How to start a career in Social Housing

16th March 2021

A career in Social Housing can be extremely rewarding. From helping people to find secure accommodation to connecting them with community supports, this field of work is ideal for people who enjoy supporting others. You might assist clients who are dealing with issues such as homelessness, unemployment, domestic violence or substance abuse. Your role might involve referring them to other support services to help them navigate a difficult time in their life. Or you might source appropriate housing for clients and assist them with rental application paperwork.

Working in Social Housing requires a range of skills. You might be coordinating services for multiple clients at once so it’s important that you are organised. Communication skills are essential because you’ll not only be dealing with a range of clients, you’ll also be liaising with other stakeholders such as real estate agents or landlords. It’s important that you are a good problem solver as you assess your clients’ needs and help them to access relevant supports. You’ll need to be a good listener and be able to understand your clients’ situations well.

If you’re interested in a career in Social Housing, the following courses can help you get started:

Certificate IV in Community Services
The Certificate IV in Community Services is an excellent introduction to working in Social Housing. You’ll learn how to build strong relationships with your clients and refer them to various community supports and programs. You may be able to specialise in a particular area of interest such as mental health, suicide, domestic violence or substance abuse. This course includes a work placement so you’ll gain important real world experience.

Diploma of Community Services
A Diploma of Community Services can help you develop the skills to coordinate support services for clients with complex needs. You’ll learn to assess the individual needs of your clients and create a support plan. This course explores techniques for delivering a community service program as well as referring your clients to other services within the community. You might address a range of issues from housing to child protection and mental health services.

Diploma of Youth Work
A Diploma of Youth Work is a great qualification if you want to address social housing issues among young people. You’ll learn to support young people in crisis and help them to overcome challenging times in their lives. This course shows you how to organise youth programs and help your clients to access other available support services. You might work with young people facing issues such as substance abuse, unemployment or homelessness.

A Social Housing qualification could lead to a range of careers including the following job roles:

Housing Officer
A Housing Officer helps people who are facing challenges finding accommodation to meet their needs. You might source available properties and help clients with rental applications. You might also help clients access other support services for issues such as domestic violence, unemployment or mental health.

Social Worker
Social Workers assist people to work through difficult personal issues such as substance abuse or family breakdowns. You might refer clients to support services such as counsellors, employment services or housing providers. Social workers may assess their clients’ needs and create a support plan to meet their individual circumstances.

Case Manager
A Case Manager usually works with clients who have multiple or complex needs. You’ll make sure they’re getting the support they require and help them to access community services and programs. Case Managers might address issues such as homelessness, mental health, substance abuse or relationship breakdowns.

Getting started

If you’re interested in a career in Social Housing, it’s important you find the right course to suit your needs. Contact a range of different providers and collect information about the various courses they have on offer. Once you have all the information you can compare the details and work out which qualification is the best fit for your career plans. Course providers usually vary in the way they deliver their programs so make sure you find out about the duration of the course, costs, any prerequisites and the content the course will cover.

Written by Jodie Magrath
Jodie Magrath
Jodie is a freelance writer with a background in communication and journalism. She’s spent almost 20 years working in roles such as Special Projects Writer and Publications Officer.

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