Job Title: Patch Manager - 3277
On behalf of our Client, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, MPA Recruitment welcomes suitable applications for the role of Patch Manager in the Newtownabbey Area.
The prime characteristics of the grade are the management and control of staff and resources in relation to recognised objectives requiring specific decisions to be made in relation to a variety of issues. To provide a customer focussed housing management service within a designated neighbourhood or geographical area.
Location: Rathcoole Drive, Newtownabbey.
Hours of work: 37 hours per week (Monday to Friday: 09.00am to 5pm)
Salary range: £13.91
Closing Date: 13th November 2023
The main duties of this role can be broadly divided into 2 subcategories: Tenancy Management & Sustainment and Estate Management.
The role requires that all decisions taken should be made in accordance with the Housing Executive’s Standing Orders and Board Scheme of Delegations:
1) TENANCY MANAGEMENT & SUSTAINMENT, including
Tenancy termination & management of Housing Executive empty properties (voids).
Tenancy commencement activities.
Tenancy management of existing and new tenancies and other tenure types existing within Housing Executive managed estates / properties.
Secure tenants seeking to transfer to other social housing.
Succession, assignment, joint tenancy & direct exchange applications.
Income Collection and rent account management in respect of new, existing and outgoing tenants.
2) ESTATE MANAGEMENT, including
Planned maintenance and associated consultation, customer payments, organising, recording, and monitoring associated decant and other arrangements for tenants as necessary.
Community involvement, community cohesion and community safety.
Liaison with the Housing Executive’s leasehold unit regarding leaseholders within the patch, as necessary.
The following are not an exhaustive list of duties.
Patch Managers duties will include:
1) TENANCY MANAGEMENT & SUSTAINMENT
TENANCY TERMINATION & VOID MANAGEMENT:
Responsibility for void management within their ‘patch’ (excluding lettings), including generation, monitoring, and reporting on performance measures regarding tenancies that are re-let.
Dealing with tenant requests to terminate their tenancy. This includes exploring opportunities for tenancy sustainment, carrying out pre-termination visits (including making arrangements for payment of any arrears, identification of recoverable charges, discussing furniture and condition of property), carrying out viewings with prospective tenants, joint visits as required, liaising with customer and maintenance and liaising with other agencies.
TENANCY COMMENCEMENT: once the allocation of tenancy is accepted.
Managing the “sign up” process setting out tenant and landlord responsibilities under the Tenancy Agreement.
Helping the customer seek the support necessary to move into their tenancy, visiting the customer in their home as necessary liaising with other agencies, taking advance payment of rent, discussing affordability and payment of rent, and obtaining all evidence and proof of benefits as required to assist with the processing of Housing Benefit or signposting to make a Universal Credit application for Housing and rates costs as relevant.
Joint visits as required, liaising with customer and maintenance regarding Change of Tenancy (COT) repair work to be completed.
TENANCY MANAGEMENT: responsible for managing tenancies within the ‘patch’ (including, for example, those aspects of leasehold management in respect of schemes).
A key role of the Patch Manager is to support tenants to sustain their tenancy to support both individuals and to help sustain vibrant and stable communities. Main duties will include providing practical advice, information and support on a wide range of issues including housing, disabled facility adaptations, rent account management, personal finance & affordability (money management), and engaging support agencies at early stages of tenancy, throughout the tenancy and, if appropriate, when the tenant indicates they may terminate the tenancy.
Actively seek ways to sustain customers in their tenancies when appropriate through engagement with other agencies including statutory and voluntary sector etc.
Taking decisions and actions to resolve all issues in relation to ASB, occupation, squatters, tenancy fraud, confirmation of transition from introductory to secure tenancy, abandoned properties, non-occupation, scheme work, payments to customers, voids, and terminations (including pre-termination discussions, inspections, and key management). This includes the issuing of statutory notices and documentation or any other action prior to the decision whether to issue legal proceedings for the possession of dwelling.
Being the first point of contact in all matters relating to tenancies within their patch to take early action to prevent tenancy failure. (e.g., Notification of termination, Housing Benefit advice, queries about unresolved repairs, anti-social behaviour, arrears advice etc).
