Housing Advice Officer
The client is legally required to provide a housing advice service to its residents. The role will provide a proactive homeless prevention service. Homeless prevention reduces the need for the Local Authority to use expensive bed & breakfast and temporary accommodation for those who are homeless.
The housing advice officer will be responsible for undertaking duty to provide a homeless service. The role will fulfil the duty under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002. The officer will be responsible for ensuring their decision meets the legal requirement and does not present a legal risk to the authority.
The housing advice officer will work in accordance with Part VI of the Housing Act 1996 to provide the client with a transparent allocation scheme.
Main Responsibilities - Prevention of Homelessness - To take action to prevent homelessness occurring, and to use agreed homelessness prevention policies to minimise the need for the client to use its own accommodation. The post holder will be required to provide proactive homeless prevention service through the provision of comprehensive housing and welfare advice. The post holder will also be required to provide a home visit service to all customers who are threatened with parental/family eviction.
Homelessness Service - To administer and discharge the obligations to people threatened with or experiencing homelessness. Each individual application is considered in the context of the clients legal duties and that any accommodation provided is provided in the most cost effective way. The postholder will be required to conducting in depth interviews under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002.
Housing Advice - To provide housing advice and housing options in order to maximise the customers housing opportunities. To attend multi-agency meetings and external agency drop in sessions when required.
Customer Service - To provide excellent customer service, in what can be a stressful and emotional time for customers. To ensure that all services are delivered efficiently, effectively and sensitively to all customers. The post holder will ensure the customer is at the centre of service delivery
Housing Register - To assist in the operation of the council's allocation system. To manage and update the housing register in order that individual applications are input and maintain any casework records.
Customer Care - Dealing empathetically and professionally with clients who are faced with homelessness. These customers can be emotional and vulnerable due to their circumstances.
It is imperative to remain calm and deal with such situations in a tactful and diplomatic manner whilst simultaneously being alert to personal safety issues and obtaining and delivering accurate and relevant information.
Giving advice and making determinations in the knowledge that this will have a direct impact on the client's quality of life & living condition. It is therefore vital to obtain the correct & appropriate information in order to give the correct & appropriate advice.
Homeless decisions are made as a last resort if homelessness cannot be prevented through negotiation or mediation with landlords, letting agents, family members etc.
Complex legal decisions are made by the Housing Advice Officer following an in-depth investigation. The Homeless decision letter sets out the council's statutory legal duty and is legally binding. It is imperative that the information conveyed does not present a legal risk to the authority.