About the Borough
This special place in South West London between the capital and the country has been a Royal borough longer than anywhere else - it is where the first kings of England were crowned.
Today it is a vibrant and diverse borough, with a long history and strong cultural and community heritage. Kingston's riverside location, fantastic retail offer, historic market place and church, parks and gardens all make Kingston town centre the vibrant space it is, and each of our district town centres (Surbiton, New Malden, Tolworth and Chessington) have something unique to offer.
Situated in Zone 6, Kingston is among the best-connected town centres in London – with direct train links from Kingston and Surbiton stations to Clapham Junction and London Waterloo, as well as Wimbledon for an interchange with the London Underground and Tramlink.
Kingston’s people are innovative and entrepreneurial, and have a strong sense of community pride. The borough has been home to great industry and creativity for many years, reflected in assets such as the Rose Theatre, the International Youth Arts Festival and Kingston University, which boasts more new graduate business start-ups than any other.
We have seen tremendous generosity and compassion within our communities, particularly in response to COVID-19, which is a demonstration of Kingston’s key strength. The council offers a strong level of support to vulnerable groups and those who need additional support, which has also increased significantly as a result of the pandemic. Like most places, the average age of our population is rising as more people are living longer, so we are working closely with residents to help them maintain their independence and further improve the cost effectiveness of our service to meet the ongoing rise in demand.
Kingston is home to people from diverse and interesting cultures and backgrounds, which helps to create the rich sense of community shared across the borough. In particular, Kingston has a large Sri Lankan Tamil community and is home to more people from Korea than any other part of the UK.
About the Role
We have 3 new positions available to join the Housing Solutions team! The new posts are designed to support people while they are in temporary accommodation and empower them to take the next step in their housing journey and move on to more settled living arrangements.
You will work very closely with Housing Solutions Colleagues, Rehousing, Temporary Accomodation and Supply teams. You will spend some of your time in our offices in Kingston, but the majority of your time will be spent visiting people in our Temporary Accommodation across London & Surrey so you must have the ability to travel.
This is a highly varied role and your typical day can consist of:
Visiting people in temporary accommodation, supporting with day to day issues to ensure they can maintain the accommodation and at the same time helping them to actively look for alternative accommodation
Doing a lot of multi-agency work and negotiation with landlords
Having honest and open conversations with customers about their housing options
Helping people find alternative accommodation in the private rented sector
The Community Housing Service helps people secure and keep housing and avert crisis.We provide a range of housing and homelessness prevention support across Kingston. This is an exciting time to join us, we are transforming the service with a focus on a resilient and efficient service that prevents homelessness and puts customers at its heart.
The Housing Solutions team consists of two managers and 11 staff and is based in our centrally located offices in Kingston. You will be joining a busy and hardworking team during a time of transformational change where every day offers an opportunity to make a positive difference
We are looking for someone who enjoys assisting others and finding solutions for people and has an understanding of housing and homelessness. You will need strong communication skills, ideally with case management skills. You will need to have previously worked with people needing support - this experience may have been gained in a local authority, housing association or charity.
This is an ideal job to step up into if you have face to face experience with those in a housing crisis. Previous experience could be a visiting officer, a benefits advisor or a support worker.
In order to successfully deliver the responsibilities of the role, you will need to:
Question and challenge ways of working, with an understanding of the bigger picture in terms of the corporate context and external environment
Demonstrate agility and adaptability in mindset and ways of working
Work successfully with key stakeholders within and outside of the Council
Demonstrate commitment to own personal and professional development to meet the changing demands of the role
Demonstrate innovation and creativity
Actively engage in positive cross organisational communications and team working
Communicate clearly, confidently and appropriately with colleagues using the best methods of communication for the task.
For more in-depth information about the role, please refer to the job description and additional documents.
Our Offer To You
As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we’re committed to helping you fulfil your potential and will offer you a supportive, friendly and collaborative environment to grow and develop your career and skills. We’re constantly striving to improve our ways of working so putting your ideas across however big or small; will be fully encouraged and supported by your colleagues and our dynamic and experienced management team.
In addition we offer a modern and flexible working environment for our staff supported by our IT infrastructure, Google Chromebooks and Google Apps, which have acted as a key enabler for collaborative and streamlined working. The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to be even more flexible in how we work and manage staff workloads, ensuring they have the correct equipment and resources to be able to maximise their talents and looking after their wellbeing.
Employees have access to a wide range of benefits, some of which include:
Generous annual leave entitlement plus bank holidays (pro-rata if part-time working hours apply)
Three volunteering days per year
Flexible and agile working arrangements
Comprehensive learning and development programme
Discounts on a range of local shops, restaurants, gyms and leisure centres
Interest free season ticket loans
Local Government Pension Scheme
Bicycle loan facilities and cycle to work scheme
Zip car scheme
Free eye tests and contribution towards glasses
Confidential wellbeing and counselling support
Subsidised gym membership
Please apply online outlining what skills, abilities and experience you can bring which makes you an ideal candidate for this role. Please ensure you refer to the requirements outlined in the job profile when completing your application.
The closing date is given as a guide. We reserve the right to close this vacancy once a sufficient number of applications has been received. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you complete and submit your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Anticipated Interview Date(s)
Week Commencing 12th June
We pride ourselves on being a diverse, tolerant and welcoming Borough and we aim to create a workforce which reflects the community we serve. We are respectful of difference and realise the positive value of diversity in our workforce. We welcome and encourage job applications from people of all backgrounds and particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates and disabled candidates as these groups are currently under-represented in our workforce.
We are proud to be recognised as a Disability Confident employer, and are committed to thinking differently about disability and taking action to improve how we recruit, retain and develop disabled people. We guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum/essential criteria for the role.
We offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies, flexible working arrangements, staff engagement forums, and inclusive staff networks who help drive our diversity agenda.
We are an accredited London Living Wage Employer and this means that everyone working at the Royal Borough of Kingston, regardless of whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors and suppliers receive the London Living Wage. The real Living Wage is higher than the government’s minimum, or National Living Wage, and is an independently calculated hourly rate of pay that is based on the actual cost of living.
The UK has introduced a new points-based immigration system affecting EU and Non-EU workers and sponsorship requirements. We advise checking the GOV.UK website for right to work guidance.
Important Information - Criminal Records
This post is exempted under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and as such appointment to this post will be conditional upon the receipt of a satisfactory result to a check of police records via Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).