Understand the needs of vulnerable tenants and take necessary action to put in place appropriate housing-related support. This will involve sign posting and liaising with external agencies including social services, PSNI, Local Councils, PBNI, health and social care professionals, housing support agencies and others.
Liaise with relevant staff, departments, and agencies with regards to welfare adaptations and, when necessary, help tenants with planned move-on solutions (through working closely with Housing Advisors and other agencies).
Responsibility for repair requests and taking necessarily follow up action.
Identifying when a customer needs more intensive support from a support agency or supported housing.
Working closely and collaboratively with colleagues, stakeholders, and agencies to prevent homelessness.
TRANSFERS: all transfer requests by tenants within the ‘patch’.
Understanding a customer’s reasons for applying for a transfer, assessing a customer’s circumstances, conducting enquiries and collecting information to understand customer’s need before taking appropriate action shaped around the customer.
Making specific recommendations, and where appropriate advice, on suitability and affordability of available housing solutions based on understanding of customer’s need.
Inspection of the property and check of the rent account to establish if action should be taken by the customer before transferring from the property and deciding when the customer should not be added to the waiting list as a result.
When applicable, carry out housing assessments under the rules of the Housing Selection Scheme, undertake comprehensive investigations and make robust legal decisions and fulfil duties under the Housing Order (NI) 1988 (as amended).
SUCCESSIONS, ASSIGNMENTS, JOINT TENANCIES AND DIRECT EXCHANGES: conduct of investigations and recommendations on the following areas, and available to be consulted as the patch expert to provide comment on such matters to the Lettings Manager and others.
A customer’s statutory right or policy reason to succeed to a tenancy.
A customer’s legal right or policy reason for an assignment of tenancy, including direct exchanges, which would involve liaising with other patch managers for crosspatch tenancy assignments.
A customer/s policy reason for an award of joint tenancy in respect of an existing tenancy.
Active promotion of direct exchanges of tenancies when appropriate and beneficial to customers and communities.
Gathering of evidence and presentation of appropriate information for the Lettings Manager to make decisions as to who should (or should not) obtain a legal tenancy.
RENT ACCOUNTS OF NEW, EXISTING AND OUTGOING TENANTS: actively seek to sustain tenancies in relation to rent, finances; taking early and effective action to prevent and/or reduce arrears; responsible for all related decisions and action up to the point of pre-enforcement action, retaining ownership of such cases within their patch.
Work to understand the individual circumstances of the debtor and specific reason for the arrears.
Support new and ‘exiting’ tenants (take notice and collect any debts) with advice and assistance necessary to pay rent.
Carry out affordability checks before a customer starts a tenancy.
Help tenants maximise their household income.
Promote Financial Inclusion.
Signpost to specialist agencies re debt and personal finances.
Manage all rent accounts on tenancies within the patch using data analytics, relevant reports, and IT system-prompted recommended actions, identifying non- payment at the earliest possible stage, responding appropriately and promptly.
This will include attempts to recover outstanding arrears with co-operation of the tenant, voluntary agreements, recovery methods where the debtor is unwilling to repay the debt up to pre-enforcement action to keep rent arrears levels to a minimum.
Draw on the expertise of Income Collection Units as required in the management of current tenancies.
Ensure discussions are completed with outgoing tenants regarding payment of rent and making payment arrangements as required.
Ensure any exiting tenant accounts with arrears are handed to Income Collection Units with full information and evidence of action taken.
2) ESTATE MANAGEMENT
ESTATE MANAGEMENT: seek to support and sustain communities and resolve estate management issues which could contribute to failed tenancies or estate decline.
Manage matters in respect of leaseholders on their patch, excluding service charge collection and debt recovery.
Engage with external stakeholders in respect of community issues.
Ensure all tenants and residents are kept fully informed and consulted re. issues relating to their tenancy and estate.
Manage redevelopment issues as required.
Ensure Gas Certificates are up to date.
Liaise with Grounds Maintenance, Response Maintenance, and relevant agencies to ensure that properties and grounds within the patch are maintained to a high standard.
Highlight PLIC and health & safety issues to relevant parties.
Actively engage with other agencies regarding either breaches of the tenancy agreement or to safeguard our tenants in cases of alleged harassment, nuisance, and other disputes.
PLANNED MAINTENANCE SCHEMES: responsible for the planned maintenance schemes within the ‘patch’, liaising with relevant departments within NIHE and parties outside NIHE.
