|Job Title||Housing Officer (Housing Options)|
|Reporting to||Housing Options Manager|
|The Housing Officer is responsible for providing a full housing options advice and homeless service to those clients who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. To assist in the management of accommodation leased or owned by the Council. To support the objectives of the Council’s Homelessness Strategy. To support diversity and inclusion across the service area in terms of service delivery and partnership working. To prevent homelessness utilising all initiatives available to clients, both internally and through external organisations.|
|To model a customer centred and ‘one council’ approach to all service delivery.|
To support solutions to internal and external customers, providing advice, guidance and support to drive a culture of excellent customer service management.
To encourage and respond to feedback from external and internal customers on the delivery of the service.
To support the delivery of housing advice and support against agreed performance standards.
To uphold professional standards across the Council.
To input into the development of new and stretching targets in the delivery of housing services.
To prioritise work demands and manage priorities with colleagues within the team.
To continually look to simplify processes, working with other parts of the council to support the delivery of services, understanding customer demand and helping to support self-service.
To deliver against workloads and develop relationships with officers from other functions across the Council to deliver the most efficient service possible.
To be willing to learn and build new skills to improve housing delivery.
To support the Housing Services Manager to ensure that an effective and sustainable service is provided within budget.
|To work with clients, provide advice and investigate homelessness applications made under the terms of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002, Localism Act 2011 and Homelessness Reduction Act 2017)|
Complete an assessment of the applicant’s circumstances, in all cases, to determine the duty owed to the client and inform the client in writing of the Council’s decision in accordance with the relevant legislation, seeking advice and guidance where needed from colleagues.
Complete a Personal Housing Plan with each client where appropriate, compiling a tailored set of actions both the client and staff will compete in order to prevent or relieve the client’s homelessness and to interview clients in the office and at other venues in the district as and when required.
Refer for housing support where applicable as part of Personal Housing Plans
Work closely with housing support officers to ensure priority is given to clients in order to maximise homeless preventions
To provide reports on homelessness issues as required by colleagues and senior officers including statistical information.
To work with, and to sign-post customers to, voluntary/other partner agencies (including Mental Health and Adult Care services, children’s Social care, IDAS, and Probation) in order to contribute to a high quality Housing Options Service.
Provide face to face contacts with customers on a daily basis as part of the Council’s housing duty service
Conduct home visits or meetings at locations in the district to ensure all members of the community have access to services including homelessness prevention and appropriate support.
Conduct visits to properties managed by the council as and when required by housing specialists
To develop a good understanding of the Council’s Safeguarding Policy and follow procedures to refer safeguarding concerns as appropriate.
To utilise all homeless prevention initiatives to enable clients to remain in their homes or assist to find suitable alternative accommodation.
To manage sensitive information such as personal documents and information within multi-agency meetings in line with GDPR requirements.
Assist in the management of accommodation leased or owned by the Council, monitoring repairs and rent collection as directed by Housing specialists⦁ Update all notes electronically on a daily basis.
Engage with voluntary and statutory agencies whilst promoting joint working initiatives in the Private Rented Sector.
Provide written correspondence to all customers as and when required.
To be mindful of relevant case law in decision making and the Equalities Act 2010 and, in particular, a persons protected characteristics, National Assistance Act 1948, Children’s Act 1989 and those instances whereby homelessness can be prevented through other channels.
Support customers owning cases end-to-end and seeking input from specialist officers and others for complex opinion as and when needed
Ensuring that duties are carried out with full regard to the Council’s policies, including Equal Opportunities, Health and Safety and Information Governance
The Council takes seriously its responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people and to protect adults at risk. There is an expectation that all staff will positively demonstrate their awareness and support to this commitment.
|Creativity and Innovation|
|To provide professional customer service and housing advice and contribute to the delivery of efficient and effective services for the Council.|
To support the team in providing excellence in customer service.
To look for new ways of working, challenging assumptions in the delivery of services.
To support senior officers in the timely and accurate input of information on service performance.
