Candidate Tips

Best Housing Association and Social Housing jobs

Richard Bucklow

Executive Consultant | Housing Needs

Jul 21, 2022

Working in Social Housing, with a Housing Association or Local Authority can be an extremely rewarding job.

Not without its challenges, these roles are extremely people-oriented and would suit anyone interested in housing and social policy.

Roles are extremely varied, as you’ll typically work with a number of cases, understanding their complex needs as you become an advocate for them and their situation. On the other side of the scale, people in these roles have to make difficult decisions about who needs to be/ who can be helped.

The best jobs in Housing are both rewarding and challenging and would suit candidates from all walks of life.

Housing Options Officer

A Housing Options Officer is a specialist role as candidates need to be familiar with Homelessness and Housing Law. They handle a caseload of single people, families, rough sleepers, family breakdowns, or care leavers all with varying needs and support networks.

A Housing Options Officer must identify if each case qualifies to be treated as imminently homeless and can use local authority powers and resources to help that person. They make legal decisions on those cases which can be challenged, more common when a negative decision is made.

Qualifications needed

  • A degree or course in Housing Law, Housing Studies, Social Policy or Building Surveying
  • A graduate from apprenticeship programmes from a local authorities
  • Intensive course run by Shelter or CIH

Average Salary: £24,000 – £28,000

Average Hourly Rate Public Sector: £24.00 – £28.00

Reviews Officer

A Reviews Officer is responsible for addressing Housing Options Officer decisions and making a new case to uphold or overturn. They operate as senior to the Housing Options Officer and are internal within the Local Authority.

As with any job in social housing, they sometimes challenge cases in court and are trained for such events. For more rural Authorities these reviews are uncommon and outsource the work or incorporate it within the leadership team’s responsibilities.

Qualifications Needed:

  • A degree or course in Housing Law, Housing Studies, Social Policy, or Building Surveying
  • Local Authority learning and development scheme
  • Intensive course run by Shelter or CIH

Average Salary: £27,000 – £32,000

Average Hourly Rate Public Sector: £28.00 – £32.00

Temporary Accommodation Officer

Temporary Accommodation Officers are responsible for the acquisition, maintenance, and allocation of temporary accommodation for priority need cases of homelessness. They also focus on the tenancy sustainment of the people in temporary accommodation, making sure their needs are met and they are adhering to the rules and procedures of the accommodation.

These cases can be high risk and have complex needs including mental health, drug or alcohol misuse, and domestic abuse which makes this role particularly focused on people.

Experience Needed:

  • Past experience dealing with cases of complex needs (e.g. Hostel Worker)
  • Past experience working in Social Housing or Housing Associations, preferably tenancy sustainment
  • These types of roles are a developing specialism requiring transferable skills and a keen mind for people’s problems above qualifications

Average Salary: £22,000 – £26,000

Average Hourly Rate Public Sector: £18.00 – £22.00

Rough Sleepers Initiative Coordinator

The Rough Sleepers Initiative (RSI) is a national project with funding from Central Government to help the most affected Local Authorities assess, organise, and address their rough sleeper population and where possible end rough sleeping.

The role of a Rough Sleepers Coordinator is to bring together all local (and where possible, national) organisations and resources to work as one to face this problem. Issues such as drug and alcohol misuse, mental health, trauma, PTSD are common among those left on the streets for, in some cases, decades.

The Rough Sleepers Coordinator is commonly in charge of the Navigators and Outreach workers sent to make contact, assess needs, and develop risk assessments and care plans for their local rough sleeper population.

It’s worth noting no one RSI project is the same as another, each is designed to be unique to the area and the needs of the service users. As such across the county right now there are some amazing and innovative projects underway making great results with individuals who would not previously engage with local authorities on their terms.

Experience Needed:

  • Leadership experience
  • Experience working with Rough Sleepers and/or social housing
  • Drive to find new ways of accommodating Rough Sleepers and advocating on their behalf
  • Resilience for when things don’t go to plan

Average Salary: £28,000 – £33,000

Average Hourly Rate Public Sector: £21.00 – £25.00

Rough Sleepers Initiative Navigator (Specialist)

The role of an RSI Navigator is to bring select skills into an RSI project, such as Physical Health, Mental Health, Substance Misuse, Pathways (routes to housing), or Tenancy Sustainment (complex needs). Any one of these areas could be useful to an RSI project however some have used other organisations to support their endeavor. As with the Coordinator, there is no clear defining role but transferable skills which can be put to best use in the RSI.

Experience Needed:

  • Experience working with Rough sleepers and/or social housing
  • Specialised skill group experience as stated above (1 or more)
  • Resilience for when things don’t go to plan

Average Salary: £20,000 – £24,000

Average Hourly Rate Public Sector: £18.00 – £23.00

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Executive Consultant | Housing Needs

Richard Bucklow

Richard started out in Oyster in 2014, working in Housing Needs, and honestly? It was a bit of a slow start. Recruitment is rarely an easy ride, but Rich stuck it out and started to build and grow his team. Over time, what became increasingly clear is that Rich is a decent recruiter, but a much better manager. Which is lucky because his team has grown exponentially over time, becoming increasingly diversified, and successful. It’s not looking like it’s going to slow down any time soon.

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