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Homelessness Prevention Assistant
Date: 28 Aug 2020
BBS Recruitment is currently recruiting for an experienced Homelessness Prevention Assistant in a temporary position for our client in Elmbridge.
The successful candidate should be a proactive and hardworking individual with prior experience within a role.
About the role
• To offer assistance and support to Homelessness Prevention and Advice Officers as demand for the service increases due to the impact of Covid 19 on households
• To carry out initial contact with applicants and screening of cases and enquiries where a household states they are homeless or threatened with homelessness
• To focus on prevention of homelessness where possible and to manage its impact where unavoidable and to assist in move on plans
The main purpose of the role
• To hold own caseload for cases at Prevention Stage keeping under review personalised Housing Plans as required by the Homelessness Reduction Act to ensure they remain relevant, motivating clients to be proactive in sustaining or seeking accommodation.
• To conduct enquiries as necessary on homeless applications and particularly for cases where possession action is taken on Assured Shorthold tenancies following lifting of such action by the Courts after Covid 19 protection is lifted.
• To participate in duty rota to ensure a quality service is provided
Specific duties and responsibilities
1. To provide a responsive service to those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness following a direct approach or having received a referral from a relevant public organisation or from internal teams. To assist members of the public who are in housing need or have housing related enquiries in person where essential or more usually by, telephone, letter or email. To participate in a duty rota to provide a responsive frontline service.
2. To develop Personal Housing Plans (PHPs) with clients as appropriate taking into account the circumstances that led to the threat of homelessness, the housing needs of the applicant and the type of accommodation required and support needed to secure and retain accommodation.
3. To make recommendations for the use of the Council’s Prevention fund for clients
to prevent homelessness
4. To issue relevant notices in writing ensuring the reasonable steps to be taken by the client and Council are clear in respect of securing and retaining accommodation. To seek the client’s agreement to the steps to be taken and to keep this under review until the prevention duty under the Homelessness Reduction Act ends.
5. Where homelessness can’t be prevented to secure interim accommodation if there is reason to believe the client has a priority need. As directed by the Team Leader to investigate the case taking action under relief duties to help the client to secure accommodation for a 56-day period or to refer cases to another local authority where satisfied local connection criteria is met. To monitor relief cases ending the duty as appropriate.
6. As directed to investigate homelessness applications and complete records of enquiries updating databases. To assess clients needs completing suitability of accommodation assessments. To monitor cases set to view or offer under the Search Moves Choice based lettings scheme primarily for homeless cases.
7. Where a Part 6 offer is refused by a statutory homeless applicant, or other accommodation to discharge the duty, to encourage acceptance of the property and ensure clients receive “Right to Review “ documentation as appropriate.
8.. To provide information to clients on the operation of the Council’s Housing Register. and advice to maximise prospects e.g. extending areas of choice and type of accommodation. To complete assessments on suitable accommodation for applicants to end the homeless duty and to arrange auto bidding for clients where necessary.
9. To work proactively with the Temporary Accommodation Co Ordinator to maximise
housing opportunities To work closely with Rentstart to ensure the best use of resources as well other agencies such as Transform who have access to accommodation to best meet needs.
10. To make appropriate referrals to Rentstart and Transform liaising with them as necessary regarding any PHP’s for clients, to monitor outcomes attending any professionals meetings as requested.
11. To work with and support officers in efforts to reduce rough sleeping in Elmbridge and processes associated with the Covid 19 exit strategy.
12. To identify suitable households for the Council’s Rental Support Scheme making
appropriate referrals and keeping them under review obtaining or providing the team with information on clients to make the best match with property and landlords. Where the private sector property / offer is to end the homelessness duty to liaise with the team to ensure appropriate documentation is completed.
13. To promote and contribute to effective teamworking by communicating effectively
with colleagues within the Housing Options Unit as appropriate in a timely fashion;
to include attending, contributing to team meetings, one to one and casework supervision with the Team Leader – Homelessness Prevention and Advice.
14. To provide a responsive frontline service being aware at all time of the Council’s
commitment to customer care and the Councils duties under the Equalities Act.
GCSE’s or equivilent
Start date 14.09.2020
Hours per week:37
Access to a vehicle