A sector that is always changing…
Sam Wilson, November 18, 2014
As the world changes so do the needs of society, this in turn requires frontline housing services to change along with it. No profession can afford to sit still, least of all housing.
The role of frontline housing officers have already changed significantly and will continue to do so both in the duties they carry out and the qualities and characteristics required of the individuals.
In the past all service users will have been judged by the same standards and criteria, one of the most significant changes has been the introduction of a differentiated service that uses data to guide where officer time is used rather than providing a blanket service.
There has also been the introduction of a relational service in which officers’ work alongside residents rather than simply doing things for them. This enables residents to eventually do certain things for themselves and live more independently.
Housing officers are already required to possess a decent knowledge of local services and this is becoming increasingly important. The interactive nature of the role will increase as relationships with local agents will need to be stronger in order to provide a personalised service for users.
The changes have begun…
The remit of a Housing Officer has already changed significantly and will continue to do so. The idea of a “social heart and commercial head” will become increasingly significant, as officers will be required to maintain a focus on service users best interests whilst developing a commercial awareness especially when it comes to the neighbourhoods they are servicing.
Housing Officers are already required to advise on various social aspects including employment opportunities, community cohesion, education and health as well as work closely with local agencies to stay up-to-date with developments. They will then use this knowledge as a tool in their work, either giving advice and guidance themselves or signposting the correct place for residents to go to get the help they need.
The responsive nature of the profession allows it to change along with society and place a focus on continuous improvement in order to properly service the needs of its most vulnerable users. In order to effectively to do so there will be an increasing need for dynamic individuals with a talent for problem solving and the ability to quickly adapt to new conditions and surroundings. The housing sector wants to recruit housing professionals that think outside the box, who can work collaboratively with others and who continually strive to improve the services they offer.
It is for these reasons that the housing sector has such a bright future and offers an exciting career path for talented and dynamic individuals.