The role of a housing officer includes managing the housing services for housing associations, local government and other providers of accommodation. They will normally deal with collecting rent, dealing with antisocial behaviour and making repairs to property. Housing officers also work with certain groups to ensure housing for homeless people, minority groups and people with disabilities.
The role of a housing officer will include setting rents and collecting them from tenants, and dealing with arrears, if and when they arise. It is also the job of the housing officer to inspect properties and process applications for housing repairs and improvements. In addition, they coordinate nuisance orders and deal with antisocial behaviour from tenants, preparing cases for court and attending hearings. A housing officer will also liaise with cleaners, maintenance staff and caretakers and deal with housing applications, transferring tenants when necessary.
The work of a housing officer is based both in an office environment and outside on the housing areas they work for. While on-site, a housing officer will typically meet with tenants, organise for repairs to be done, and do estate walkabouts. The role involves a working week of around 37 hours, Monday to Friday, although an odd evening or weekend meeting with residents may be required from time to time.
The role of a housing officer is available to all graduates with bachelor's degrees. Those who studied housing, facilities management, urban studies, planning, economics or sociology or social policy may stand a better chance of landing a job. Good housing officers are excellent communicators with valuable negotiating skills They have an interest in working with different social groups and possess organizational skills.
Housing officers start their careers as tenancy support officers, housing assistants, or housing administrators. With experience and training candidates can then progress through to housing officer. Some larger housing authorities offer graduate trainee programs for recent graduates. Housing officers then specialise in a specific area such as homelessness, antisocial behaviour, special needs housing, or urban renewal and regeneration.
The largest employers of housing officers tend to be local authorities and housing associations. Other major employers include housing action trusts, universities, charities, public service departments such as health authorities, and private sector and commercial housing.