'You don't necessarily have to be a chief executive to become a fellow'
We caught up with CIH member and new fellow Peter Bond, neighbourhood team leader at the Regenda Group, to find out why fellowship has been such an important career move for him.
How did you begin your career in housing?
I began my career in housing in 2006 when I secured my first role as a tenancy management officer with Cosmopolitan Housing Association. I was attracted to housing via a chance conversation with someone who was working for a local housing association - they were so passionate about their job and the ability that the housing sector had to change people’s lives for the better that it prompted me to consider a career in the sector.
Like that person who sold housing as a career to me I firmly believe that we are the best advocates for our sector and that we shouldn't miss an opportunity to talk to the wider public about the difference we make.
How long have you been part of CIH?
I’ve been a CIH member since 2008, when I enrolled on a postgraduate diploma in housing studies qualification through CIH and Leicester DMU. In 2010, I successfully completed my postgraduate diploma and as a result obtained chartered status.
I believe that the process of becoming a chartered member made me a better housing professional. Why? The process equipped me with the necessary skills, experience and know-how to make a real difference to tenants' lives. It helped me to join the dots and see the bigger picture. Furthermore, it instilled in me an unquenchable desire to continue to learn and improve.
Do you think being a CIH member has helped you progress in your career? If so, how?
CIH membership and the opportunities and experiences it has given me have been the foundation that has enabled me to build a career in the sector. If I hadn't become a CIH member, I would be less knowledgeable, less connected and of less value to my employer?
Why did you decide to apply for fellowship?
Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to be awarded fellowship status. I decided to apply because I was keen to demonstrate my continued commitment to professional development. Furthermore, I wanted to be a positive example for other frontline housing officers and managers to follow and demonstrate that you don’t necessarily have to be a chief executive to become a fellow.
How has being a CIH fellow - and being recognised as someone who’s made a big impact on this sector - changed things for you?
It was a huge honour to receive fellowship status but I couldn't have achieved it without the support of a lot of generous people in our sector who have given up their time to help me to develop. I may not be a chief executive or an executive director but I do my best to offer leadership to our sector particularly on the issues that I’m passionate about such as promoting housing as a career, supporting other housing professionals to develop and generally shouting about the difference that the housing sector makes to individuals and communities.
Would you recommend fellowship to other housing professionals in a similar position to you?
Definitely! Opportunities in CIH are truly open to all, regardless of seniority or age. It has been great to see other younger housing professionals such as Elly Hoult and Emma Lindley become fellows and I would strongly encourage frontline housing professionals to seriously consider applying for fellowship status.