Centrally located in the Thames Gateway, Gravesham Borough Council provides a range of services to over 106,000 people and 4,000 businesses.
The Borough of Gravesham, situated in the north west corner of Kent, covers 25,000 acres of the most varied countryside in south east England.
Bordered by the River Thames to the north, it is at the heart of Thames Gateway and has a significant role to play in the regeneration of a major government growth area.
Gravesham Borough Council is committed to delivering to the community and working with us means you are part of delivering the level of growth and improvement our community needs and deserves.
To provide comprehensive housing advice and assistance to prevent homelessness for all households in threat of being homeless within 56 days.
Undertake a range of specialist tasks including:
- Deliver a proactive, high quality housing options service in accordance with housing legislation with a view to prevent homelessness.
- Provide proactive advice and guidance to households that are either homeless or threatened with homelessness to secure and sustain suitable accommodation, including the submission of referrals to other departments and external agencies in order to meet the housing related needs of customers.
- Fulfil the Councils’ statutory duty to all groups including those suffering domestic abuse, those with mental health problems, substance misuse, disability both learning and physical as well as those with exceptionally high needs.
- Create tailored personalised housing plans with customers, with a strong focus on preventing homelessness
- Carry out financial assessment to ensure income is maximised and make relevant referrals to debt advice services
- To work in partnership with outside agencies, RPs and other departments to resolve households housing problems.
- To Issue relevant notifications and decisions under section 184 of the Housing Act as amended by the Homelessness Reduction Act.
- To prevent homelessness and resolve threats of homelessness to eligible households by giving appropriate housing advice and providing hands on support and updating case notes and the housing database in a timely manner
- Provide proactive advice and guidance to households that are struggling to maintain their current tenancy, including debt and budgeting advice, support with claims for universal credit requests for safeguarding of benefit payments, and mediation between tenant and landlord where required.
- Provide proactive support and deliver a training programme to customers to ensure they have the necessary knowledge and skills in preparation to maintain their own tenancy.
- Liaise with the Private Sector Housing team in relation to property condition and arrange for assessments using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System as required.
- Be part of the Housing Services response to a major emergency, assisting in the setting up and running of an emergency rest centre as required.
- Be available as part of a rota to take and deal with out of hours calls from customers that are homeless and in need of urgent assistance.
- Be responsible for the health and safety of yourself and others and comply at all times with relevant policies and procedures.
- Take personal responsibility for your own development and learning within the role and ensure up to date knowledge of the relevant legislative and policy.
- Undertake other duties commensurate with the grade of the post as required including deputising for the Housing Options Manager as required.
Skills & Abilities
- Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills both verbal and written
- Be innovative and well motivated
- Be a competent user of IT applications including standard office software packages e.g. word and excel
- Ability to work under pressure and prioritise work effectively with minimal supervision.
- Ability to solve problems effectively
- Organised with good attention to detail
- Willingness to work as part of a team and develop effective and supportive relationships with colleagues.
- Able to deal with a range of customers sensitively and be committed to exploring the most suitable housing options for households.
- Knowledge of Tenancy law, Housing law, Eligibility Regulations and housing advice relating to Housing Options.
- Relevant experience and knowledge of providing housing advice, social work, debt advice, or welfare benefits. Substantial working knowledge of Housing Options and experience of writing formal decision letters.
- 4 GCSE’s at grade C or above, including Maths and English, or equivalent qualifications
- Level 3 Certificate and/or Level 4 diploma in Housing Studies or equivalent.
- Experience in a housing related role offering housing advice, social work, debt advice, or welfare benefits.
- Experience of working alongside vulnerable households and obtaining information from them.
- Experience of dealing with difficult customers and conflict management.
- Experience of working within a busy environment.
- Experience of working with housing related computer systems.
- Experience of investigating illegal eviction
In return we offer you:
A generous holiday entitlement, plus paid bank holidays.
In-house and external training including non-qualification, Continued Personal Development (CPD), NVQ and other qualification training.
Employee Assistance Programme
The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a free and confidential support service, offering you unlimited access to advice and information as well as coaching and counselling where appropriate.
Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the service is there to help you manage all of life's events and support you through the challenges. Their expert advisers are there to help,
whenever you need them. Support on the telephone, online and face to face.
A very secure pension scheme which both you and we pay into. More information can be found on the Local Government Pension Scheme website.
An on-site Occupational Health Advisor. We have an occupational health service provided by East Kent Hospitals University Foundation NHS Trust. The service is delivered by a team of health professionals who specialise in occupational medicine and deal with the relationship between your work and your health. Occupational Health also works with us to resolve any issues in the workplace and also to ensure that well-being at work is maintained.
If you would like to have an informal discussion with the recruiting manager call Joanne Thorpe on 01474 337707.
Applicants must be able to demonstrate all essential requirements as listed in the job profile
Equal Opportunities Commitment Statement
Gravesham Borough Council is committed to creating an inclusive work environment with a diverse workforce. All appropriately qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or age
Please be advised that if you are not contacted within 3 weeks of the advert closing date then you have not been shortlisted. All recruitment correspondence, including interview letters and contracts of employment will usually be sent out via email.
We reserve the right to close this vacancy at any time prior to the closing date.