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£55.00 - £65.00 hourly
Code Red Associates London, UK
Nov 20, 2018
Are you an experienced Project Manager with excellent governance, documentation and project control skills?  Do you have top-class stakeholder management skills and a background working in large / blue-chip organisations?   If the answers to both these questions are yes, then Code Red Associates are recruiting for your next exciting consultancy move.  We are a specialist supplier of leading supplier of Permanent & Contract ICT resource to a variety of Blue Chip, SME & expanding organisations throughout the UK and are currently resourcing for an exciting opportunity for a talented Project Manager for a successful, well known & progressive household name that is undertaking a large-scale technological change programme. The purpose of the role will be to take responsibility for organizing and ensuring timely implementation of a high-level project that is complex in nature.  Further day-to-day responsibilities will include system procurement; requirement gathering and scoring; ensuring that effective project controls, methods, RAID management and governance are in place; defining business benefits, outcomes and their delivery; take ownership of the portfolio plan, identifying interdependencies and resolving them whilst measuring benefit realisation;  deliver a top-class stakeholder management service to ensure project delivery; by providing strategic Project information to internal stakeholders, customer and clients; supplier management; monitoring associated budgets and risk; allocating project resources; and motivating & managing project team members. Essential •    A successful commercial track record in Project Management •    A strong focus on Project governance, documentation and control •    Experience working in large, multi-layered, multi-site organisations such as (but not limited to) Blue Chip or PLC businesses •    A strong and proven leader with excellent relationship building, stakeholder management, negotiation, presentation and communication skills use to working with C-Level stakeholders and managing multi-disciplinary teams to timely resolutions. •    Programme/Project Management certification such as MSP, PMP, PRINCE2, etc. •    Requirement gathering and procurement experience Desirable •    Have a good understanding of business change and how to deliver successful change to clients through technology •    Portfolio Management experience •    Business experience in Asset Management or Planned Maintenance As an individual you will be self-motivated, highly-organised, project & deadline driven and able to work under your own steam.  You will have a high level of personal professionalism and attention to detail in work outputs, whilst a strong leader, organised, consultative and an excellent communicator that is customer facing and able to be influential and converse with customers at all levels whilst providing impressive written documentation.   You will be happy to travel regionally as part of your role, as well as being disciplined enough to work from home.  All travelling costs within work and accommodation are paid for by the company.  If you are an engaging, driven and ambitious programme/project professional looking for the opportunity to help shape a growing organisation by delivering programme strategies and collaborating with multiple stakeholders then please apply without delay to take advantage of this opportunity.
£35.00 - £45.00 hourly
Code Red Associates London
Nov 20, 2018
Full time
Day-rate contract, 3 months + Code Red Associates (CRA) is a leading supplier of Permanent & Contract ICT resource to a variety of Blue Chip, SME & expanding organisations throughout the UK.  We are currently recruiting for a 2nd line helpdesk/application support consultant for a large organisation that is committed to employee development, progression, training and providing a friendly, nurturing working environment. This role requires experience of providing helpdesk and application support within a Social Housing/Asset Management/Repairs environment, including any associated supporting and/or analysing of software products niche to the Social Housing sector (such as Northgate/Sx3 Housing, Northgate/Anite OHMS, Civica (Comino) Universal, Orchard ArcHouse, Capita/IBS Open Housing, Capita Academy, Aareon QL, MIS ActiveH, Opti-time, Rocc, Wheatley, Technology Forge, Apex, Codeman, OPENContractor or similar) as essential. The suitable applicant may have been working with a local authority or social housing business environment and been involved in a project team, involved in day-to-day system administration, specification, analysis, configuration, training, reporting, upgrades and/or testing. The role itself will involve utilising your knowledge of housing, repairs or asset management business processes to help users with any issues using a specific software application.  You will resolve as many issues as possible whilst keeping unresolved calls to a minimum.  Any further experience writing SQL scripts to interrogate data would be highly beneficial but not a necessity. This is an excellent role presented on a daily rate contract basis with the possibility of further extension. For consideration for telephone interview for this opportunity, please submit your CV immediately.
