About 20 years ago, Sherry House was recently divorced. She was working untold hours at a convenience store, doing her best to take care of her young children, and looking for an affordable place to live.
“I was terrified,” says the US Housing Consultants compliance analyst. “Then I kind of stumbled into affordable housing because my mother was living in an affordable community. So I went to the office and applied. The manager said, ‘You know your rent is going to be $250 for a 3-bedroom town home.’ And I was, like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding!’”
So House became a resident of an income-based community. She was working hard at the convenience store and taking care of her children. Then she found that a job opened up in the property’s management office.
“I heard that the manager was leaving, House says. “She was transferring to another property, and I went over to the office and I said ‘How much college do you need to have for this position?’”
The answer was “none, you just have to be able to learn.”
“I understand I’m not the one who looks the best on paper,” House told the regional manager, “but there is not a single soul who’s going to work harder than me. And your other applicants don’t live here, they don’t care about this place like I do.”
“So, you know, they took a chance on me, they trained me,” House says. “It was a HUD tax credit property and I now know if you can do HUD, you can do anything because HUD is massive paperwork. If you can do that, you can do it all.”
House wanted to grow, so every time there was an opportunity to fill in for a manager at another property, she’d be the first to volunteer. She learned about other HUD programs such as LIHTC and the Housing Trust Fund. Eventually she was promoted to regional manager, but that wasn’t her thing. “Regional is more ‘look at the financials and spreadsheets’ and I like being on site,” she explains.
A new position opened up at her Ohio-based management company, that of area manager. She was responsible for a portfolio of properties and reported to the regional manager but got to keep managing her own property.
Along the way, she attended multiple training session run by US Housing Consultants’ Vice President of Training and Compliance Policy Amanda Lee Gross and Director of Compliance Training Gary Kirkman.
“I followed them on LinkedIn and kept up with what was going on,” House says. “I was super impressed with them, and you know that US Housing Consultants is the pinnacle of the industry.”
On LinkedIn she saw a job posting for a travel compliance position and “I thought, ‘I wonder what that is.’” She read the job description. “I thought I probably don’t qualify, but I’m going to try it anyway. I’m going to see how I compete. I’m going to see how I measure up.”
She measured up quite well. On Oct. 9, 2023 she started the job and began a new adventure after 17 years with her previous employer.
“If I’ve done all the growing I’m going to do here, then it’s time to see what else I can do,” she says. “So, I came over and it has been the best decision I ever made in my entire life. It’s a fabulous, fabulous company to work for. Everybody is wonderful.”
And so is the travel.
“I had never been on a plane ever,” she says, “and I take a travel position where I have to be on a plane every week! I didn’t tell anybody until after I got hired!”