Housing Options Officer
To support the Housing Solutions team deliver Housing Options services to customers, in particular the Housing Register process that provides the applications for affordable housing. To maintain the housing register, allocating properties and advising customers.
The post holder will work with vulnerable people as well as the team and external agencies.
1.To assist customers with advice and guidance across a range Housing Solutions services but in particular Housing Register applications and advice. This includes participation in telephone cover duties.
2.To assist in the development of Choice Based Lettings and deliver a comprehensive homelessness prevention and advice service in the context of Choice Based Lettings.
3.To maintain the Housing Register and application files, updating information as necessary, including information on cases that the post holder is responsible for. This includes ensuring that customers are correctly banded and reviewed and that all relevant data is entered onto the Home Connections system.
4.To investigate in detail and process applications as appropriate, including obtaining medical reports, verifying information and carrying out home visits when required, inputting information and visit reports, and prioritising applications in accordance with agreed policy. This includes the duty to make decisions following such investigations in line with legislation and policy and to advice applicants accordingly.
5.To operate within a range of law, guidance, best practice and policy with due consideration given to the Housing Act 1996 and other relevant legislation. This includes Choice Based Lettings Code of Guidance.
6.To respond to customer enquiries, including visits to Council offices, providing appropriate advice and assistance.
7.To undertake all necessary processes to make nominations to Housing Association properties or those of other local authorities.
8.To select appropriate properties and carry out pre-allocation visits to prospective tenants as required.
9.To provide comprehensive records, monitoring statistics and operational information as required. To assist in the production of reports.
10.Responsible for ensuring documentation is provided to relevant Housing Officers for the signing of tenancy agreements and handover of keys.
11.To support and assist the Housing Solutions team with all duties as required ensuring the efficient and effective operation of the service. This includes responsibility for the quality and distribution of information (leaflets, website, displays etc), team correspondence, and assisting with file management (paper and electronic). As well as assisting the team with events, publicity & consultations.
12.Understand the full range of housing solutions available for the customer and be able to explain them, to promote the prevention and relief of homelessness, within legislation.Apply the best and most appropriate solutions to customers housing problems. To be creative and flexible within the legislation and policy, to ensure the best outcome for every customer through provision of advice and assistance on a range of housing issues.
13.To safeguard children and vulnerable adults, by liaising with all other relevant statutory agencies as well as voluntary organisations including the private sector.Consult with senior Officers or Manager where safeguarding concerns are raised.
14.Maintain an up to date knowledge on all services in the area including the private sector to provide well informed advice.To also liaise with statutory and voluntary agencies to assist in and promote the well being of all customers.
15.Deliver an effective and appropriate service to all customers, fairly and without discrimination. To promote Equalities and respect the Diversity of all.As well as ensuring compliance with the Data Protection Act and Freedom of Information Act.
16.Assist with the implementation, maintenance and development of appropriate systems for maintaining and monitoring various functions of the service and schemes, such as, but not limited to, Housing applications on the QL system. Advise and implement any improvements following consultation with the Locality Manager.
17.Liaise with Housing Options Officers/Assistants regarding all homeless prevention issues when required. Where required, to assist the Locality Manager carry out the Local Authority's statutory duties in relation to homeless and potentially homeless applicants in accordance with legislation.This includes the prevention of homelessness through early intervention and provision of comprehensive housing advice and assistance.
18.To be conversant with all relevant current, complimentary and new legislation and practices, with particular regard to homelessness and illegal eviction/harassment, advising senior officers accordingly.
A level or equivalent qualification or equivalent experience.
Able to demonstrate a high level of numeracy and literacy.
2. Relevant experience
Experience in a Housing Association or Local Authority within a Housing Management or Support Worker environment.
A thorough understanding of the Homeless Prevention agenda and how this interprets from strategy to service delivery as well as Choice Based Lettings.
Practical experience of the interpretation and application of legislation/guidelines in a housing environment. A thorough understanding and working knowledge of Homelessness legislation, related case law and Code of Guidance.