Finding a home isn’t easy, especially you’ve got personal circumstances making it difficult. But nothing is more satisfying then knowing you’ve finally got a roof over your head.
Well actually there is something more satisfying; helping people find their home in the first place and looking after both the tenants and the properties. That’s what housing officers are for.
So, what will I actually be doing?
Housing officer and social housing officer jobs can be challenging roles, but they come with job satisfaction as you will be helping those in need to find a home. You will be expected to give clients the best advice possible, find them appropriate housing and ensure it’s of an approved standard (so if you see mould on the walls or the door won’t shut, don’t let anyone move in basically).
As well as helping tenants find suitable housing you will also be expected to:
- Interview applicants
- Provide welfare advice
- Oversee rent and take control with issues regarding payment
- Represent the organisation at court evictions
- Meet with other departments such as social services
- Ensure properties are being maintained to a good standard
- Respond to tenants’ enquires
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The nitty gritty
Hours in this job are regular and housing officers usually work 9-5.30, Monday to Friday. But for those looking for flexible work, there are often part-time or flexible working options available.
You will be based in an office but you’ll spent lots of time visiting properties, clients, other departments or attending meetings, so there can be plenty of variety in location.
Money, money, money
Ah, that awkward money question. Starting salaries are in the range of £19k to £21k a year. With experience, your pay would rise to between £20k and £28k. Once in a senior position, you can start earning up to £35k.
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The good points...
"Some may say that housing as a career is one of the best kept secrets. A career in housing is varied, often challenging but hugely rewarding, ask the 150,000 people who already work in the sector," says the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).
Not only that, but it’s also great for career progression. From housing officer you can progress to housing manager or senior projects officer. You can also move sectors to work for government departments, charitable trusts, voluntary organisations, property companies or even private landlords.
...and the bad
While the rewards are clear, this job can also be stressful and there will be days when you’ll need to deal with difficult clients or cope with emotionally-upsetting situations
Is there study involved?
While there are no minimum entry requirements employers will expect a good standard of education (minimum five GCSEs, grades A-C) and many housing officers are graduates. The CIH offer a range of professional qualifications if you're working in the sector. Including Level 3 certificates in:
- Housing Management and Maintenance
- Housing Aid and Advice
Or you could study for the CIH Professional Qualification, which is the usual route to becoming a full professional member of the Institute. Visit the CIH website for full details of the course.
Need additional qualifications? Find a course at our Learning Zone
OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
Thinking of becoming a housing officer? Are you...
- Well organised
- Able to work under pressure
- Good at negotiating
- Great at communicating
- Good at problem solving
- Experienced dealing with the public
- Well versed in housing and benefit issues
If you are, then good news, this is the career for you.