Friday 3rd April 2020
The delivery of social housing has always been of great interest to me. Throughout my international travels from an early age I have been drawn to learning about the myriad ways that residential development has the potential to impact upon a community, whether that be at a benefit or a detriment to society.
Less than 10 years ago I decided to turn my interests into a career trajectory, and I commenced a Bachelor of Property Economics at the University of Technology, Sydney in Australia. My studies took me overseas on a number of occasions, where I continued to discover different examples of development and gained a better understanding of how access to stable housing could strengthen a society. Towards the end of my studies I accepted a Graduate Valuer position at JLL in the Sydney CBD office, focusing primarily on residential and mixed-use development in the Sydney city and metropolitan regions. During my years as a Graduate Valuer in 2015-16, Australia was undergoing a period of rapid change in the property markets, with an abundance of investment entering the country from overseas. The increase in foreign investment coupled with strong local interest in the residential market saw many individuals priced out of buying their own home. Heightening the issue was the lack of solutions available to prospective purchasers, such as a diversity of tenures and limited affordable housing in areas where people needed to live.
Having recently attained my valuation certification with the Australian Property Institute, I sought to relocate to JLL’s London office and joined the Affordable Housing team in early 2018. Shortly after my transfer to the UK, I was able to qualify with RICS via the experience route and became MRICS qualified as a Registered Valuer. I am currently part of a team which services a very small but impactful (and growing!) sector known as Specialist Supported Housing (SSH). In particular, my role involves advising investor clients on their acquisitions of SSH stock. The sector provides long-term accommodation to individuals with a range of disabilities and conditions, who otherwise would have previously been forced to live in institution-like settings. Having visited a number of operational SSH facilities, it is astonishing to see residents in these properties be given the opportunity to live independently, with as little or as much access to specialist care as required.
Whilst there is still a long way to go to alleviate the strain on the healthcare sector and to accommodate as many individuals as practically possible within appropriate SSH settings, the sector is growing, and our clients are finding new ways to increase the provision of these types of properties. I truly believe that the UK has found a meaningful solution to providing long term accommodation to vulnerable individuals and I am very proud to be part of a well-established specialist team at JLL which provides advice to market leaders that are making a notable impact in the wider residential sector.
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