£40,000 - £45,000 yearly
Code Red Associates West Midlands, UK
Nov 20, 2018
Full time
Code Red Associates (CRA) is a leading supplier of Permanent & Contract ICT resource to a variety of Blue Chip, SME & growing organisations throughout the UK. We are currently resourcing for an exciting opportunity for a Service Desk Manager with experience working in an ITIL environment for a growing & established organisation that is committed to employee training and development. Alongside being the sole responsible for the Service Desk team providing 1st and 2nd line support, the main purpose of the role will be to manage the service design, operation and transition. You will play a key role in supporting, mentoring and developing the knowledge of the Service Desk, driving the development of a proactive supporting approach, and ensuring a high percentage of first-time fixes.  Your day to day duties will include providing technical support during busy periods, generating, assessing and presenting Service Desk statistics and KPIs to senior management teams, and ensuring that the team is working within all business policies and procedures. Essential   •    Previous experience of working within an ITIL environment •    Working knowledge and experience of developing Service Desk processes, KPI’s and meeting Service Desk KPI’s •    Experience in managing a busy service desk •    Experience of gathering and presenting data to senior stakeholders •    Working knowledge of Service Desk systems and processes •    Knowledge of supporting Microsoft Operating Systems & Office Technologies This is an excellent career opportunity with a progressive organisation that prides itself on not only being professional but a great place to work.  If you are currently working at this level, but looking for your next move where your hard work will be recognised and supported, then please send your CV for immediate consideration.
£40.00 - £50.00 hourly
Code Red Associates London
Nov 20, 2018
3-6 months Are you an experienced IT Trainer?  Do you have specific experience delivery applications training on Social Housing Management Systems?    If so, Code Red Associates may be recruiting for just the position for you.  We are a leading supplier of Permanent & Contract ICT resource to a variety of Blue Chip, SME & expanding organisations throughout the UK, and are currently recruiting for an IT Training professional with specific experience of a housing management application for an exciting and progressive Social Enterprise based in London. The purpose of the role will be to lead the design and development of housing systems training to the users within the organisation and to ensure the smooth delivery of the training programme.  Your day-to-day responsibilities will include the development of the strategic training plan, development of documentation & manuals, training deployment in classroom, group, one-to-one, train-the-trainer as well as the delivery of any follow up training, coaching and feedback assessment.  You will also help with the back end of the user acceptance testing process. Essential •    Strong commercial experience in the development and delivery of training strategy and creative training plans •    Experience in a variety of training methods to include one-to-one, group and train-the trainer sessions. •    Specific experience delivering software training on Social Housing Management Systems (Such as Northgate Housing, Orchard Housing, Aareon QL, Civica Cx/Universal Housing, Capita Academy/OPENHousing, Castleton/Kypera Housing, MIS ActiveH, etc) •    Experience of wide range of modular housing subjects •    Creation of training documentation, aids and quick reference guides. •    Experience of working with and utilising eLearning software •    Advanced MS Office skills Desirable •    Experience working within a Social Housing/Local Authority environment •    Training certifications such as TAP As an individual you will be a confident communicator, adept at conversing with all types of audiences and at all levels.  You will be enthusiastic, have an attention to detail, be able to work to high standards and be self-motivated.   This role is going to be based in one location, but will include ad hoc travel to multiple sites within the London area.  This is an exciting opportunity for someone who would like to join an expanding organisation and be actively involved in creating an IT training strategy to take the organisation forward. Please apply swiftly to be considered for this exciting role with a truly progressive organisation.


