Centrally located in the Thames Gateway, Gravesham Borough Council provides a range of services to over 95,000 people and 3,000 businesses.
The Borough of Gravesham, situated in the north west corner of Kent, covers 25,000 acres of the most varied countryside in south east England.
Bordered by the River Thames to the north, it is at the heart of Thames Gateway and has a significant role to play in the regeneration of a major government growth area.
Gravesham Borough Council is committed to delivering to the community and working with us means you are part of delivering the level of growth and improvement our community needs and deserves.
Gravesham Borough Council’s Housing Options Team operates an early intervention policy with a sharp focus on preventing homelessness. We are looking to recruit an experienced Senior Housing Options Officer to provide guidance and support to our team responsible for preventing homelessness in the first instance and carrying out the Council’s responsibilities to customers who are homeless or threatened with homelessness under its statutory duties.
You will participate in our duty rota system for interviewing customers to ensure its effective operation, and co-ordinate the housing options team to provide suitable office cover at all times. Your role will include undertaking formal reviews of decisions made under our homeless prevention and relief duties as well as those relating to the provision of temporary accommodation.
The successful candidate will be experienced in interviewing residents at risk of homelessness, undertaking investigations, making detailed notes and developing personal housing plans. The post holder will need to demonstrate excellent customer service skills as well as experience of working in a front line housing needs service. A methodical and innovative approach and an ability to negotiate practical solutions to assist customers at risk of homelessness is essential. You will be experienced in investigating the circumstances of customers who approach the Council for advice due to homelessness and have the ability to communicate clearly with landlords, support agencies and other professionals involved with the customer.
An experienced team player with a passion for delivering an excellent housing advice service, you will have the ability to manage a large and complex caseload with minimal supervision. You will have a good working knowledge of relevant legislation, guidance and good practice and experience in assessing homeless applications. An ability to write detailed, robust and legally sound decision letters is essential, as is a commitment to provide an excellent service to all groups of the community. You will provide high standards of specialist advice and support to colleagues and must have strong communication and negotiation skills. An organised and methodical approach to electronic record keeping is essential.
As you will be responsible for mentoring, supervising and monitoring the work of the Trainee Housing Apprentice to support the Housing Options Team, experience of managing others is essential.
You will demonstrate an ability to use your initiative and remain calm and work under pressure in sometimes confrontational situations. A good working knowledge of current national housing policy issues, welfare reform and associated legislation and good practice is desirable.
In return we offer you:
Childcare vouchers and discounts
Government-approved, tax-efficient way of paying for childcare. You can use vouchers to pay for a wide variety of childcare for children up to the age of 16. Discounts at selected retailers in the town centre and reduced membership at local Leisure Centres.
A generous holiday entitlement, plus paid bank holidays.
In-house and external training including non-qualification, Continued Personal Development (CPD), NVQ and other qualification training.
Employee Assistance Programme by Care First
Care First is a free and confidential support service, offering you unlimited access to advice and information as well as coaching and counselling where appropriate.
Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the service is there to help you manage all of life's events and support you through the challenges. Their expert advisers are there to help,
whenever you need them. Support on the telephone, online and face to face.
A very secure pension scheme which both you and we pay into. More information can be found on the Local Government Pension Scheme website.
An on-site Occupational Health Advisor. We have an occupational health service provided by East Kent Hospitals University Foundation NHS Trust. The service is delivered by a team of health professionals who specialise in occupational medicine and deal with the relationship between your work and your health. Occupational Health also works with us to resolve any issues in the workplace and also to ensure that well-being at work is maintained.
If you would like to have an informal discussion with the recruiting manager call Lynn Wilders 01474 337817.
Applicants must be able to demonstrate all essential requirements as listed in the job profile
Equal Opportunities Commitment Statement
Gravesham Borough Council is working towards equal opportunities and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.
Please be advised that if you are not contacted within 3 weeks of the advert closing date then you have not been shortlisted. All recruitment correspondence, including interview letters and contracts of employment will usually be sent out via email.
We reserve the right to close this vacancy at any time prior to the closing date.