Housing Officer - Homelessness

Housing Officer - Homelessness Caseworker

JOB PURPOSE.

  • Deliver expert advice and assistance on homelessness, carry out detailed inquiries and where required make referrals to other LAs and support agencies.
  • Administer housing need assessments and conduct extensive investigations to fully understand and respond to customer’s housing and additional support needs.
  • Develop, update and review Personal Housing Plans (PHP) with customers. Set out and agree on realistic tasks with the customer and ensure the PHP remains relevant.
  • Make robust prevention, relief and main housing duty decisions.
  • Using effective case management skills, prevent and relieve homelessness. Where homelessness cannot be prevented, support the arrangement of suitable Temporary Accommodation (TA) and First Night Placements.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Assess homeless applications within Part VII of the Housing Act. Determine what duty is owed and notify the customer in writing of this decision . Where appropriate issue discharge of duty notifications.
  • Deliver expert homelessness advice, information and assistance on a broad range of complex housing problems
  • Have a strong focus on homeless prevention work.
  • Support customers to live in their existing accommodation through negotiation/mediation with landlords, family members, statutory agencies and other housing providers or actively secure alternative suitable accommodation.
  • Manage customer expectations by having realistic conversations
  • Help customers to apply for financial support i.e. Homeless Prevention Fund.
  • Where homelessness cannot be prevented, conduct a risk assessment and make arrangements for suitable interim accommodation.
  • Support the TA and Accommodation Finding Service to timely and successfully move on homeless households in TA into suitable secured accommodation.
  • Support customers to complete Part VI housing applications and provide information on BCC’s Housing Allocation Scheme and housing register.
  • When required, complete Housing Benefit claim forms and submit Housing Benefit proofs to BCC’s Benefit Service.
  • Identify customer’s additional support needs/vulnerabilities and refer cases to other support services. Be aware and take appropriate action in relation to child and adult protection issues.
  • Record and maintain detailed case notes, ensuring all customer documents and proofs are saved in compliance with data protection legislation.
  • Support the service to compile homeless review paperwork, case bundles for court proceedings, and when required represent the client at court hearings.
  • Support the service to monitor and ensure homeless applications are assessed correctly and rules about qualifications are applied appropriately.
  • Support the service to embed a homeless prevention, effective case management and continuous improvement culture that is focused on responding to the changing needs of customers and legislation.
  • Monitor, manage and report on team performance, including take appropriate and timely corrective action.
  • Promote and develop effective multi-agency partnership working with both internal and external agencies.
  • Support the development of the Housing Solution & Support Case Management Service and implementation of new housing solutions and working practices.
  • Support the service to respond to enquiries, complaints and correspondence from customers and their advocates including solicitors, councillors, MPs, the ombudsman and other housing providers.
  • Maintain extensive and specialist knowledge of Homelessness and relevant housing legislation, case law and guidance.
  • Take responsibility, appropriate to the post, for ensuring compliance with policies and procedures aimed at promoting and safeguarding the welfare of vulnerable children and adults.
  • Visit customers at their homes or an alternative venue, where required.

The Applicant

Education

Degree or equivalent professional CIH housing qualification or equivalent experience.

Experience

  • Good experience of working in the housing/homeless profession.
  • Experience of working with homeless households and utilising a broad range of housing solutions to prevent and relieve homelessness.
  • Experience of working in a frontline service role, delivering services to customers with vulnerabilities and multiple complex needs.
  • Experience of managing frontline staff and services in a performance management environment (preferably within a housing context)
  • Experience of working in a multi-disciplinary environment that is driven by strict timescales.
  • Experience of responding to complex and sensitive situations, displaying empathy and diplomacy.
  • Experience of conducting assessments and investigations to make robust decisions.
  • Extensive knowledge of homelessness legislation, including relevant Housing, Private Rented Sector and benefit legislation.

Interested / Available?

Contact Ken Wood at Network Public Sector

Required skills

  • Housing
  • Public Sector
  • Homelessness

Application question

Do you have extensive prior experience?

Reference: 43107521

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