Senior Housing Advice Officer (DBS)

17.00 - 21.17 GBP Hourly + GBP17 - GBP21.17/hour
25 Jun 2017
21 Jul 2017
Contract Type
Full Time
Senior Housing Advice Officer (DBS) - Housing and Planning

Must have experience of offering housing and related advice to members of the public in a local authority setting.

Must have experience of carrying out statutory homelessness assessments and issuing written decisions upon completion of a assessments.



JOB TITLE: Housing Advisor

DEPARTMENT: Customer and Community Services

SERVICE: Housing Advice

LOCATION: Hobson House

REPORTS TO: Senior Housing Advisor

JOB PURPOSE To provide comprehensive housing options, choice based lettings (CBL), housing advice and homelessness prevention casework service to members of the public. The role will also encompass the delivery of advice and information to statutory and voluntary agencies in the areas listed above. In addition to these objectives the role will play a key part in the delivery of an enhanced housing options service by advising on and signposting customers to other related advice services such as debt and employment advice. The post holder will be offering housing advice pertaining to landlord tenant law and homelessness legislation, preventing homelessness through and assessing housing need with reference to the Lettings policy and sub-regional CBL system. The post holder will be responding to immediate homelessness situations via placement in emergency accommodation or longer term temporary housing in order to meet the Council's interim statutory duties and will carry out appropriate enquiries to establish whether the Council owes a statutory duty under relevant homelessness legislation and issuing decisions in relation to these cases.


1. Housing options, advice homelessness prevention and signposting: To provide a detailed housing options and advice casework service (including face-to-face work, telephone advice and written communication) to members of the public focussing on:

Advice on a wide spectrum of housing options to help prevent homelessness or improve customers' housing circumstances by making sound judgements on the most suitable and sustainable option available Carrying out appropriate enquiries and investigations to establish whether the Council owes a statutory duty under relevant homelessness legislation and making formal decisions in this regard and to follow this with a written decision to the applicant. Passing more complex cases to the Senior Housing Advisor to progress to a final decision or outcome Interpreting homelessness and landlord tenant law, advising customers accordingly and passing complex cases to Senior Housing Advisor and the Tenancy Relations Officer as appropriate Offering welfare benefits advice Signposting to relevant advice agencies, internal officers, legal services and housing providers Establishing electronic casework files for applicants in receipt of housing options/advice and homeless applications Use of homelessness prevention fund where the officer's assessment is that it falls within homelessness prevention fund guidelines

2. Choice Based Lettings service: To maintain customer records on the CBL system and offer a range of services to CBL customers:

Maintaining records of customer contact and correspondence on the CBL system

Advising customers how to use the CBL system

Identifying cases that do not fall neatly under the Lettings Policy and referring these for decision using current procedures

Identifying those on the register who require additional homelessness prevention / relief advice and making contact with those individuals

Complying with all current CBL policies and procedures - for example, on letting, short listing, property advertisements, direct lets and reviews

3. Complaint handling: To respond to complaints of a generic nature about the service in line with the Council's corporate complaints procedure and to pass on complaints about the quality of service from a front line officer to a Senior Housing Advisor to respond to.

4. Internal and external liaison and customer engagement: a) To liaise with other individuals, teams and sections within the Council to discuss Housing Advice customers where appropriate and to share and receive information of a mutually beneficial nature (e.g. to support each
other's objectives by promoting a particular service) b) to represent the section at case conferences, informal panels and meetings with external partners or residents in relation to specifically assigned small projects (e.g. the decanting of a sheltered scheme) c) to keep partners on the CBL sub-regional scheme updated on changes that affect them as appropriate

5. Information technology: To use all IT systems within the Housing Advice Service as required for both reference and updating records and to ensure that systems for recording performance information data are regularly maintained and kept up-to-date

6. Carry out any other duties as required by your line manager from time to time in accordance with the grading of the post - to include covering some of the duties of a Senior Housing Advisor when absent.


Hours: 37

People (reports to post):
Finance: Homelessness prevention fund payments - see description above Budget Accounting Monitoring
Liaison: Internal teams and sections, external agencies both statutory and nonstatutory


Health and Safety Take due care at work and contribute to the ongoing implementation of policies and procedures to maintain the health, safety and welfare of self, colleagues, customers/clients and community. Ensure that accidents and/or unsafe or hazardous conditions are reported to management in line with policy.
Equality & Diversity Undertake all aspects of employment and service provision with due regard to Equal Opportunities and diversity and associated organisation policy and practice. Demonstrate a commitment to openness and equality of opportunity and ensure that all individuals are treated with dignity and respect.
Behaviour To work and behave in a manner that is consistent with the Council's expected ways of working (Competency Framework; & Code of conduct). To undertake all duties in accordance with the council's policy and practice, to maintain compliance with relevant statutory responsibilities and applicable legislation. Team Working & Support Act as an effective team member providing assistance to team members or other teams, as requested, to support the delivery of team and corporate objectives. Maintain links with other teams, groups and customers/clients as necessary to the role, sharing information where necessary. To take responsibility for identifying and agreeing personal learning and development needs with your manager, participating in activities relevant to the job or personal development. Work in line with the corporate policy and procedure.

City Council Vision & Medium Term Objectives Undertake other duties as appropriate to the post, to support and contribute to the delivery of the organisation's medium term objectives, and vision.

Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. We take this responsibility seriously and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.



Essential (E)
Desirable (D)
Assessment Method EXPERIENCE Practical experience of work in a housing options/CBL setting

Practical experience of offering complex advice to members of the public

KNOWLEDGE Demonstrates an appreciation of what is meant by good customer service (E) BI/RF Able to interpret homelessness legislation, landlord and tenant law and current guidance/directives on choice based lettings schemes

Confident understanding of basic rules around welfare benefit entitlements

BI SKILLS & COMPETENCIES Exhibits strong interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal (E) AF/BI/AT Highly motivated and able to achieve individual goals and service outcomes

Ability to forge positive relationships with internal and external partners / stakeholders

Ability to use a range of contemporary software packages

AF/AT Understands the general principles of time management and is able to work under pressure (E)
AF/BI Demonstrable track record as an effective team player

Exhibits caring skills and ability to work with people, some of whom may be challenging, complex or in a poor physical or mental health

Proven ability to operate at a level consistent with GCSE or equivalent (E) AF OTHER QUALITIES Ability to travel
Demonstrable commitment to equality of opportunity and evidence of this commitment through service delivery



Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Cambridge City Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. This post is identified as involving working with these groups, or is a position of trust. Employment is subject to an acceptable CRB disclosure. Further guidance will be provided at the appropriate stage of the selection process.

Assessment Key:

AF - Application Form BI - Interview RF - References WS - Work Sample AT - Ability Test PT - Psychometric Assessment