Meet the team: Rhea Stevens

What’s your name?
Rhea Stevens

What do you do?
Head of Policy and External Affairs, Community Housing Cymru.

Why did you choose a career in housing?
This is my first role in housing, but I’ve had lots of contact with the fantastic work housing associations do in previous roles in social care, looked after children and older people policy.

For me the big attraction of the sector is the magic combination of expertise, passion, resource, independence and reach to make a really positive difference to people’s lives – this is a sector that gets things done!

What is the most important thing you have you learned since starting your career in housing?
I hadn’t fully appreciated the levels of innovation to respond to local circumstances and the diversity of approaches amongst housing associations in Wales. Securing an enabling policy environment that encourages innovation is must.

What advice would you give someone applying for a job in housing?
Do it! The energy in the sector is contagious – you’ll love it.

Where would you be working, if not in housing?
Somewhere I can work with people doing direct work with people and communities- one of the big draws of housing.

What motivates you?
Making a difference in the real world – seeing positive policy change play out in practice and making things better for people.

What do you do to relax?
Hot yoga and hot baths – I feel the cold!

Proudest moment?
Changing the law in 2014 so that young people in foster care in Wales can stay with their foster families beyond 18, rather than being pushed into independence before they are ready.

The most embarrassing moment?
I’m very clumsy – there’s way too many moments to choose from when it happens on such a regular basis.

What was the last film you watched and how did you rate it?
Toy Story 4 – I had a good few belly laughs, so it was great!

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