HOUSING OFFICER
  • Employer: Church of England
  • Reference: COE/19/110185
  • Published: Wed 25/09/2019, 12:00 PM
  • Closing on: Sun 20/10/2019, 12:00 PM
  • Working Pattern: Full Time
  • Hours: To be confirmed
  • Salary: £30,909 p.a. rising to £33,452 p.a. after probation
  • DBS Check: No
  • Location: Westminster

Vacancy Location

More Information

HOUSING OFFICER

This is a fixed term contract expected to last for 15 months, but may be extended.

The Church of England Pensions Board provides retirement services set by the Church of England for those who have served or worked for the Church.

We are a charity which provides retirement accommodation and services to people who have given a lifetime in ministry. We are not a registered social housing provider and do not operate as one. Our vision is to deliver a professional high quality and efficient service to our customers, respecting their needs and the needs of those who provide us with the money to do this.

As Housing Officer, you will deliver a customer-focused service which deals with our residents needs sensitively and efficiently.

This will involve taking enquiries from initial applicants and guiding them through the process of securing a suitable retirement home. Working collaboratively with other teams to manage a programme of acquisitions, refurbishment and sales to deliver your own and the business objectives and representing the Pension Board at Diocesan arranged and other stakeholder events.

We are looking for someone with solid housing experience and excellent communication and interpersonal skills who will ensure that our customers receive effective advice and the highest quality support through their customer journey with us.

You will need sound understanding and experience of delivering a customer-focused housing service for older people gained from working either for a charity or housing provider.

Joining us at an exciting period of change, we are looking for you to bring a positive energy and can-do attitude to the role and the housing services team.

In return we offer a unique environment with opportunities for continuous learning, generous annual leave for work-life balance, season ticket loans and a range of benefits including discounted entry to attractions and what we feel is a market-leading package when it comes to our pension scheme.

The Role

  • To provide a high-quality responsive customer-focused service to all who are seeking advice on their Retirement housing options, processing applications in a timely manner and sensitive to the needs of the customer at that particular time and within agreed timescales.
  • Manage and have responsibility for a geographic patch of properties and/or tasks relating to the CHARM and the Supported Housing portfolio. Follow policies and procedures accurately and ensure that these are evidenced on file for audit purposes.
  • To take full responsibility and manage and a caseload of applications for housing within the CHARM scheme, including planning and arranging home visits and preparing recommendation reports to capture the applicants housing requirements for consideration by the Assistant Housing Manager and to inform acquisitions for the portfolio
  • Prepare and verify financial illustrations for applicants applying for CHARM Shared Ownership, accurately calculating the percentage shares held by the customer and the Board.
  • Communicate effectively and manage the conveyancing process for shared ownership and staircasing applications, ensuring that the customer is always kept up to date on progress with the acquisition. Guide them through outcomes to surveys and reports on title to ensure that they have up to date and timely information.
  • Instruct and monitor appropriate professionals to act on behalf of the Board and manage day to day expenditure in relation to this. Ensure that the service delivered meets any agreement or timescales. Underperforming service providers should be managed with immediate line manager.
  • Liaise with relevant statutory and non-statutory agencies, Diocesan staff and other stakeholders including team members and other business areas, to provide tailored solutions for our customers.
  • Attend Retirement Seminars and similar events across the United Kingdom to deliver a presentation on the CHARM scheme to raise awareness with potential customers.
  • To assist in supporting future customers with their retirement housing choices at an early stage to enable the team to understand future demand and planning the delivery of services.
  • Create and maintain accurate and up to date records of the customer’s details using both manual and IT recording systems in order to produce accurate information to support the performance targets and KPIs for the team.
  • Actively participate in the weekly exchange meetings with colleagues from Acquisitions and Sales and discuss and influence the acquisition of generationally sustainable properties for the portfolio to meet customer demand within the policies and procedures which support the CHARM Housing Offer.
  • Accurately end contracts and conditions on the Housing IT system (SAP) and ensure that these are managed in a timely manner to minimise debt and system inaccuracy within prescribed policy and procedure.
  • Support the development and implementation of a departmental wide HMS system and have personal responsibility for entering and managing the input of data and information accurately and in a timely to meet the business needs of the team and the wider department.
  • To support the development and use of SAP platforms within all housing activities to ensure continuing value from the system, accurate and timely reporting and analysis of data for business planning purposes.
  • Provide up to date monthly vacancy reports to the acquisitions and sales team and advice on which vacancies will be advertised in the monthly property bulletin within the timescales set and recommend which properties should be instructed for disposal within policy and procedure.
  • Prepare and circulate the monthly property bulletin and expression of interest forms to the customer mailing database within the prescribed timelines.
  • Actively shortlist all expressions of interest received ensuring that all allocations decisions are fair and transparent are managed in line with the current allocations policy and procedure.
  • Communicate allocation decisions promptly to the customers and advice on the housing options that are available to them in line with current policy and good practice in the wider housing sector.
  • Liaise with the Acquisitions and Sales team to advise on property reservations so that works instructions can be given to either prepare the vacancy for a clergy let or a commercial let
  • Working with the Property Services team and our maintenance partner, ensure lead in times are met and that void re-let times are kept to minimum and any potential financial risks are minimised by following appropriate void procedures.
  • Ensure tenancies are issued in a timely manner and managed within the legislative framework and as per the procedure. Accurately set up contracts and conditions on the housing IT System (SAP) to ensure income is maximised from the date the property is ready to occupy, direct debits are correct and rental payments are received.
  • Refer customers who are experiencing financial hardship to the Welfare Benefits Advisor for assistance with applications for welfare and other benefits to ensure they maximise their income.
  • Refer customers who have additional support needs to the Housing Support Officer to help them to access relevant services, with a focus on offering advice and support to improve their physical and mental health to enable them to live successfully in their home.
  • Liaise, manage and instruct third party agents to commercially let the reserved properties portfolio on the appropriate tenure until required by clergy for retirement to maximise the revenue on our empty homes.
  • Ensure that the system in place to manage commercial lets is accurate and timely and reflects the reservation dates proposed by clergy to enable us to have the homes ready to let when required and meet our housing offer.

