Donington House, Riverside Road, Pride Park, Derby, DE24 8HY
- Specialism: Housing & Property Services
- Sector: Social Housing, Local Government and Charities
- Roles: Permanent, contract, temporary and interim
- Location: Wales
Type a day in the life of sellick from Laura Smedley-Williams
Kettering, Northamptonshire | Temporary
Income Officer Temporary, Full-time Northamptonshire Income Officer required to join a public sector organisation based in Northamptonshire. My client is currently recruiting for an experienced Income Officer to join their team on a full-time, temporary basis. As the Income Officer you will be responsible for providing effective and accurate income services. Key responsibilities of the Income Officer: * Reviewing a patch caseload * Making appropriate arrangements to repay outstanding amounts * Serving legal notices * Preparing and presenting cases in court * Attending evictions * Working with vulnerable tenants who have high rent arrears * Showing initiative when supporting complex cases of arrears recovery, using appropriate legislation and knowledge Required skills and experience of the Income Officer: * Previous experience within an income role within a social housing environment * Proficient in in-house packages If you believe you have the necessary skills and experience for the Income Officer role, please apply now, or contact Laura Smedley-Williams at Sellick Partnership. Sellick Partnership is a market-leading professional services recruitment specialist operating across the UK. Over the years we have built up an enviable relationship with employers and our expert team of consultants boast up-to-date market knowledge and a strong reputation making Sellick Partnership best placed to help you. Please note our advertisements use years' experience and salary levels purely as a guide. We are happy to consider applications from all candidates who are able to demonstrate the skills necessary to fulfil the role. For information on how your personal details may be used by Sellick Partnership, please review our data processing notice https://www.sellickpartnership.co.uk/data-processing-notice.
At last month’s Tory Party conference, Theresa May announced an “end to austerity” and revealed plan to remove the HRA Borrowing Cap that has plagued councils across the UK for years. The Borrowing Cap, which had been in place since 2012 was a cap on the amount of money councils and housing associations could borrow against their housing assets to fund new developments. The cap has resulted in a pause in affordable housing being built across the country, greatly adding to the countless problems we have surrounding homelessness and the overall housing crisis we are currently witnessing. In a move that has been largely welcomed by the Housing & Property Services Sector, May said that “solving the housing crisis is the biggest domestic policy challenge of our generation” and that “It doesn’t make sense to stop councils from playing their part in solving it”. This is a bold move from the Prime Minister, and a decision that some housing associations have been waiting on for years. Tom Dick, who is the current Development Manager at Two Rivers Housing believes that the Borrowing Cap being lifted can only be a good thing as it will open doors for the development of sites that have potential, but that are struggling financially to become viable. He said that “as a sector we seem to have lost our drive to develop land lead schemes and unfortunately because of this our skill sets as developers have matched the demands of the S106 process and taken us away from the more involved projects. With the change to Homes England’s funding of land lead schemes and easier access to funding I’m hoping it will help align us all to do what we need to do, deliver affordable quality housing”. This push to create new homes as a result of the Borrowing Cap being lifted is a positive step forward, and it will hopefully go some way in solving the crisis we are in across the UK. I would however urge councils taking advantage of it to proceed with a little bit of caution. An increase in homes being built will mean a spike in demand for highly skilled contractors and housing professionals that are already in short supply. This need could in turn push salaries up, making it even more expensive for these homes to be built. This caution is evidently being taken by some of the organisations we are working with who are still to decide whether or not to make use of this new funding. Councils need to remember that whatever money they borrow will need to be paid back, and if prices are pushed up with the demand for skilled workers I fear that many may end up in a tricky situation. It is therefore important for councils to take stock, look at the market and make an informed decision on whether it is the right time for them to take on any new projects. It is inevitable that the next few years are going to be the most intense, with councils that have been desperate for the Cap to be lifted starting work straight away, and I am delighted that they can do so to relieve some of the strain we are seeing across the country. The government are anticipating that councils will borrow up to £1bn in the next 12 months, but I would not be surprised if this figure rises. In that case, and if councils borrow a lot more (or less) than expected, this could have an impact on the calculations that underpin the policy and force a rethink, which could cause a problems long-term. It would therefore be a good idea for councils that may not have such a great need should hold back, and wait for the market to settle to save themselves from racking up huge amounts of debt, and ensure that the plans have the desired impact across the UK. Are you looking for highly skills housing contractors to help delivery key projects for your organisation? Get in touch with me or my team today to discuss how we can help you! Alternatively you can check out blogs from my colleagues here.
