head of news at the National Assembly for Wales.

I chose those routes because I thought I could make a real difference, instead I became bogged down in political process and the machinations of the “political village” both at Westminster and in Cardiff Bay. I didn’t really get time to delve more deeply into the issues facing some of the most vulnerable in our communities, and more importantly discovering and delivering solutions.

That’s why I have gravitated towards the housing sector. I have not fallen into it! It has become a natural home for my desire to deliver on the promise of social justice and fairness that our politicians, from all sides, have been telling us since the advent of the welfare state is their main driver in terms of policy development.

In my first year at CIH Cymru I have been overwhelmed by the dedication of the frontline housing professionals who deliver on that promise on a daily basis. They are the people providing that most basic of humans rights - shelter! – And often to some of the most vulnerable within our communities, whilst also providing the support services to keep them in that housing and improving their life chances.

If you are currently considering what you want to do as a career, and want to give something back by delivering that social justice, then choose your passion, choose housing!

Matt Dicks is director of CIH Cymru.

  • Find out how you can get involved in CIH Careers Week here

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