For this week’s #Futures50, we’re handing over to one of our new recruits. Michaela McCusker is a Patch Manager for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, a CIH Futures Northern Ireland founding member and one of the new members of our board.
A career in housing is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding professions there is. Hands down! To be able to provide someone with a roof over their head, which plays a fundamental role to everything else in their life and is often the key to family, safety and growth.
I am proud and passionate about the work I do. I didn’t always know that this was the job I would have; to be honest I didn’t know at all! Growing up, being a housing officer wasn’t something I ever recall knowing about, even through school, careers week and open days. I had selected environmental health as my degree but after not meeting the entry requirements I was advised I could do housing anagement. I said yes, and as they say the rest is history!
I will always remember my first week of work experience in my local Housing Executive office. From then I knew that it was a career I wanted to do for sure! I was given a full taste for the demands of the job, and I was keen to learn more. I completed my four year housing management degree at the University of Ulster, alongside working my placement year at a housing association in Belfast.
I also worked there part time during my final year, developing my experience for after graduation. I was lucky to secure a job with another housing association and fully emerged myself into front line service provision.
My favourite thing about working in housing is the variety of the job; I enjoy meeting new people, helping people to resolve everyday problems, and supporting tenants to help make their tenancy as enjoyable as possible. It is fair to say that in a frontline housing job, no two days are ever the same. Why? Because housing is much more than just providing homes for people: my job is very much about supporting people to get back into employment, building and supporting communities, working in partnership with other local organisations, and improving tenant services and wellbeing.
I currently work as a Patch Manager for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and I am very fortunate to work for an organisation that supports staff to grow and development. This is key to being a professional.
For me, that meant getting involved with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and I was a founding member of CIH Futures NI from its outset in 2017. To date, we have hosted two very successful Housing Festival events for younger housing professionals and we will continue to work towards our goal of increasing the number of young people working in housing.
More recently, I have also become a member of CIH Futures. I admired the energy and enthusiasm the group bring to sector and I am eager to get working on some very exciting projects coming in 2020! Stay tuned!
You can follow Michaela on Twitter @Michaela_McC