George Schaar, Head of Research & Development at Stratis Security, talks to us about his 20 year career in security. I’ve worked in security for more than 20 years, protecting the homes of celebrities and the rich as well as developing technology to secure homes and housing estates from Ipswich to Ireland. For the past three years, I’ve been working with our specialist team from our technology innovation base in Suffolk. There really is a melting pot of the latest smart homes and internet of things solutions here, with other companies such as Facebook, Cisco and Nokia also on the same site. My current focus is progressing the development of a secure app which allows clients to monitor camera surveillance in their properties remotely. Clients can also get alarms alerting them on their phones if windows or doors have been broken or tampered with. Fingerprint and facial recognition Our solutions include fingerprint identification technology, which is nonintrusive, fast and efficient and can secure large areas over many levels. For example, entrances and exit points to lifts and stairwells, through to individual rooms, cupboards and flats. Stratis has also developed facial recognition for entry systems, with our cameras scanning the iris and matching faces from a prestored database of images. Used in conjunction with video surveillance, we have significantly tightened security and improved accountability at a major residential block in Ipswich, where residents now show their faces at the front entrance to gain entry. I never thought I’d be implementing technology that first inspired me from Blade Runner in the early 80s!   We have also helped combat a range of issues at two blocks of flats in Ipswich, including rats in ground floor bin-stores as a result of fly-tipping, as well as graffiti and non-residents, who would gather outside and in reception areas, gaining access to the blocks and moving freely around the building. In one of the blocks, we installed facial recognition cameras and key fobs, with card access to lifts and stairwells, making it possible to prohibit access as well as track individuals and only allow access to designated areas.   Social housing applications For social housing providers, our technologies have many applications, such as if a tenant has lost or forgotten their key, or for vulnerable residents in extra-care schemes or sheltered accommodation, allowing their relatives, friends or carers to gain access. We were at the CIH conference in Manchester earlier this year and are now talking with a range of housing providers about how to deploy our solutions as part of their business transformation programmes and their wider smart home and internet of things strategies.   Lasers No longer being the exclusive province of science fiction, long-range lasers are an effective and flexible way to monitor and protect your property. Lasers can be set up as an invisible fence around an office, for example, or in areas that are targeted for high-value materials, such as a church roof or to protect copper piping. Any tampering to the laser triggers an alert, which is sent back as a high-quality audio file that can be monitored remotely.   Destruction day My team and I are currently working towards ISO accreditations. With the impact of the Grenfell tragedy, we have also developed fire safety and reinforced doors. At the time of writing, we are arranging a ‘destruction day’ on September 26 at our base in Martlesham Heath in Suffolk where we have challenged the 4,000 staff at Adastral Park (home also of BT’s innovation centre) and invited them to break through our reinforced doors with sledge hammers, angle grinders and cordless drills. So confident are we of the resilience of our reinforced doors, we have also invited Britain’s strongest man, Eddie Hall, along to pit his strength against our doors. George Schaar is the head of research and development at Stratis Security  
Work is certainly varied for Jenny Shorter, a senior consultant at IT services firm Sovereign Business Integration Group, who revisits a typical week at work. I’ve seen a great deal of change in the housing sector. Mostly, it now requires a far more commercially-minded approach than it did when I first joined the sector in the 1990s. I know that I have to be far more timely in my pitches to clients and in responding to their requests for support and always mindful of the return to be gained and how quickly this will be realised. Overseeing two main housing client accounts as well as a range of other business-critical implementations means that much of my time is spent client-side or working with suppliers on the client’s behalf, and while mobile working can mean being on the go a lot of the time, I really like the opportunity to be hands-on. Tower Hamlets Community Housing and East End Homes, two of my on-going client accounts, are both well-established London-based housing providers that have longstanding relationships with Sovereign, where we manage their IT provision including support for their housing management systems. I recently visited Orchard’s offices in Newcastle, immersing myself in their products and meeting new and existing contacts to deepen my understanding of their products and who to go to in order to troubleshoot or fact-find for my clients. Managing suppliers for housing clients It makes sense to have a close relationship with the suppliers to our market in order to broaden my understanding of their vision, product pipeline and so on; it’s a great way for us to help our clients to get the very most out of the relationship with the supplier as well as benchmark their products against the competition. It can also help with any troubleshooting issues, playing the role of the ‘honest