Homelessness Relief Officer
- Location: Cirencester
- Salary: Up to £26,700 per annum depending on skills and experience
- Hours: 37
- Contract Type: Permanent
- Closing Date: 04 May 2018
- Interview Date: 17 May 2018
Publica is seeking to recruit a self-motivated person to provide comprehensive homelessness prevention advice to customers with a range of housing related issues. The Relief Officer will work with applicants to find solutions to their housing difficulties and thereby prevent homelessness occurring. The Relief Officer will determine what duty, if any is owed to the applicant and provide emergency accommodation where applicable.
The role will include implementing the provisions of Homelessness Legislation and the Homelessness Reduction Act by working closely with the customer and a range of partner agencies to prevent homelessness occurring. While the role is based at a specified site, Publica delivers services on behalf of multiple organisations. Accordingly, when necessary and appropriate, the post-holder will be required to undertake duties on behalf of multiple partners and (occasionally) provide on-site cover for other partners.
- To assess referrals from Homelessness Prevention Officers for clients presenting as homeless on the day to determine if the Relief duty has been triggered and if there is a duty to provide emergency accommodation
- To assess referrals from Homelessness Prevention Officers and offer face to face appointments within in 5 working days of receipt for all complex cases where the Prevention Duty has been triggered
- Carry out in depth Housing Needs Assessments for clients who are homeless or threatened with homelessness, intervening at an early stage to prevent homelessness from occurring
- Motivate and enable individuals to create and progress through individual Personal Housing Plans to find and sustain new housing, taking account of their personal circumstances
- Maintain regular contact with clients and ensure that Personal Housing Plans are regularly updated to reflect any changes
- Empower individuals/households to find their own solution to their housing crisis
- Manage a caseload of people often with complex issues who are currently experiencing a housing crisis, and provide a service that seeks to minimise the duration of that crisis
- Maintain knowledge of the range of temporary and emergency housing options, costs and ensuring benefit claims forms are completed at the time of all placements. Ensure that clients personal contributions are paid on time
- Issue decision letters at the appropriate stages of the Homelessness Prevention and Relief process
- Maintain accurate records both written and electronic and other monitoring information as required, providing statistical information to the Prevention and Relief Technical Lead to assist with reporting and FOI requests
- Develop relationships with the Housing Property Manager and private sector landlords in order to maximise the use of private sector accommodation to prevent homelessness wherever possible
- Liaise with relevant agencies to ensure applicants are able to access appropriate support as identified in their Housing Needs Assessment to prevent homelessness from occurring where possible and to ensure accommodation is maintained into the future.
- Provide information, advice and assistance to applicants about sources of accommodation, benefits available to help with housing costs, other Welfare benefits, grants and loans, and other sources of specialist advice and information
- Compile and maintain clear case notes during initial assessment and on-going casework, including full interview and assessment reports of all visits, interviews and enquiries, updating records and data as and when required
- Assist the Housing Manager and Prevention and Relief Technical Lead in reviewing the service in order to maintain and improve quality
- Attend and represent the section/department at meetings/working parties/case conferences as appropriate and undertake project work and develop specialisms as directed by the Prevention and Relief Technical Lead
- Maintain a thorough knowledge of Housing and related legislation, including the Housing Acts, case law, the Homelessness Reduction code of guidance and good practice in the implementation thereof
- GCSE English and Maths or equivalent
- Substantial experience of working in a Housing Options & Homelessness related role
- Extensive and proven knowledge of Housing and Homelessness Legislation, including the principals of the Homelessness Reduction Act
- Experience of work planning and meeting deadlines
- Experience of decision making with internal and external customers and suppliers
- Exellent IT, written and oral communication skills
- Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills
- Ability to work as part of a team and with a range of partner agencies
- Experience of dealing with multiple and complex case management issues
- Ability to take responsibility with minimum mangagement intervention on a day to day basis
- Ability to record and deal with data accurately and effectively
- Hold a full UK driving licence and be able to travel to meet business needs where necessary
- Professional Housing Qualification at level 3 or above (or commitment to attain within 2 years)
- Experience of managing projects
We are looking for an individual who can support customers to find solutions to their housing crisis by applying the principles of the Homelessness Reduction Act. You will need to be knowledgeable and operate in a highly professional manor but also have the skills to work with vulnerable individuals who often have complex needs to prevent homelessness from occurring. You will be a team player and work closely with the Prevention Officers and other agencies to identify those at risk of homelessness and provide guidance to the customer throughout the process.
- To apply for this vacancy please email your CV with supporting statement; telling us more about your skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience and how they meet the criteria listed above. It’s important that we’re a good fit for each other, so we’d also like to know what’s important to you about working for Publica.
- All successful applicants will need to provide evidence of their eligibility to work in the UK.
- Please note that this position requires Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance.
- If you do not hear from us within four weeks of the closing date, unfortunately your application has not been successful on this occasion.