The role of the Housing Ombudsman is to resolve disputes involving members of the Scheme, including making awards of compensation or other remedies when appropriate, and supporting effective landlord-tenant dispute resolution by others. The Housing Ombudsman provides an independent, fair and impartial service and aims to achieve improvement in complaint handling in the sector throughout the process, supporting and advising landlords, tenants and designated persons to achieve more effective dispute resolution within their local procedures.
The Housing Ombudsman Scheme is approved by the Secretary of State under Section 51 of and Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1996. Membership of the Scheme is compulsory for social landlords (primarily housing associations who are or have been registered with the social housing regulator) and local authority landlords. Additionally, a number private landlords are voluntary members. The Localism Act 2011 also gave ‘designated persons’ a role in dealing with disputes between members of the Scheme and their residents, and in referring complaints that have not been resolved through the landlord’s procedures to the Housing Ombudsman.
The purpose of the Housing Ombudsman Scheme is to enable tenants and other individuals to have complaints about members investigated by the Housing Ombudsman. The Scheme came into effect on 1 April 2013 and replaced the Independent Housing Ombudsman Scheme that had been in operation since 1996.
The Housing Ombudsman Scheme is financed entirely on a membership subscription basis.
Further information on the work of the Housing Ombudsman can be found at: http://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/
The role of the Housing Ombudsman is complex and challenging. At the highest level, the Housing Ombudsman’s role is to:
- Ensure high quality services to residents and landlords using the Housing Ombudsman Scheme, and that all enquiries and complaints are dealt with appropriate consideration, fairness and to agreed timelines;
- Ensure that the organisation provides an excellent quality of service;
- Lead the organisation in the formulation and delivery of its strategy and business plan and in line with the Housing Ombudsman Scheme; and
- Ensure that strong governance is in place that meets best practice and government requirements.
- Ensure effective relationships with Government Ministers and with Parliament in carrying out the independent role of Housing Ombudsman.
- Act as a high profile advocate for independent complaints handling.
- Ensuring overarching targets and milestones are progressed and achieved.
Other responsibilities of the Ombudsman include:
- Leading the senior team in the execution of Housing Ombudsman Services’ corporate objectives, taking advice from the Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee and the Panel of Advisors.
- Developing the annual budget and subscription rate in partnership with MHCLG.
- Being the ambassador for Housing Ombudsman Services, influencing and networking with key decision makers and stakeholders.
- Working collaboratively with landlords, MHCLG, tenant and leaseholder representative organisations and other stakeholders.
- Holding the senior team to account for the effective use of public funds and driving value for money.
- Ensuring that Housing Ombudsman Services’ affairs are conducted with probity, and that high standards of corporate governance are observed at all times.
- Ensuring that the Service operates within the limits of its statutory authority and in accordance with the authority delegated from its sponsoring Department (MHCLG) and with guidance issued by it (embodied in the Framework Agreement, Accounting Officer delegation letter, and annual budget delegation letter).
- Fulfilling Accounting Officer responsibilities by ensuring public funds and assets are utilised effectively and that high standards of financial administration are adhered to in line with Managing Public Money and the Cabinet Office spending controls guidance and avoiding conflicts of interest.
- Acting in accordance with the seven principles of public life.
For a full description of the person specification/role criteria and how to apply, please see the Candidate Information Pack at https://publicappointments.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/appointment/the-housing-ombudsman/. Please send us your application (a covering letter setting out how you meet the criteria, your CV and your completed annexes A-F) to firstname.lastname@example.org by Midnight on 4th February 2019. Please include the reference “THO Campaign” in the title of your email.