General Duties

  • To respond effectively and promptly to complaints and correspondence from customers and ensure that we learn from these.
  • Be responsible along with other team members for ensuring continuation of service in the absence of other staff
  • Any other duties commensurate with the duties and level demanded of the current post holder as designated by the Manager.
  • Willingness to travel throughout the United Kingdom to meet customers in their own homes.

The Requirements

Essential

Proven Ability Knowledge and Experience:

  • Experience of working in a customer focused service organisation
  • Proven organisational skills
  • Previous experience of achieving objectives and deliverables within given timescales
  • Knowledge of working to prescribed policies and procedures and ability to audit trail these
  • Excellent communications skills through telephone and face to face and also written communication as well as electronically via email
  • Competent in Microsoft Office, Outlook and Excel
  • Experience of working in and delivering an effective housing and tenancy management service
  • Working knowledge of Housing Law and how this applies to tenancies.
  • Knowledge and direct experience of managing housing allocations under a choice based letting process.

Education:

  • Minimum A level standard, Chartered Institute of Housing qualification, or several year’s experience.

Personal Attributes:

  • Ability to work as part of team and work flexibly to meet demands of the role
  • Ability to prioritise own workload
  • A self starter who takes responsibility for own learning and development
  • Excellent negotiating and influencing skills
  • Ability to relate well to a variety of people and create, maintain and enhance working relationships.
  • Willing to learn new concepts and be flexible.
  • Ability to work calmly when under pressure
  • Ability to contribute to solving problems

Desirable

Knowledge/Experience:

  • Previous experience in Customer Services, Property Services or a Housing / Charity environment.
  • Experience in SAP or other housing/finance packages.

We in the National Church Institutions support the mission and ministries of the Church all over England. We work with parishes, dioceses (regional offices), schools, other ministries and our partners at a national and international level.

Excellence, Respect, Integrity

We follow these three values in everything we do, whether we are of Christian faith, another faith or no faith. To learn more about working for National Church Institutions and our benefits, please click here

As we are a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, we welcome all applications from those you have served in our Armed Forces and their families

We are committed to building a culturally diverse workforce. As part of this commitment, we welcome applications from people, regardless of their background. As a Disability Confident committed employer, it is important to note that there may be occasions where it is not practical or appropriate to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria* due to high volume. We limit the amount of interviews conducted to five applicants per open post we advertise.

*Where applicable depending on post requirements.

 Interviews will be held on the 28th October 2019.

Closing date: 20/10/2019.

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