More than 150,000 people are employed in housing & property services across the UK and are tasked with managing and servicing the five million homes owned by housing associations and local councils. Whilst local authorities have historically been the main employers of housing professionals, in recent years, the transfer of property to large-scale voluntary transfer (LSVT) organisations has meant that housing associations are now the main employer. Housing functions are under huge pressure to work more efficiently, with increased demands and fewer resources. External factors including welfare reform, the lack of housing supply and the increasing gap between income and housing costs, are placing significant pressure on both housing organisations and tenants, resulting in the current push to identify cost saving initiatives, and recruit the people needed to implement these. In April 2016 housing associations were forced to cut social housing rents by 1 percent each year for years, in an attempt to decrease the country’s housing benefit bill which constitutes around 14 percent of welfare spending. The Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 has had a huge impact on the sector since its roll out, greatly reducing the number of homes being built, which has further impacted the housing shortage. More recently we have also witnessed the implementation of The Homeless Reduction Act which again is placing greater pressures on professionals working within the sector. Local authorities staffing needs are greater and will continue to grow as the workload rises. My worry is the sustainability of this long-term. With more people being classified as homeless there comes a much greater need for homeless prevention officers and review officers, and if budgets are not increasing dramatically with the new system I worry local authorities will not be able to afford the support they need. In addition to this, the benefits cap which saw a reduction in the amount a family can receive in benefits in a year, has further created a need for cost saving within housing organisations. Tenant’s loss of income from the reduced benefit cap will first hit their housing benefit allowance, which is likely to result in increased arrears and many urban areas becoming unaffordable for large families. Impact on recruitment So how has this impacted recruitment in the housing sector? Currently there is a strong demand for housing professionals with solid strategic and commercial experience, who can dissect the way a service is run and implement changes to drive cost savings. Specifically in demand are policy officers, who are able to navigate and contend with the policy changes the government continues to implement. Rent arrears is and always has been in huge demand, given it is the main source of income for housing associations and local authorities, with an immediate impact on the bottom line. We are seeing a marked increase in the demand for rental arrears officers who are skilled not only in rental arrears recovery, but also taking preventative measures such as educating tenants on how to avoid going into arrears moving forward. We are also witnessing an increase in demand for temporary and contract housing professionals, as a number of housing organisations internally restructure their teams to support policy changes. This results is an increased need for interims, from strategy to support level, whilst restructures are taking place. Today’s housing candidate needs the ability to be effective in a quickly changing environment, possess commercial awareness and the ability to respond to challenging situations creatively. Due to cost cutting measures across the sector, candidates need to be aware that lower rates may be offered compared with previous years, and they may need to be more flexible. Interestingly, we are seeing a rise in clients and candidates using social media platforms like LinkedIn and social housing website forums to reach out to recruiters, reducing the reliance on the traditional method of job board advertising. The housing team here at Sellick Partnership have identified and responded to the demand for commercially minded housing professionals and can provide tailored recruitment solutions to housing associations, local authorities and charities. Please visit www.sellickpartnership.co.uk/housing for our latest vacancies within housing, or if you are interested in the sector please feel free to get in touch with me directly for a confidential chat on 01782 572000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Becoming a contractor within supported housing can be a rewarding and varied career choice if you are flexible and have a good knowledge of safeguarding processes. Below we outline some of our top tips to be successful in this sector. To download the infographic in full please click here.