Our client is looking for an experienced Housing Options Officer to work on a 35 hour per week contract role to start A.S.AP. until the 08-01-18 with a likely extension to the contract.
Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday.
The officer must have a high standard of written skills and experience in complex s184 decision writing that can withstand s202 review scrutiny
MAIN PURPOSE OF THE JOB
- To interview and advise persons applying for assistance under homeless legislation making the necessary enquiries of all appropriate sources pursuant to the Housing Act 1996 Part VII
- To manage a caseload ensuring that all cases are progressed speedily, efficiently and within agreed time scales, achieving the requirement that applicants are to be given the best advice concerning their statutory rights and the various avenues open to them
- To successfully manage a caseload of more complex cases requiring in depth enquiries, usually where fraud is suspected or where intentional homelessness is an issue on a first application or due to the Client having ceased duty or where accommodation may be available abroad or a second application has been received following an earlier negative decision, but that list is not exhaustive
- Ensure that all enquiries and cases are progressed speedily and efficiently and that all set targets are achieved
- To ensure excellent customer service standards are maintained for all relevant client groups and contribute to year on year improvement of those standards
DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
- To promote potential alternative housing options thereby preventing homelessness wherever possible
- To conclude, on completion of all complex enquiries, the extent of any statutory duty owed by the Client, being required then to produce a comprehensive written decision, fully capturing both the complexity of the matter and the full rationale for the council's decision
- To present such complex decisions orally to the applicant in a manner sufficient to achieve both an appreciation of the decision, its complexity and the opportunities for challenge
- To ensure that all information is fully documented appropriately
- To maintain a good knowledge of housing legislation, associated case law, client policy and procedures and good practice in homelessness and related issues ensuring that all legal issues and other aspects are properly considered in each case
- To expand that knowledge base to allow appropriate attention and response to complex cases
- To liaise with and refer cases to other sections within the Service, other parts of the Client and external organisations to ensure that all relevant information is shared, obtained and employed to ensure that enquiries into possible fraud are thoroughly investigated with the most appropriate outcome for both the customer and for the service
- To liaise closely with the Process Server to ensure that the provision of temporary accommodation is ended in a timely manner and with adequate notice to the customer
- To identify case problems and the reasons for delays in progressing cases, both individually and collectively, and take corrective action, in consultation with the immediate line manager
- To contribute in the development and delivery of the client’s Homelessness Strategy so that targets and performance requirements are met
- To effectively communicate the Client’s duties and policies to customers and partner organisations directly, in writing and through customer information
- To record data and statistical information accurately and on time
- To respond to queries from customers or their approved advocates and from partner landlords – whether in person, by telephone, email or in writing in line with the councils standards
- To be fully conversant with the Client's computer system in order to input, amend and interrogate computer records and to undergo training in connection with the development of information technology
- To attend Court as a witness on behalf of the Client and/or provide affidavit evidence
- To attend meetings including specific case conferences, ensuring that all co-attendees are aware of the level of service that the Client can provide
To maintain personal and professional development to meet the changing demands of the job and participate in appropriate training/development activities including the client’s performance, development and review scheme.
Ensure that all duties and responsibilities are discharged in accordance with the council’s policies and procedures, Code of Conduct and relevant regulations and legislation.
To comply with the council’s equal opportunities and diversity policies ensuring anti-discriminatory practice within the service area.
To undertake additional duties that may arise from time to time commensurate with the grade of the post.