To use your knowledge and initiative when seeking suitable accommodation for customers.
Have an adaptable approach to customers with vulnerabilities and challenging needs to help find a suitable outcome for them.
To have a flexible approach in regards to appointment times and methods of contacting our customers.
To have the ability to empathise with customers whilst maintaining a professional attitude at all times.
To utilise local and national charities to help with financial assistance with regards to Rent arrears and Bond/Rent in advance.
Assist customers to access budgeting support and debt advice from the local Citizens Advice if required.
To help customers access the local Credit Union for financial assistance and open an account when all other options have been exhausted.
The extent to which the work requires innovative and imaginative responses to issues and in the resolution of problems:
Supporting the continuous improvement of services within the post holder’s work area with the ability to quickly evolve and adapt to new ways of working in response to changing priorities and needs.
Negotiate deals to aid prevention and be imaginative with problem solving and solutions.
Strive to produce a resolve to achieve a positive outcome.
Be innovative with use of funding streams to aid prevention.
Support internal working partnerships to continuously improve the service.
Produce and update systems of record keeping to accurately record information for move on and audit purposes as and when required, e.g a system of rent accounting.
|Contacts and Relationships|
|The degree of personal contact and the nature of the relationships with other people/organisations which are required to be maintained by the post holder in the course of the job: |
To be aware of cost and look to be more commercial in the delivery of services.
To be aware of opportunities to work with partner organisations, where this will be of benefit to the Council and the customer.
To foster positive relationships with organisations outside of the Council and uphold the Council’s reputation in any discussions.
To maintain strong working relationships with local lettings agents and landlords.
To work with and maintain strong relationships with local support agencies and the Council.
To share with the team any new agencies or advice you may find useful.
|Project and Programme Management|
|To encourage a more project and collaborative based approach (where appropriate).:|
Support projects as directed by senior officers which are consistent with the service area
To be part of a team as necessary, for any cross organisational programmes or projects.
To be aware of the role of Elected Members and their interest and influence in areas of customer service.
|Information Management and Performance Reporting|
|To encourage better use of sources of information, use of technology, evidence based decision making.|
Providing accurate and timely information through the analysis of service and other information, preparation of
questionnaires and reports to facilitate evidence based decision making.
Ensuring maintenance of appropriate records and databases.
Managing, monitoring and providing regular reports on project budgets, progress and performance indicators to Officers, Members and others.
Providing accurate information on social media, website and intranet performance and usage to inform future developments.
NB The above list of duties is neither exclusive nor exhaustive. The post holder will be expected to undertake other duties commensurate with the responsibility level of this post.
|Qualifications/ Training||Educated to degree level or equivalent in a relevant subject or experience in a field of Housing or related field.||Membership of a relevant professional body.|
|Knowledge||Awareness, knowledge and adherence to Information Governance/GDPR principles.||Knowledge and understanding of local government and of the areas of responsibility.|
|Awareness and knowledge and commitment to Equality and Diversity, Health and Safety legislation and of safeguarding responsibilities.||Knowledge of the Children’s Act 1989|
|Knowledge of Housing / Homelessness legislation, including the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017|
|Experience||Previous housing related experience or experience in a similar field||Experience of working with people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless|
|Use of ICT systems and databases within workplace roles.|
|Occupational Skills||Ability to seek, evaluate and organise information to aid decision making.||Negotiation skills|
|Ability to deal with challenging behaviour||Ability to plan and evaluate workloads, determining work methods to achieve objectives|
|Ability to exchange information to solve problems and make decisions through leading and contributing to meetings and group discussions to solve problems and make decisions.||Ability to articulate decisions and reasoning through letters to customers.|
|Ability to create, maintain and enhance constructive working relationships.|
|Excellent communication skills both verbal and written.|
|Committed and enthusiastic team member|
|Other||Highest professional integrity.|
|Personally and professionally resilient.|
|Ability to facilitate own travel around the district to attend meetings, visit customers and properties.|
|Participate in emergency standby rota for Homelessness and Housing Options|