The Housing Ombudsman

Body: The Housing Ombudsman (THO)
Appointing Department: Department for Communities & Local Government
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Charity & Public Sector, Communities, Judicial, Prison & Policing, Regulation
Location: London, with travel around England
Skills required: Audit and Risk, Business / Commercial, Change Management, Communication / Media / Marketing, Legal / Judicial, Regulation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: Up to £120,000 per annum (depending on skills and experience).
Time Requirements: Full Time

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    Midday on 05/02/2018

  • Panel Sift

    w/c 12th February 2018

  • Final Interview Date

    w/c 12th & 19th March 2018

  • Select Commitee Hearing


  • Announcement

    June 2018 TBC


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is seeking to appoint a proven senior leader as Housing Ombudsman.

The Housing Ombudsman has responsibility for investigating complaints against social landlords in accordance with the Housing Ombudsman Scheme. In 2015-16 there were 3.9 million households living in social housing. Housing is an important part of everyone’s lives and issues relating to our homes can have a huge emotional impact. The Housing Ombudsman plays an important role in ensuring the fair resolution of disputes, aiming to resolve problems quickly and efficiently.

Rented housing plays a vital role in the nation’s housing and we are keen to see that tenants experience good standards of service regardless of whether their landlord is a local authority, housing association or private landlord. The Housing White Paper Fixing our broken housing market makes clear the Government’s ambitions to make renting fairer for tenants and the Housing Ombudsman has a vital role to play in making this happen.

Further, following the Grenfell Tower Fire tragedy the importance of providing redress to social housing has been underlined. The Secretary of State announced in September 2017 that the Government will bring forward a Green Paper on Social Housing in England. This will be a wide ranging top-to-bottom review of social housing, and will consider the experience and views of people who live in social housing, and the issues to be addressed going forward which will be important for the Housing Ombudsman in their role to provide effective redress for social housing residents.

The successful candidate will demonstrate strong leadership skills, an ability to provide clear strategic direction at a senior level, have sound economic and political awareness, a commitment to encouraging and championing local collaboration and a proven ability to generate practical, workable solutions in a constrained financial environment and in an area of work central to the Government’s housing agenda.

Person Specification

The Housing Ombudsman is a prominent figure, often dealing with challenging and sensitive issues. As well as being a skilled arbitrator, they must be resilient and command public confidence and the respect of tenants, leaseholders and landlords. The successful candidate will have a clear understanding of the role of an ombudsman and a commitment to the highest level of conduct, integrity, objectivity and independence, combined with both mature and balanced judgement and strong intellectual ability. They will be committed to equality of opportunity and the purpose and values of the Housing Ombudsman Service. The successful candidate will be a person who is comfortable in a change culture, is adaptable and flexible, and who understands and recognises reputational risk. He/she will also be comfortable in an ambassadorial role; acting as a high profile advocate for independent complaints handling.

Candidates will be assessed against the following criteria:

Essential Criteria

  • Evidence of strong strategic leadership skills with the ability to lead an organisation of a similar size and complexity of THO.
  • The ability to deliver organisational change and a proven ability to deliver and work with a number of stakeholders.
  • Evidence of delivering a quality service and ability to work with senior partners in the housing sector as well as across Government.
  • An understanding of the decision-making process in government.
  • A proven understanding of the housing sector.
  • Ability to think creatively and solve problems in a high level, challenging environment.
  • Excellent communication skills, including being able to deal effectively with the media.

Desirable Criteria

  • A track record of ensuring effective governance in the management of organisations.
  • Experience of working within the housing sector or other related service
  • Experience of complex casework and/or complaint handling.


This is a full-time post and as this is a statutory office appointment you will not be an employee of the Crown or the Housing Ombudsman Service. The preferred candidate, selected by the Secretary of State, will be required to appear before a Parliamentary Select Committee as part of the appointment process.

Appendix I - Cabinet Office Guidance - Pre-appointment Scrutiny
190125 THO Candidate Information Pack Extended
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