broker’ to help to move things along and keep lines of communication open on both sides. My job is to step in with technology suppliers wherever I’m needed, either on behalf of our client or the Sovereign implementation team (some of whom are wholly client-side), either negotiating the sale, arranging product demonstrations or project managing the implementation itself (for example, just last week I was working on a new Promaster asset management software implementation for a client). The project management role is full on and typically involves setting up meetings to agree the way forward or fine-tune the client roadmap, procuring the product, booking implementation resources, training staff who will use the product, and then chasing any issues that need to be escalated. I’ve just finished a four-hour session with Golding Homes after running a requirements gathering exercise with the customer services team there. The switch from an inner London housing provider to a Kent-based one resulted in very different requirements, no doubt due to the different demographic groups each serves, but they each had interesting suggestions about things that they currently do manually that could be automated. It’s great to work with an organisation that recognises that there is work to do with the culture within the organisation as part of a digital transformation project. Any organisation can buy new software and implement it, but if your people don’t have the right mindset or aren’t supported to have the right mindset, the service won’t improve and no return on investment will be achieved. Consultant with a housing background Working with housing providers, in common with any other industry, it’s a great help to have directly relevant industry experience. Some people will embrace change, while for others, there’s a vested interest in being wary. I’m not a standard IT consultant but instead someone who has worked in the housing sector for more than 14 years. It puts me in a strong position because clients are assured that I know their world, their challenges and speak their language. It can really help to get over some of the hurdles that are often faced when implementing change. As well as keeping an eye on our clients’ progress, I am also keen to ensure that Sovereign is hitting the mark. I’ve been working on a project recently that involves reviewing a client’s IT lifecycle. It has provided me with enormous insight into our processes and procedures and how we can continue to improve these. Working in the housing sector As I look back over 20 years of working in the housing sector, there are two key ‘takeaways’ for me: Firstly, the social housing sector is so much more budget-driven than it ever was, but I always make sure my clients are aware that cheap can be more expensive in the long run. It’s great that we’ve moved away from a ‘cost-focused’ decision model, but I always like to make sure my clients make the right decision considering the whole of their organisational needs and plan for future investment. What you think looks good on paper today could turn out to be more expensive to implement in the long run. If for some reason, it doesn’t go according to plan, you are likely to spend a great deal more putting it right. Secondly, the upside is that customers are really driving the impetus for so much change in the housing sector, especially when it comes to technology. If you can’t communicate with your customers effectively, or be responsive when they need repairs, maintenance and so on, this just costs the organisation, in the long run. Housing providers have woken up to the fact that there is more choice for tenants and so, if there’s a better service to be had, some tenants could potentially go elsewhere. They don’t always have to take what’s on their doorstep. Jenny Shorter is a senior consultant for housing IT services at Sovereign Business Integration Group.
Mark Elias, IT Infrastructure Manager, takes us through a typical day at Coastal Housing. If I’m feeling lazy, my day will start around 8am with black coffee and a mailbox of backup and maintenance notifications. If I’m not feeling lazy, I’ll slope in around 9am after being good and going to the gym, by which time the notifications will have been attended to by our lead support analyst, Mat Giles, who will also have changed the tapes in our LTO rack. Yes, tapes. Mercifully, we are in the process of moving to cloud backup as part of our transition to becoming fully-hosted with a managed service provider (which if you came to my talk at the Housing Technology 2018, you will have heard all about…). Once we’re both happy with the overnight tasks, Mat and I usually discuss any interesting Freshservice support tickets. Although this helpdesk application is ITIL-aligned, Coastal is a ‘systems thinking’ organisation, therefore we have a duty to look at the demand on our service through Vanguard’s revealing spectacles, and this drives us to handle tickets in a specific way (if you want to hear more about this, please get in touch). By now, the rest of the team will be in, and what a team it is. I feel very lucky to share my day with such dedicated and talented people (cringe-worthy but true). Amy Kelly works with Mat as a support analyst, Kathryn Banfield as an infrastructure analyst and Rhian Waygood as a business analyst, and joining her in the business analysts’ circle are Kevin Hedges and Pete Warren, and then Shane Griffiths works alongside us all as the head of IT; note the absence of hierarchical phrasing: we do genuinely work alongside one another. Being a pretentious sort, I love to write aphorisms and when I coined ‘a team ascends to excellence through democratic influence’, I felt truly moved to think of our team and how we evidence