The work is varied with duties that range from answering enquiries, interviewing clients, assessing problems and writing reports, to acting as an advocate, lobbying or mediating on a client's behalf and providing legal advice. Other responsibilities include:
- maintaining records
- compiling statistics
- attending meetings
- interpreting legislation
- researching cases
Referral and liaison with landlords and related organisations is another key feature of the work.
- Local authorities
- Specialist housing advice centres
- General advice centres such as the citizens advice bureau and independent or neighbourhood advice centres
- Voluntary and charitable organisations
The small numbers of vacancies and formal training opportunities that arise normally attract strong competition. Jobs are advertised online, in newspapers, in local authority jobs lists and in a range of publications including Opportunities, the Municipal Journal and 24 Housing, plus their online equivalents. Directories such as The Municipal Yearbook and the Voluntary Agencies Directory may be helpful for speculative applications.
There are no set qualifications for becoming a housing adviser, so it’s possible to enter the profession both with or without a degree. Skills and experience are usually more important than qualifications; however, a degree in the following subjects could prove beneficial: law; politics; guidance or counselling; psychology; social or community work; public or social administration; and social sciences. Previous relevant paid or voluntary work experience is essential prior to entry into the profession.
To find out about other careers in the public sector that you can get into via a school leaver route (eg an apprenticeship or school leaver programme) see the public sector section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Caring and approachable
- Good verbal and written communication skills