Housing and Homelessness Programme


Location: London, United Kingdom

Reporting to: The President

Type of contract: Full-time position

Application deadline: 18th October 2019



About Oak Foundation:

Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, Africa and North America, Oak Foundation makes grants to organisations located in approximately 40 countries worldwide.


About the Housing and Homelessness Programme:

Oak Foundation’s Housing and Homelessness Programme, we focus on preventing homelessness by funding sustainable solutions that improve the economic and social well-being of marginalised youth, adults and families. We have three priorities: promoting economic well-being; increasing the availability and supply of affordable housing; and preventing homelessness. Grants within the programme are wide-ranging in size. We partner with organisations working both nationally and locally in the United Kingdom and the United States to fund projects relevant to the three priorities and focus on specific objectives in different localities. In 2018 the Housing and Homelessness Programme made 39 grants totaling USD 23.8 million. You can view and search our grants here.


Our funding principles:

We fund initiatives that have an impact on:

  • Individuals – By improving the quality of life and housing opportunities for groups of individuals and amplifying their voices.
  • Organisations – By enabling organisations to develop financial stability, create a robust infrastructure and address identified weaknesses.
  • The wider community (sometimes defined by geography or the target group) – By having an impact that goes beyond the direct beneficiaries of a project (by encouraging the replication of proven solutions and amplifying the collective voice of homeless people). We recognise that homelessness is a result of other issues, including poverty, employment and citizenship rights.
  • Society – By changing systems and services (e.g., securing mainstream funding for new and proven solutions or removing structural and cultural barriers that hamper individual success).


We recognise that inequality is the starting point with approaches including advocacy, campaigns and enhancing systems. Projects funded include those that mobilise communities, but also those that persuade, negotiate and demonstrate the efficacy of change. Read more about our work and our team here.


Role description:

Based in Oak Foundation’s UK office, the Director is responsible for the overall leadership of the Housing and Homelessness Programme portfolio and the management of a team of 5-6 staff.


Strategy development

The Director is responsible for ensuring that the programme strategy continues to evolve by:

  • initiating and encouraging strategic thinking in the team, with Oak’s President and with the lead Trustee, and to identify and develop opportunities;
  • identifying emerging issues or challenges to be addressed in the context of a broad programme agenda; and
  • creating the space for the team to develop thinking and expertise on new issues and approaches.


Grant management

  • managing the grant portfolio, providing technical input and overseeing budget allocation across the Programme;
  • managing field building activities including network development, funder relationships, convenings and collaborative projects;
  • overseeing monitoring, evaluation and learning;
  • supporting the team in negotiating major and innovative grants, including negotiations with other private and public funding partners; and
  • reporting to the Advisory Panel on the Programme’s outputs and budgeting.


Team management

  • leading the HHP team with a collaborative, supportive and empathetic leadership style able to achieve and maintain clarity, performance and decision-making;
  • fostering a collegiate culture where team members share targets and responsibilities;
  • managing team targets and deadlines while also supporting individuals to take responsibility for the part that they play in achieving these; and
  • providing opportunities for each team member to participate in Oak-wide working and grant-making groups.


Relationships and communication

  • forge, manage and negotiate excellent relationships with grantees, Trustees, colleagues, peer organisations and other stakeholders; and
  • represent the programme and the Oak Foundation externally and contribute to thought leadership.


Skills and experience required

  • Demonstrated understanding of a broad range of social justice issues, and how they relate to housing and homelessness.
  • 10-15 years’ experience in a sector related to housing and homelessness, expertise and networks in the sector are highly desirable.
  • Advanced University Degree.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a team of senior level professionals.
  • Ability to represent the HHP Programme and Oak Foundation with clarity and impact to a range of stakeholders.
  • Familiarity with working in a global context as well as experience in a philanthropic organisation are desirable.
  • Advanced research and analytical skills and ideally an understanding of evaluation techniques and principles.
  • Excellent relationship-building and negotiation skills and ability to engage internal and external stakeholders.
  • Understanding of non-profit financial reporting, budgeting and organisational strategy.
  • Strong critical thinking skills and ability to analyse information from variety of sources, including potential and current grantees, researchers and the media.

Qualities and values

  • Humility, tact, maturity, a sense of humour and a deep commitment to Oak’s organisational values.
  • Sensitivity to the relationships between funder and recipient, and the ability and willingness to listen and learn from partners.
  • Recognition that Oak and the programme aim to elevate those who are most disadvantaged and seek out opportunities to strengthen their direct influence on public policy and decision making.
  • Humility and deep commitment to the empowerment and voice of others, as well as to continuous learning.
  • Willingness to travel (approx. 20-25 per cent, including multiple international trips each year).


How to apply

You can apply and find further information here. Please quote reference 4254.


The deadline for applications is 9am BST Friday 18th October 2019.


Perrett Laver will conduct an executive search process in parallel with the public advertisement of the role.


Longlisted candidates will be invited to interview with Perrett Laver in Early November. First stage formal interviews with Oak will take place on 20th and 21st November and second stage formal interviews on 27th and 29th November 2019.


The role will be based in Oak Foundation’s UK office and the salary is competitive with the seniority of the appointment. You must have the right to live and work in the UK for this role.


You can download the PDF of the job opening here.


By submitting your application, you confirm that you have read and understood our job applicant’s data privacy notice.




Our mission

Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global, social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, Africa, India and North America, we make grants to organisations in approximately 40 countries worldwide.

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Privacy Policy, Security Protocols and Terms of Use.


©2018 Oak Foundation.
All rights reserved.