Housing, Community and Neighbourhoods

Rural Housing Enabler





Rural Housing Enabler – Guildford, Surrey - £35,000 with flexible and agile working

Location: Guildford, Surrey

Reference: 610825

About Surrey Community Action
Surrey Community Action exists to support Surrey’s voluntary sector, the diverse communities of Surrey, and other organisations who seek to work with both. They do this in four main (and lots of other) ways:
  • Advocacy and Representation
    They ensure that non-voluntary sector stakeholders understand the value of our sector and how to work together to achieve shared objectives.
  • Services to the Voluntary Sector
    They provide services to Surrey’s voluntary sector that increase their effectiveness or fill gaps in their capability, capacity, and resilience.
  • Services to the Surrey’s Communities
    They provide services directly to Surrey’s communities that support community action and address unsupported needs.
  • Increasing Understanding
    They research issues, collate, and analyse data, and disseminate information necessary for the VCFS to survive and thrive.
They work on behalf of their wider stakeholders, defined as anyone that works with or alongside the voluntary sector and would benefit from a closer relationship or better understanding. Such stakeholders include Surrey County Council, Surrey’s District and Borough Councils, Parish Councils, health bodies, Central Government and other statutory bodies, plus private sector organisations and support structures.

Much of their work is with other community organisations, including community building management groups, voluntary car scheme organisers, councils, and others, but they also run projects and activities targeted at individuals within communities, such as fuel poverty advice, and support to Surrey’s Gypsy and Travellers, hence they have two strategic focus areas; the Services to the Voluntary Sector that they provide, and their Services to Surrey’s Communities.

Company Benefits
The role is 35 hours a week Monday to Friday (9-5) from their Burpham office, home or a mix of both with occasional evening meetings with Parish Councils.  The role can be flexible to accommodate family and caring commitments.

You will have to travel across Surrey and sometimes beyond, so access to transport would be an advantage where public transport is not an option (Surrey Community Action can support you into Access to Work scheme as needed).

The salary for this post is £35,000 per annum and they also offer:
  • Flexible working
  • 5% employers pension contribution
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Paid volunteering leave
  • Free on-site parking
  • 25 days holiday with an additional three days between Christmas and New Year, as well as all English Bank Holidays

Surrey Community Actions Commitment to Development

*Surrey Community Action recognise that this is a specialist role, and to encourage recruitment of the best person for the job, a successful candidate who otherwise meets other criteria for the role but lacks a formal qualification, Surrey Community Action will support you to study for the CIH Level 3 Certificate in Housing Practice alongside performing your role. Surrey Community Action will cover the costs of this online qualification.

About the role of Rural Housing Enabler
Supporting affordable rural housing is an important aspect of their service to rural communities in Surrey. Many people in rural Surrey, in particular young people and families, find themselves unable to live in the rural communities they grew up in and belong to due to limited availability and high cost of homes. The organisation help local people create local housing that is affordable and provide homes for local people in perpetuity.

To realise their ambitions to provide the best possible support to Surrey’s rural housing projects, they are looking for a Senior Rural Housing Enabler that can:
  • Work in partnership with local communities, Local Authorities, Housing Associations and their existing Rural Housing Enabler to achieve affordable rural housing across rural areas of Surrey.
  • Engage with communities, housing organisations, Parish Councils, Local Authorities, landowners, developers, agents, planners, other partners and community leaders to bring forward sites and solutions to meet local need through the provision of affordable housing projects on rural sites.

Main tasks and Responsibilities
  • Support, advise and steer communities, and town and parish councillors from their initial interest in providing affordable housing, through scheme inception and pre-development phases to completion.
  • Facilitate the Surrey Rural Housing Group, developing an annual workplan for partners’ agreement, ensuring that regular partnership meetings take place and provide pipeline monitoring reports to inform prioritisation of RHE activity.
  • Work closely with Local Planning Authority and Local Housing Authority officers to develop policy and strategies and share practical initiatives and good practice to support the delivery of rural affordable housing.
  • Develop the work of the Partnership by engaging with potential new stakeholders including councillors, landowners, land agents, and other Registered Providers encouraging them to support the development of rural affordable housing.
  • Work with the other Rural Housing Enabler to undertake housing needs surveys and present the results back to parish councils and community members so that they fully understand local housing needs in their parish.
  • Work with Partnership members and parish councils to understand the blockages preventing rural housing development and put in place strategies and actions to tackle these issues.
  • Work with parish councillors, Partnership members and landowners to find suitable land options for affordable housing sites, where necessary undertake ‘calls for land’ and organise parish walks to identify sites to help bring forward housing schemes.
  • Create a supportive policy and political environment for rural affordable housing by providing training and advice to key stakeholders such as councillors, housing officers and community groups.
  • Attend ACRE training, national meetings and events on rural housing policy and report back on any important aspects to colleagues.
  • Assist rural communities and their Parish Councils to secure assistance from any relevant agency in promoting affordable housing schemes to meet local needs, and to facilitate good communications between all parties involved in such schemes.

Rural Action Surrey are looking for

There are some things that will make you stand out, but even if you do not match all the criteria below, we still want to hear from you and what you can offer:
  • Level 3 housing qualifications or equivalent, or experience in a relevant field.*[JG1][RR2] 
  • Knowledge and understanding of policies and practices relating to rural affordable housing.
  • Knowledge of different methods for delivering and funding affordable housing.
  • Experience of developing, managing and maintaining effective relationships with a variety of contacts including staff, stakeholders and community groups.
  • Experience of presenting information to stakeholders, voluntary and community groups face to face and in writing.
  • Knowledge of effective partnership working techniques at multiple levels including an understanding of the organisational structures of public, private and voluntary sector.
  • Experience of successful project management.
  • Able to work alone and use own initiative, but also work closely and effectively with another Rural Housing Enabler.
  • Able to use standard Microsoft Office Software.
  • Proactive, enthusiastic, flexible and committed to providing a professional service.
  • Able to adapt to changing environment and priorities.
  • Diplomatic, with excellent interpersonal skills.
 If this position is of interest, please apply today.