Member Profile: Emily Hollington

Member Profile: Emily Hollington

Member Profile: Emily Hollington

For the past five years Emily Hollington has been a Social Housing Caseworker for Lanark County in Ontario. In December 2014, Emily became CIH Canada’s first Certified Housing Professional by completing CIH Canada’s Challenge Program.

We took the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her experience:

Why did you decide to pursue your Certified Housing Professional accreditation?

My manager told me about the program, thinking it would be a good opportunity for me to grow professionally. I was interested because I have on the ground experience and knowledge, but lack formal education specific to housing. I am passionate about housing and believe that CIH Canada will help professionalize the sector.

How do you think the program will help you now and in the future?

The course content is very relevant to my current position. It’s helped me evaluate my current work and explore best practices in other jurisdictions. For the future, I think the CIH Canada accreditation will demonstrate my commitment to housing and broaden my future career prospects. I also plan to take advantage of CIH Canada membership resources, such as webinars, networking, and newsletters.

Was your employer supportive of your decision to take the program?

My direct manager was exceptionally supportive. While I was working on the assignments she was very helpful and directed me toward resources I needed, such as MMAH publications and financial information.

You completed your requirements very quickly. How did you manage this?

I finished the program in about six months. Admittedly, it was difficult to find time — I am a working mother and was also taking Institute of Housing Management (IHM) courses. I had to be disciplined and set aside dedicated time for the coursework to ensure I stayed on task.

But CIH Canada also had built-in supports to help me move through the program quickly. They recognized an IHM course I had completed earlier as an exemption. Our tutor was really helpful and checked in regularly. The assignments also built upon one another, so while doing research for one assignment, I would find articles and research that would support the next assignment.

Would you recommend CIH Canada’s educational programs to others? If so why?

Absolutely! Housing is a complex field. The program gave me a better understanding of the complete housing system, not just the landlord responsibility, which I think sets it apart from other housing courses. This experience has really inspired me to look at innovative ways to improve the local housing sector.