Contribution to scheme initiation activities
Carrying out tenant consultation for planned maintenance schemes.
Act as a liaison between planned maintenance contractors, residents, and tenants.
Verification, authorisation, and processing scheme payments to tenants as necessary within delegated limits of authority.
Oversee and monitor arrangements for decanting tenants to alternate properties while work is being carried out to their home, including arranging and monitoring abatement of rent.
Conducting property surveys to update rent attributes linked to the calculation of rent charges and updating systems with regards to property information.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT, COMMUNITY COHESION AND COMMUNITY SAFETY: seek to support and encourage the development of healthy, safe, sustainable, and cohesive communities and will be the first point of contact in all matters relating to Community Involvement, Community Safety and Community Cohesion for their patch.
Engage with all relevant community and resident groups and representatives in their patch.
Act as the public representative of the Housing Executive in the “patch” including attending meetings outside normal working hours Inter-Agency, ASB forums etc.
Encourage community participation and involvement.
Engage with community stakeholders, relevant agencies and Housing Executive departments for continued development, cohesion & good relations, sustainability, and safety of the community.
Effectively manage Community Lets.
Resolve community safety issues as required within the patch, resolve anti-social behaviour working with relevant agencies to prevent and resolve anti-social behaviour in a speedy and effective manner. This includes responsibility for authorising and serving legal notices (e.g., Notices of Seeking Possession).
· To provide a high level of internal and external customer service including taking ownership of customer queries and complaints and following issues through to completion, while ensuring timely escalation to the Team Leader, when required.
· To ensure continued and effective working relationships with key internal and external stakeholders, and the wider Housing team.
· To represent the Housing Team as required and provide support and cover for the other project team members as and when required.
· To undertake the duties in such a way as to enhance and protect the reputation and public profile of NIHE.
· To comply with all NIHE frameworks, policies, and procedures, including but not limited to those relating to legal requirements such as equality, health and safety and information governance.
· To direct and signpost managers and officers to the appropriate source for issues outside the remit of this post.
· To manage performance measures to understand and improve the business.
· To record all outcomes ensuring they are Proportionate, Legal, Auditable & Necessary.
· To draft responses to letters and complaints on behalf of the Business Area Manager pertaining to their caseload.
· Undertake any duties deemed appropriate to the achievement of the purpose and function of the post to meet organisational need.
Note: This summary of responsibilities and personal duties is not intended to be exhaustive. This role will develop and change in line with strategic corporate programmes and projects.
Knowledge, Skills and Experience:
Hold a degree (Level 6*) or equivalent and a minimum of 1 year’s relevant experience in a customer support environment.
Hold a BTEC Higher Cert/Diploma (Level 5*) qualification in Housing and a minimum of 1 year’s relevant experience in a customer support environment.
Hold a BTEC Higher Cert/Diploma (Level 5*) or equivalent and a minimum of 2 years relevant experience in a customer support environment.
Can demonstrate equivalent continuing professional development or experiential learning and at least 3 years relevant experience in a customer support environment.
Experience of working in a customer focused environment with a proven ability of delivering a high standard of customer service
Ability to work effectively with partners and develop professional relationships & networks across a wide range of services.
Good problem-solving skills: taking a pragmatic approach to understand and solve complex issues
Successfully managing and prioritising a challenging workload with a wide range of responsibilities
Ability to communicate effectively with customers and other professionals in challenging situations.
Possess a current driving licence or have access to a form of transport that enables them to meet the requirements of the post in full including with reasonable travel timeframes.
Demonstrate ability to make effective decisions on complex issues supported by knowledge, experience and appropriate policy and guidelines.
A Basic Access NI Check is required at a cost of £18.
How to Apply
To apply for this position please send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or for further information and a confidential discussion on this post please call Chris at our Belfast office on 02895 211111
Please ensure your CV is accurate and updated with full personal contact details, education history, qualifications, and employment history.
MPA Recruitment are operating as an Employment Business in relation to this vacancy.
MPA are committed to providing equality of opportunity in employment and welcome applications from all suitably qualified applicants irrespective of gender, marital or family status, religious belief, political opinion, disability, age, race, nationality, or sexual orientation.