Housing Assessment & Advice Officer - 1 x Permanent position plus opportunities for a Fixed Term Contract or Secondment to 31/3/2022.
Salary: Band 7 - £25,481 - £29,577 p.a.
37 hours per week
Are you looking for an opportunity to use your experience and gain new skills in an interesting and fast moving environment? We are currently recruiting for Housing Assessment & Advice Officers.
What do staff say about the job?
"It’s a job where you genuinely help people"
"Housing Needs Advice & Support is a real frontier service. It can be challenging, but there are great opportunities for sowing the seeds of positive change into people's lives"
"No two days are the same"
In your written application please make sure you explain why you are suitable for the job against each point of the "who is the person" section below, giving examples.
Who we are?
Portsmouth City Council's Housing Needs Advice & Support team works directly with customers to help deal with housing issues and prevent homelessness in the city. We are a busy front-line service dealing with customers who may be vulnerable and facing homelessness. We give advice, work to prevent homelessness, assist people to resolve their housing need and make assessments of housing and support needs in accordance with the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, the Housing Act 1996 and Portsmouth City Council's Allocations Policy. We are committed to excellent customer service, and to listening to and understanding our customers' circumstances, and working collaboratively with them to identify housing solutions.
What is the job?
You will be part of a team which deals with customers both face to face and by telephone. You will be interviewing customers about their housing situation, and working with them to find solutions to their housing issues. This may involve negotiation with landlords, other housing providers, family members and internal and external agencies. You will need to ask personal and searching questions and listen carefully to responses so that you fully understand the customer's circumstances. Your challenge will then be to identify actions and solutions to secure housing. You will need to manage a large case load, prioritise your work and have excellent organisational skills. You will also need to build effective working relationships with customers and landlords, and explore all possible housing solutions to help prevent homelessness and the need to move.
Your work will involve making assessments to determine eligibility for assistance under the Homelessness legislation and you will assess housing need and priority for Portsmouth City Council's allocation scheme. You will need to clearly explain statutory processes and communicate and agree actions with customers and other professionals.
You will need to visit customers in their own homes to understand and assess their housing need and to make assessments of financial circumstances. You will be required to represent Housing Needs Advice & Support at multi agency meetings. The role involves making appropriate system notes, and producing letters which explain your decisions and the relevant legislation.
It will be crucial for you to maintain a professional relationship with our customers and agencies whilst at the same time being approachable and working in a collaborative way with customers. You will need to keep up to date with changes in practice and legislation, both sharing and following good practice.
These are full-time roles which will be based in Housing Needs, Advice & Support in the Civic Offices, Portsmouth.
Who is the person?
We are looking for somebody who:
- Has an interest and awareness of the issues facing vulnerable and homeless people and households with housing needs, and a desire to work to resolve these issues.
- Is able to quickly adapt to this role, drawing on experience or transferable skills gained in similar roles or from life experience.
- Is confident and can clearly and effectively communicate both verbally and in writing, interpreting legislation and explaining the impact to our customers.
- Understands the key elements to negotiations and can find ways to achieve outcomes for customers.
- Is able to listen to people and not rush to conclusions or judgements before fully understanding what is needed or wanted by a customer.
- Is emotionally resilient and able to deal with the impact of being exposed to customer's difficult circumstances, and remain professionally detached and focused even if the message you deliver involves saying no.
- Has experience of working directly with customers in a front-line service.
- Has an awareness of welfare benefits and debt issues.
- Has an awareness of equalities issues and is committed to equal opportunities.
- Works proactively and is able to remain motivated, working on their own initiative and organising their workload.
- Enjoys the challenge in finding innovative solutions to problems and has the personal skill to do so.
- Has IT skills suited to working in a busy office.
- Has knowledge of the local area and is able to visit people in their own homes and attend meetings in the local area.
- The ability to converse at ease with customers and provide advice in accurate spoken English is essential for the post.