Claire Studdart - Affordable Homes Manager

CALA Group 

CALA delivers affordable homes on the majority of new developments. Where this is not possible, we will make a financial contribution to the local authority, to support the delivery of affordable homes elsewhere in the area.

The affordable homes that CALA builds are handed over to Registered Providers (e.g. Housing Associations or local authorities) to sell or rent to those whose needs are not met by the open market. Eligibility for affordable housing is linked to local incomes and local house prices, and include tenures such as shared ownership, affordable rented and social rented homes.

The role of CALA’s affordable team is to work with local authorities to understand the type of homes needed locally and how we can help to deliver those as part of our new developments.

What is your job and why did you choose this career?

The role of the Affordable Housing team is to work with the regions in all affordable housing matters, from understanding local authority housing policies, to working with Housing Associations who purchase our affordable homes. I chose this career as there is such a varied career path you can take covering all aspects of the business, from building homes through to helping people manage and stay in their homes. You can take your career in so many different directions in this sector.

What do you like about what you do?

The wide range of people and development sites I get to be involved with. One minute I’m sat in a solicitor’s office negotiating a legal contract and the next I’m visiting one of our developments with a Housing Association to see the build progress of their new homes. I also really enjoy getting involved in new developments at the early planning stages - it’s exciting to see how a site evolves.

How did you get to where you are in your career? What qualifications did you require?

I started my career as a Trainee Housing Advisor in Local Government and progressed from an operational role into a development role. I have qualifications in both Housing and Strategic Leadership which have been instrumental in developing my knowledge of these subjects, alongside helping me develop transferable skills such as problem solving, diplomacy, balancing competing priorities and presentational skills.

What has been the most challenging moment of your career?

Working as a Housing Advice and Homelessness Officer. You deal with some really upsetting and emotional situations and it is hard not to be affected by some of the situations you are trying to resolve. I have worked with many fantastic teams over the years that help you deal with the challenges you face.

What is the most rewarding part of your job role at CALA?

Aside from working with a great team at CALA Homes, it’s rewarding to know that the affordable houses we build become homes for people I have helped in some of my previous job roles. I also enjoy seeing the finished product when homes are handed over to the Housing Associations.