democratic influence every day: listening to each other in gatherings, allowing everyone to suggest, to feedback, to question and to challenge in safety. It really works. With my review of Freshservice over and until any tickets come my way, I’ll chat with whoever might need a conversation before starting their day proper, and then move on to Asana, the application in which we manage and collaborate on all IT strategy projects and tasks, picking up on where I left things the day before. Asana helps us achieve complete visibility of all aspects of strategic delivery, from current progress on known work, through to future potential evolutions and (how to phrase it?) diversions! It’s key for an IT team to have both oversight and evidence of existing workloads at their fingertips. Everything must be visible and reportable. We strive to pour as much data and thinking as we can into the application: pipeline work, knowledge sharing, live-meeting captures, conference blogging, professional development reflections, interesting technology articles and so on. Both Freshservice and Asana have transformed how we work, and how the business engages with us, especially as demand on our ‘ability to implement’ increases. More and more, we are seeing the potential for decisions on products to be made outside the IT team, often with a quick meeting and a credit card, only then for the real work of integration to fall to IT afterwards. By being transparent about our availability, we help the business achieve what matters in a realistic and timely manner. If I haven’t emailed or spoken to our MSP project manager yet, it’s very likely I will have a question or update to provide by now. We have a conference call every Monday morning and while this sets us up nicely for the week’s tasks, other things will often happen or priorities rotate, so keeping on top of fluctuating obstacles and objectives is both important and fun. By the time this article is in print, we should have migrated our Hyper-V server estate to VMware using Zerto and have a substantial number of staff using Horizon View on laptops full-time, which coincides nicely with Coastal’s ambitious office re-design project, enabling staff to work anywhere while disruptive works are carried out. Several coffees later (I’m trying to cut down, again), I’ll dip into HipChat, an instant-messaging app implemented by Rhian. We try hard not to email each other, so IM allows us to waffle, gossip, ask and help without saturating Exchange. When we aren’t having private conversations, we’ll chat in specific shared rooms, keeping subjects tightly organised. At this point, readers might be thinking ‘Why not use Teams or Skype?’. We don’t have Office 365 on our horizon just yet because it’s very attractive to us to look beyond the behemoths to help us achieve our objectives, and HipChat fits perfectly with that philosophy. Maybe it’s something to do with having Techhub on our doorstep; the prospect of working with start-ups and off-radar innovators to help realise Coastal-tailored aims, versus settling for generic, cookie-cutter platforms, has great appeal. I met with Techhub’s manager for lunch recently and we discussed the importance of looking to blockchain as an enabler of trustless transactions and of individuals owning their own data – very exciting areas to consider. By now it’ll be lunchtime and if I haven’t been pulled into or arranged a gathering myself in the morning (which is rare), I’ll probably be in one at some point during the afternoon, so as I walk around Swansea city centre I’ll be thinking in advance of what clever things I can say. Or if I don’t go out, I’ll hop onto one of the kitchen benches and browse LinkedIn or post poems to Twitter while munching on something unhealthy. If I have time, I’ll reread passages from the excellent and highly-recommended book ‘What Poetry Brings to Business’. When I have time I arrange one-to-one meetings with colleagues across the business, especially those I either don’t know very well or perform some esoteric housing role I should know more about. If I have one arranged, I’ll revisit my hoard of coaching materials and pick out an exercise or conversation strategy to explore in the session. It’s extremely important for IT people to have healthy interpersonal skills; being able to communicate, listen, process and perceive without being dependent on prompt closure, or unambiguous apprehension of a situation, can allow, in time, for a true unearthing of what is really going on. Simply having conversations, while being alert to what is happening beyond the exchange of words, helps develop that capability. I will most likely have had technical conversations with team members throughout the day, as I pull in their expertise and they pull in mine. Everyone has their own projects and it’s great to get involved a little in each. Kathryn, to pick one project for example, is busy deploying Aerohive wi-fi across our schemes and drop-ins; Mat and Amy are busy deploying 2FA-protected VDI desktops across a range of mobile devices while simultaneously managing Freshservice; Rhian is busy implementing PanConnect and maintaining QlikView, and has recently completed another phenomenally successful rent increases/ year-end procedure; Kevin is busy embedding systems thinking; Pete is busy interrogating and reporting on our data; and Shane is busy managing budgets, strategies, contracts and us. Being part of all this great work is brilliant. Towards the end of the day, I’ll re-read any important emails I’ve sent and updates I’ve made to any projects, drink more coffee and think about what’s happening tomorrow. Mark Elias is the IT infrastructure manager at Coastal Housing
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