Housing support workers provide support and assistance to elderly, people with a physical impairment or learning disability, homeless people, ex-drug addicts, ex-alcohol addicts or ex-offenders.
Housing support workers typically do the following duties:
- assess the needs of people applying for housing
- give people vacant accommodation
- carry out regular inspections
- deal with anti-social behaviour and broken tenancy agreements
- refer people to advice on benefits and welfare
- set rents and deal with payments and arrears
- gather statistical information and prepare reports
- attend meetings
- arrange for things like broken lifts and boilers to be repaired
- work with other agencies like social services
The following job titles also refer to housing support worker:
assistant housing support worker
housing outreach worker
support worker (housing)
senior housing support worker
housing advice worker
housing support officer
Housing support workers may work for local authorities, charities, or other organizations that provide housing-related services. They may work in office settings or in the community, visiting clients in their own homes or other locations. The work can be demanding, with a high degree of emotional involvement and the need to work with people who may be experiencing complex and difficult issues.
Housing support workers may come from a variety of backgrounds, but most employers require a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent. Relevant qualifications or experience in areas such as social work, counseling, or housing management may be an advantage. Many employers provide on-the-job training, and some may require additional qualifications, such as a certification in housing management or a related field. Good communication and interpersonal skills, as well as a non-judgmental and empathetic approach, are essential for success in this role.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Housing support worker is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Housing support worker career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to housing support worker.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of housing support worker. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of housing support worker with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of housing support worker.
- Customer service: Processes and principles related to the customer, client, service user and to personal services; these may include procedures to evaluate customer’s or service user’s satisfaction.
- Legal requirements in the social sector: The prescribed legislative and regulatory requirements in the social sector.
- Social sciences: The development and characteristics of sociological, anthropological, psychological, political, and social policy theories.
- Social justice: The development and principles of human rights and social justice and the way they should be applied on a case by case basis.
- Company policies: The set of rules that govern the activity of a company.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of housing support worker.
- Support harmed social service users: Take action where there are concerns that individuals are at risk of harm or abuse and support those who make a disclosure.
- Provide social counselling: Assist and guide social service users to resolve personal, social or psychological problems and difficulties.
- Assist disabled individuals to participate in community activities: Facilitate disabled individuals` inclusion in the community and support them to establish and maintain relationships through access to community activities, venues and services.
- Involve service users and carers in care planning: Evaluate the needs of individuals in relation to their care, involve families or carers in supporting the development and implementation of support plans. Ensure review and monitoring of these plans.
- Work within communities: Establish social projects aimed at community development and active citizen participation.
- Meet standards of practice in social services: Practice social care and social work in a lawful, safe and effective way according to standards.
- Support social service users in skills management: Provide support to individuals in determining the skills they need in they everyday lives and help them in their skills development.
- Apply quality standards in social services: Apply quality stardards in social services while upholding social work values and principles.
- Apply problem solving in social service: Systematically apply a step-by-step problem-solving process in providing social services.
- Protect vulnerable social service users: Intervene to provide physical, moral and psychological support to people in dangerous or difficult situations and to remove to a place of safety where appropriate.
- Contribute to protecting individuals from harm: Use established processes and procedures to challenge and report dangerous, abusive, discriminatory or exploitative behaviour and practice, bringing any such behaviour to the attention of the employer or the appropriate authority.
- Monitor service users’ health: Perform routine monitoring of client’s health, such as taking temperature and pulse rate.
- Undertake risk assessment of clients: Follow risk assessment policies and procedures to assess the risk of a client harming him or herself or others, taking the appropriate steps to minimise the risk.
- Deliver social services in diverse cultural communities: Deliver services which are mindful of different cultural and language traditions, showing respect and validation for communities and being consistent with policies regarding human rights and equality and diversity.
- Conduct interview in social service: Induce clients, colleagues, executives, or public officials to talk fully, freely, and truthfully, so as to explore the interviewee`s experiences, attitudes, and opinions.
- Demonstrate leadership in social service cases: Take the lead in the practical handling of social work cases and activities.
- Communicate professionally with colleagues in other fields: Communicate professionally and cooperate with members of the other professions in the health and social services sector.
- Follow health and safety precautions in social care practices: Ensure hygienic work practice, respecting the safety of the environment at day care, residential care settings and care at home.
- Promote social change: Promote changes in relationships between individuals, families, groups, organisations and communities by taking into consideration and coping with unpredictable changes, at the micro, macro and mezzo level.
- Advocate for social service users: Speak for and on behalf of service users, using communicative skills and knowledge of relevant fields to assist those less advantaged.
- Prevent social problems: Develop, define and implement actions that can prevent social problems, striving for the enhancement of the quality of life for all citizens.
- Support social service users’ positiveness: Work with individuals to identify difficulties associated with their self esteem and sense of identity and support them to implement strategies like to develop more positive self images.
- Maintain privacy of service users: Respect and maintain the dignity and privacy of the client, protecting his or her confidential information and clearly explaining policies about confidentiality to the client and other parties involved.
- Support service users in developing skills: Encourage and support social service users in sociocultural activities in the organisation or in the community, supporting the development of leisure and work skills.
- Promote service users’ rights: Supporting client`s rights to control his or her life, making informed choices about the services they receive, respecting and, where appropriate, promoting the individual views and wishes of both the client and his or her caregivers.
