Making Work an Adventure

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When Erin Toohey moved to Alaska to attend school at the University of Alaska Anchorage, she was looking for new experiences and travel opportunities.

“I was born in Alaska but grew up in Minnesota,” she said. “I wanted to come back to experience life in this state and have some adventures.”

A Background in Housing

Erin began her degree in business management, with a concentration in property management and real estate, and worked for a property management company in Anchorage. She had a strong interest in housing but wanted to change her career path and try something new.

“My cousin works in a different department at AHFC and encouraged me to apply here for years,” Erin said. “I heard how happy Hannah was working at AHFC and thought it sounded like the kind of place I wanted to be.

When employees from AHFC visited the Weidner Real Estate Program at UAA and presented to Erin’s cohort, she decided to take the leap and follow her cousin’s recommendation.

“I applied for a variety of positions to see where I might fit in and get my foot in the door. Compliance felt really different from the property management work I’d done for the last four years, but as I learned more about the role, the opportunity to travel and see the work being done across the state piqued my interest.”

- Erin Toohey, Compliance Specialist, AHFC

Exploring a New Career Path

Erin joined the AHFC team in February 2023 as a compliance specialist in the Audit department. Her work includes desk reviews of programs, site reviews and safety inspections, writing reports and reviewing tenant files to ensure eligibility.

“Within each grant or tax credit program, there are rules and guidelines. We make sure that programs are working within those boundaries,” Erin explained. “I enjoy that kind of work. It’s straightforward.”

As she grew in her new role, Erin began to see how her previous career experience carried over into her current tasks.

“Part of the review process is to inspect units and make sure they are up to standard,” Erin said. “As a former property manager, I take that seriously. We aren’t just checking items off a list. It has a real impact on the quality of someone’s housing. Through our inspections, we help keep tenants safe.”

Contributing to a Larger Mission

Erin has discovered new interests, like tax law, since joining the compliance team within the Audit department and looks forward to continuing to grow in her career and learning more about AHFC’s many grants and programs. For her, it’s clear that she is contributing to a larger mission.

“You see the growth that people experience because they can get into more affordable housing,” she said. “It can give them stability in life that enables them to focus on other pursuits and keep growing.”

Embracing New Adventures

In addition to finding fulfilling work, Erin has had the opportunity to see Alaska which she dreamed about when deciding to move north. So far, her role has taken her on inspections to Dillingham, Juneau, Manokotak, New Stuyahok, Seward, Sitka and Yakutat.

“Recently, I took a small charter plane from Dillingham to New Stuyahok and my cheeks hurt from smiling so much,” she said. “I’m really excited to keep growing and traveling and to see where Compliance takes me.”

Interested in exploring a career at Alaska Housing? Visit our website and view open positions.