This Vacancy has closed.
Housing Officer – Homelessness
  • Employer: Horsham District Council
  • Reference: CS1524
  • Published: Thu 29/09/2022, 10:28 AM
  • Closing on: Thu 13/10/2022, 12:00 PM
  • Working Pattern: Full Time
  • Hours: 37 hours per week
  • Salary: £27,514 - £30,095 pa
  • DBS Check: No
  • Location: Horsham, West Sussex

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Housing Officer – Homelessness

Horsham District Council's Housing Team have an exciting opportunity for a Housing Officer – Homelessness to work within the homeless team.

As a Housing Officer – Homelessness reporting to the Senior Homeless Officer, the post holder will be responsible for following the regulations in accordance with Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended by the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017), to undertake triaging and assessments of those seeking housing assistance, provide advice, options and housing solutions to homeless households and those in temporary accommodation with the aim of preventing or relieving their homelessness.

To succeed as a Housing Officer – Homelessness you will:

  • 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 customers circumstances, in all cases, to determine the duty owed to the customer and inform them 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 customer where appropriate, compiling a tailored set of actions both the customer and staff will compete in order to prevent or relieve the customer’s homelessness and to interview customers as and when required
  • Ensure that all homelessness applications are rigorously investigated, careful consideration is always given to the possibility of collusion and fraud, and the Council only accepts an interim or rehousing duty for those applicants to whom it owes a duty
  • Ensure that an accurate, detailed record is kept of all interviews and the follow-up action taken (and that files are maintained to a high standard) in order to assist monitoring, decision-making and effective case management including the government’s quarterly HCLIC return
  • Provide advice to homeless customers about the Council’s Housing Register including advice to people who are neither eligible, do not qualify or who are disqualified to join the Housing Register
  • Analyse complex legal, medical and financial information, and research and interpret legislation and case law, to ensure the provision of a professional, high quality casework service
  • Make optimum use of the opportunities to prevent or relieve homelessness, including the use of the Homelessness Prevention Fund, Discretionary Housing Payments, Tenancy Deposit Loan and the supply of private rented accommodation
  • Work proactively with Social Services to ensure that the Council’s response to intentionally homeless families, homeless 16 and 17-year-olds, and people with extra support needs to reflect good practice and is appropriate and properly coordinated
  • Identify suitable, affordable and available housing options for applicant in order to prevent or relieve their homelessness, taking into account the applicant’s particular needs and making all reasonable efforts to engage their cooperation
  • Source and book emergency accommodation for customers that the Council has reason to believe a homeless duty is owed
  • Link the homeless applicant in with the available support whilst residing in temporary accommodation and ensuring appropriate information is shared with the Temporary Accommodation Officer
  • Refer homeless cases to other Local Authorities if and where appropriate in accordance with the housing legislation and Government related guidance
  • Produce comprehensive, high quality homelessness decisions, ensuring that they meet the requirements of the homelessness legislation and that, where the decision is unfavourable, it is robust and able to withstand challenge and scrutiny
  • Attend related internal and external meetings as a Council representative as and when required and provide feedback to the Housing Services Team as necessary
  • Identify suitable housing options in which the Council can lawfully discharge the main housing duty in accordance with Housing Act 1996
  • Liaise with other partner organisations and agencies, attending case conferences and care planning meetings as appropriate and if relevant to the applicants housing circumstances to ensure a joined up multiagency approach.
  • Deal with emergency housing cases, which may arise, outside normal working hours
  • Carry out such other duties and cover that may reasonably be required by the Senior Homeless Officer, Housing Services Manager and Head of Service

To succeed as a Housing Officer – Homelessness you will have:

  • Experience of, or currently be, working in a homeless or housing environment.
  • Knowledge of homelessness legislation in particular Part VII of the Housing Act 1996, (as amended by the Homeless Reduction Act 2017) and other relevant Acts
  • Experience in completing s.189A assessments and developing personalised housing plans
  • Experience in making and completing enquiries into an applicant’s housing circumstances and issuing clear and robust s.184 decisions and duty notifications
  • A working knowledge of welfare benefits
  • Ability to identify safeguarding concerns and complete referrals to the relevant organisation
  • Knowledge of Health and Safety Issues
  • To work as part of a team and on own initiative
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills including able to communicate with a range of people including members of the public, organisations, landlords and agencies and managing expectations.
  • IT user with excellent knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel and be able to learn and use different packages and document management systems.
  • Time management and Organisational skills
  • Able to participate in the Out of Hours homelessness service (approx. 1 week in 10) for which an additional payment is made.

For an informal discussion about this role please call Patrizia De Vita, Senior Homeless Officer on 07717690722.

Horsham District Council encourages and supports their employees to have a healthy work life balance by supporting their professional development as well as offering 27 days’ (199.8 hours) annual leave plus bank holidays (pro-rata), a generous benefits package and an online platform offering discounts from online retailers. Staff are eligible to join a contributory pension scheme where the Council contributes 20% of pensionable salary. The Council also provides reimbursement for professional subscriptions and access to a car lease scheme. Most of our office-based roles have the potential for hybrid working, we are currently trialling a 50/50 home/office working model, subject to review.

If you would like to apply for the role, we highly recommend you show clearly within the ‘Experience Section’ of the application form how you meet the essential criteria detailed within the Role Profile when applying. If you do not make this clear, it is unlikely you will be shortlisted for interview.