West End, London
£15.96 - £16.76 per hour
3 months ago
Our client is seeking a Housing and Planning Assessment Officer on an initial 2 month contract with the possibility of an extension.
36 Hours per week
Monday - Friday
- To provide a comprehensive housing information service including advice on housing options and security of tenure.
- Identify and give appropriate advice and assistance to prevent or postpone homelessness.
- To interview applicants the Council believes may be homeless or threatened with homelessness, and undertake detailed investigations and recommend a decision on the housing duty under the terms of the 1996 Housing Act Part VII.
- Appropriately assessing and making recommendations on applications for At Serious Risk of Harm points under the terms of the Council's Allocations policy.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- To try to prevent or postpone homelessness by providing applicants with detailed relevant advice and assistance and details of housing options, which act as alternatives to making a homeless application, and liaise with other statutory bodies as appropriate.
- To give advice, assistance and clear information to homeless households and those in housing need to whom the Council has no legal obligation to provide emergency accommodation.
- To actively correspond and negotiate with statutory bodies and other related agencies and landlords.
- To carry out home visits and inspections in an attempt to prevent homelessness and to explore alternative housing options to a homeless application, including negotiating with private sector landlords where necessary to prevent homelessness.
- To advise clients of possible Housing Benefit entitlement and assist clients in making or maintaining a Housing Benefit claim.
- To visit potentially homeless clients and verify claims of homelessness.
- To undertake detailed investigations of cases under Part VII of the 1996 Housing Act by establishing eligibility, homelessness, assessing priority need, and determining intentionally and local connection.
- To conduct further interviews if necessary and recommending a decision.
- To complete detailed section 184 notices, to complete Member's Enquiries and responses to solicitors and other statutory agencies as necessary.
- To maintain a high standard of accurate written records and reports in connection with the various duties undertaken, issue relevant decision letters as legally required and keep other records necessary to provide an adequate management information database.
- To work independently in order to maintain and monitor a caseload and prioritise workload in order to meet specified performance targets.
- To keep up to date on relevant legislation and to take part in training, development and service planning.
- To liaise with Social Services, Legal Services, Solicitors, Landlords, GPs, the police service, hospitals and other relevant statutory bodies and voluntary agencies.
- To liaise with landlords, parents, family or friends to delay the eviction of a client to allow the applicant to take a housing option without the need for a possible placement into temporary accommodation.
- To assess and make decisions and or, recommendations on applications under At Serious Risk of Harm (Section 3.8) of the Allocations policy.
- To participate in the Housing Needs 'At Risk' Assessment Panel on a rotational basis.
- To assess and recommend decisions on referrals made under the West London Domestic Violence Reciprocal Protocol.
- To provide nominations to the borough's rent deposit and Home start schemes sheltered housing, hostel accommodation and Sanctuary project as methods of assistance and or, methods of preventing homelessness.
- To carry out any other duties as may reasonably be required.
Skills and Experience:
- Ability to produce a high standard of written information in a clear and effective style with experience of contributing to responses to Member's enquiries and complaints.
- Experience of making and recommending section 184 decisions based on policy and practice procedures and within the homelessness legislative framework, with an up to date.
- Comprehensive understanding of the recent changes to the Local Housing Allowance and Part VII of the Local-ism Act 2011.
- Previous experience of working in the public sector preferably in a front line role in a housing environment.
- Ability to communicate effectively with a range of people at all levels, making technical language understandable.
- Confident and objective approach to work, tactful, diplomatic but firm, with excellent interpersonal skills.
- Excellent time management and time keeping skills having the ability to prioritise workload and meet specified deadlines.
- Flexible approach to work and workloads and the sometimes conflicting demands.
- Ability to work and contribute as, a team member including contributing to the team's targets.
- Willing and able to develop knowledge of housing legislation beyond Part VII Housing Act 1996 (as amended).
- Discreet in handling information, that is often of a sensitive or confidential nature in accordance with data protection legislation.
- Computer literacy and the ability to become proficient with appropriate training in using the Council's computer system.
- Knowledge of Housing Act 1996 Parts VI & VII.
- Experience of dealing with the public and carrying out interviews in stressful situations.
- Knowledge of Landlord and Tenant law, welfare benefits legislation and the Protection From Eviction Act.
- Ability to manage a caseload of homeless and non - H.A. 1996 Part VII applications at the same time and meet tight deadlines.
For this role you will need the following:
- A suitable NI Number
- You are eligible to work in the UK
3 Years written referencing
Disclaimer: By applying for this role, you give consent for your information to be forwarded to our Client(s) and information of which may be retained within our databases