Senior Housing Options and Advice Officer (PO1)

Recruiter
Positive Employment Consultancy Ltd
Location
Ponders End, Greater London
Salary
£20.86 - £25.99/hour
Posted
10 Jun 2017
Closes
10 Jul 2017
Sector
Public Sector
Contract Type
Interim
Hours
Full Time
Purpose of the Role:

1. Provide a quality service of housing options, advice and homeless prevention casework to fulfil the authority’s statutory function to prevent homelessness in accordance with Housing Act 1996 (as amended in 2002, 2011,)

2. Ensure the robust processing of homeless applications and appropriate accurate and quality advice is given to prevent all aspects of homelessness in accordance with current legislation having due regard to the code of guidance.

3. Use all available homelessness prevention tools to sustain tenancies or secure suitable, affordable accommodation is available to those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness in accordance with s.179 and s.195 Housing Act 1996

4. Provide a comprehensive statutory service of advice and assistance to all non priority homeless cases including rough sleepers in accordance with s.192 Housing Act 1996.

5. Promote Council’s website as a knowledge base and the online customer portal

Accountabilities
1. Effectively work with an array of prevention tools e.g Homefinder Scheme, Discretionary Hardship Payments and court representation to prevent homelessness, wherever possible, or to facilitate a move into suitable, affordable accommodation.

2. Accurately and robustly process housing and homelessness applications within agreed timescales, adhering to relevant policies, procedures, legislation case law and guidance.

3. Arrange and undertake home visits where appropriate to confirm homelessness, to inspect housing standards / conditions or to verify a household’s circumstances

4. Liaise with the Councils Temporary Accommodation Services / Homefinder Services to secure accommodation where a housing duty is owed. To recommend access for households to the councils rent deposit scheme (Homefinders). Ensure the prompt cancellation of temporary accommodation when there is no longer a duty.

5. Competently interpret and explain clearly complex legal matters to tenants, landlords and other interested parties. To have a detailed understanding of security of tenure including tenancy agreements, defending possession proceedings, harassment, illegal eviction, disrepair issues and tenancy sustainment.

6. Liaise with the Council’s Medical Assessment Officers to ensure comprehensive and robust medical assessments are carried out for homeless households and housing Register applications.

7. Provide a clear and accurate response within corporate timescales to legal challenges, MP and councillors enquiries, complaints, phone and written enquiries including complex correspondence to the Housing Options and Advice Team.

8. Work in partnership with other partners including Gateway Services, Assessment Services, fits, supporting people internal and external organisations to identify and make referrals to specialist initiatives to prevent homelessness ie rent deposit/bond schemes SMURDS.

9. Identify and liaise with other agencies in relation to special need cases, ie hospital discharge, care leavers mental health issues requiring referral to special needs panel MHAP MHP identifying pathway plans.

10. Be fully conversant with welfare benefit entitlements including Housing benefit regulations, Discretionary housing payments, Local Housing allowance.

11. Work in partnership with Estate management in relation to Estate regeneration initiatives ensuring adequate procedures for assessing Estate regeneration are in place.

12. Comply with the regulations governing S198 referrals. Cautions under S214.Housing Act 1996/2002 and S202 reviews and appeals

13. Any other duties reasonably requested by management

14. Carry out all accountabilities in compliance with the Council’s Policies and Procedures

PERSON SPECIFICATION

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & ABILITIES

Experience and Knowledge

1. Experience of carrying out robust enquiries and competently deciding homelessness applications in accordance with Part VII Housing Act 1996 as amended 2002,2011), the code of guidance and case law
or
substantial experience of competently preventing homelessness with a particular focus on the private rented sector including knowledge of relevant housing laws and good practice.
2. Ability to effectively manage a caseload whilst ensuring effective planning, prioritisation, case recording and communication with customers
3. Experience of front line contact with the public and communicating complex information in a clear and tqactful manner whilst ensuring high levels of customer service
4. Ability to deal with complex, difficult or contentious enquiries or complaints
5. Experience of working as part of a team, and on own initiative with minimal supervision
6. Experience of negotiating effectively, and working in partnership with other departments, external agencies to achieve corporate goals.
7. Good computer skills and the ability to use and navigate IT databases input, retrieve, store and effectively manage information.

Essential Qualification(s)

1. Good General Standard of Education