- Apply person-centred care: Treat individuals as partners in planning, developing and assessing care, to make sure it is appropriate for their needs. Put them and their caregivers at the heart of all decisions.
- Encourage social service users to preserve their independence in their daily activities: Encourage and support the service user to preserve independence in performing his/her daily activities and personal care, assisting the service user with eating, mobility, personal care, making beds, doing laundry, preparing meals, dressing, transporting the client to doctor`s appointments, and helping with medications or running errands.
- Assess social service users’ situation: Assess the social situation of service users situation balancing curiosity and respect in the dialogue, considering their families, organisations and communities and the associated risks and identifying the needs and resources, in order to meet physical, emotional and social needs.
- Assist social service users with physical disabilities: Help service users with mobility problems and other physical disabilities such as incontinence, assisting in the use and care of aids and personal equipment.
- Support social service users to live at home: Support social service users to develop their own personal resources and work with them to access additional resources, services and facilities.
- Handle conflicts: Mediate in conflicts and tense situations by acting between parties, such as service users, important others like families, and institutions, striving to effect an agreement, reconciliate, and resolve problems.
- Relate empathetically: Recognise, understand and share emotions and insights experienced by another.
- Support service users to use technological aids: Work with individuals to identify appropriate aids, supporting them to use specific technological aids and review their effectiveness.
- Listen actively: Give attention to what other people say, patiently understand points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times; able to listen carefully the needs of customers, clients, passengers, service users or others, and provide solutions accordingly.
- Manage social crisis: Identify, respond and motivate individuals in social crisis situations, in a timely manner, making use of all resources.
- Review social service plan: Review social service plans, taking service users’ views and preferences into account. Follow up on the plan, assessing the quantity and quality of services provided.
- Apply decision making within social work: Take decisions when called for, staying within the limits of granted authority and considering the input from the service user and other caregivers.
- Adhere to organisational guidelines: Adhere to organisational or department specific standards and guidelines. Understand the motives of the organisation and the common agreements and act accordingly.
- Apply holistic approach within social services: Consider the social service user in any situation, recognising the connections between micro-dimension, meso-dimension, and macro-dimension of social problems, social development and social policies.
- Delegate activities: Delegate activities and tasks to others according to the ability, level of preparation, competence and legal scope of practice. Make sure that people understand what they should do and when they should do it.
- Work in a multicultural environment in health care: Interact, relate and communicate with individuals from a variety of different cultures, when working in a healthcare environment.
- Apply socially just working principles: Work in accordance with management and organisational principles and values focusing on human rights and social justice.
- Promote inclusion: Promote inclusion in health care and social services and respect diversity of beliefs, culture, values and preferences, keeping in mind the importance of equality and diversity issues.
- Maintain records of work with service users: Maintain accurate, concise, up-to-date and timely records of the work with service users while complying with legislation and policies related to privacy and security.
- Report on social development: Report results and conclusions on society’s social development in an intelligible way, presenting these orally and in written form to a range of audiences from non-experts to experts.
- Undertake continuous professional development in social work: Undertake continuous professional development (CPD) to continuously update and develop knowledge, skills and competences within one`s scope of practice in social work.
- Tolerate stress: Maintain a temperate mental state and effective performance under pressure or adverse circumstances.
- Refer service users to community resources: Refer clients to community resources for services such as job or debt counselling, legal aid, housing, medical treatment, or financial assistance, providing concrete information, such as where to go and how to apply.
- Advise on housing: Inform and support individuals or tenants in finding available housing opportunities, according to their particular needs, as well as liaise with authorities, in order to help individuals lead independent lives.
- Apply organisational techniques: Employ a set of organisational techniques and procedures which facilitate the achievement of the goals set. Use these resources efficiently and sustainably, and show flexibility when required.
- Communicate with social service users: Use verbal, non-verbal, written, and electronic communication. Pay attention to the specific social service users’ needs, characteristics, abilities, preferences, age, developmental stage, and culture.
- Support social service users with specific communication needs: Identify individuals who have specific communication preferences and needs, supporting them to interact with other people and monitoring communication to identify changing needs.
- Assist social service users in formulating complaints: Help social services users and caregivers file complaints, taking the complaints seriously and responding to them or passing them to the appropriate person.
- Maintain the trust of service users: Establish and maintain the trust and confidence of the client, communicating in an appropriate, open, accurate and straightforward way and being honest and reliable.
- Accept own accountability: Accept accountability for one`s own professional activities and recognise the limits of one`s own scope of practice and competencies.
- Manage stress in organisation: Cope with sources of stress and cross-pressure in one’s own professional life, such as occupational, managerial, institutional and personal stress, and help others do the same so as to promote the well-being of your colleagues and avoid burn-out.
- Comply with legislation in social services: Act according to policy and legal requirements in providing social services.
- Build helping relationship with social service users: Develop a collaborative helping relationship, addressing any ruptures or strains in the relationship, fostering bonding and gaining service users` trust and cooperation through empathic listening, caring, warmth and authenticity.
ISCO group and title
3412 – Social work associate professionals
- Housing support worker – ESCO
- Housing officer | Explore careers – National Careers Service
- Housing Workers | The Homeless Hub
- Featured image: By Amanda Bicknell – This image is from the FEMA Photo Library (obsolete as of 2019). Public Domain