About Tenants & Neighbors:
Tenants & Neighbors is a small, dynamic, grassroots organization that harnesses the power of tenants to preserve at-risk affordable housing and strengthen tenant rights in gentrifying neighborhoods throughout New York. We have two affiliate organizations, one that does grassroots tenants organizing at the building and community-level to preserve at-risk affordable housing developments, and one that does tenant-led legislative organizing and advocacy to address the underlying causes of loss of affordability.
About the HUD VISTA Tenant Organizer Position:
The VISTA tenant organizer position will be a two-year position funded by the federal housing agency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of a national tenant organizing program. The tenant organizer will assist, inform, educate, and engage tenants living in buildings that are at risk of loss of affordability, assist in campaigns to preserve HUD-assisted affordable housing, and participate in a national movement to preserve at-risk affordable housing with the National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT). We are seeking a VISTA Tenant Organizer to carry out outreach, education, and organizing work associated with this new grant. The tenant organizer will:
- identify eligible buildings for outreach, organizing, and tenant engagement and prioritize buildings at risk due to expiring use restrictions, substandard physical or social conditions;
- engage in door-to-door outreach, identify and recruit tenant leaders to help form or strengthen independent tenant associations or organizing committees that meet HUD standards in 3-4 targeted Section 8 developments per year, averaging 150 apartments per development;
- with Supervisor, provide training in tenants’ rights, HUD housing subsidies, and organizational and leadership development to targeted tenant associations;
- work in close partnership with VAHPP Legal Fellows based in the same geographic area;
- help tenants identify critical areas of need and goals and strategies for selected buildings;
- coordinate tenant efforts to engage owners, public officials, and HUD and other agencies to preserve and improve targeted properties;
- assist tenant associations in networking and building alliances with other tenant associations and allies in their local areas and nationwide;
- assist targeted tenant associations in obtaining services through negotiation with owners and referrals to other agencies;
- assist sponsor in raising funds for at least one tenant leader from targeted buildings to attend the June NAHT training conference in Washington, DC;
- participate in at least 3⁄4 of bi-weekly NAHT Network training calls and NAHT Network task forces, as appropriate;
- help plan and arrange for tenant participation in regional “Eyes and Ears” meetings between tenant associations and HUD Headquarters and Regional staff, as appropriate;
- develop written reports on “best practices” and victory stories and related materials to share with project partners and tenant associations;
- track the number of organizations and tenants that receive capacity building services through an activity log;
- track increased requests for organizing assistance made to local sponsoring organizations;
- and support the broader goals and mission of the placement organization.
The Tenant Organizer will be supervised by the Executive Director and work very collaboratively with and receive support and guidance from other staff members.
The ideal candidate will have:
- A commitment to social change;
- At least one year of grassroots organizing experience, ideally tenant organizing;
- basic knowledge of issues related to affordable housing preservation, and ideally more in-depth knowledge about concrete strategies for preserving HUD-assisted housing;
- fluency in both English and Spanish;
- strong written and verbal communication skills;
- exceptional time and priority management skills; and
- be professional, confident, personable, highly motivated, well organized, and detail oriented.
$15,312, health insurance, and $5,730 Educational Stipend available upon completion of the program
Send a thoughtful cover letter and resume to Katie Goldstein, Executive Director at Kgoldstein@tandn.org .
For more information about the program, see http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/post-grad/VAHPP.
HUD tenants are encouraged to apply.