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Housing Specialist

Reports to: Assistant Program Director/Program Director 

The Housing Specialist assists transitional housing clients in locating and securing permanent housing along with leveraging supportive services that will assist the clients with maintaining permanent housing. The Housing Specialist performs a variety of office and field activities to manage and monitor rapid rehousing/ transitional program for families, direct client services to promote residents’ self-sufficiency, integration into the community and permanency in housing. 

Duties and Responsibilities (Include but not limited to):

• Establish linkage with housing centered community-based organizations, realtors, brokers and landlords.
• Escort clients to housing appointment as necessary. Field work requirements are limited to housing and social service related work activities. 
• Provide individualized and group counseling on housing and entitlement related topics.
• Identify clients’ strengths that contribute to achieving housing stability and assist in decreasing barriers via referrals to community-based resource and services.
• Assess barriers to permanent housing of individuals and families experiencing homelessness to determine service needs, goals and eligibility. 
• Coach clients on interviewing skills and assist in preparation for housing appointments 
• Conduct client mock interviews to determine client’s ability to present positively on viewings and interviews. 
• Coordinate with DHS to assist clients in obtaining housing vouchers and completing housing applications.
• Submit housing voucher inquiries on behalf of all eligible clients. 
• Document all engagements and efforts to stabilize family via CARES progress note. 
• Collect, review and file all client housing search logs; conduct follow ups on client behalf as needed.  
• Provide mediation and advocacy with landlords on resident’s behalf in securing permanent housing.
• Collaborate with the Social Services Team and resident in identifying and securing appropriate housing arrangements.
• Create and maintain consistent liaisons among client, landlords, brokers, referral sources, collaborating agencies, neighbors and property managers.
• Maintain accurate and updated daily work activity logs as well as case notes and other pertinent documentation in client’s case file.
• Prepare and submit reports to DHS according to prescribed schedule (i.e. case summaries, quarterly reports, exit projection reports).
• Compile and submit housing packages to APD/PD/DHS in a timely manner. 
• Pick up checks and coordinate check/key exchange between client, Landlord and Brokers. 
• Submit move and/or bed requests on client behalf at least 24 hours prior to client move out. 

 Minimum Job Requirements

• High School Diploma (or GED); Some college.
• Successfully completed 2-hour Mandated Reporter training course (Can be completed upon hire). 
• Experience in a related field.
• Demonstrated experience working with homeless adults and families.
• Demonstrated experience placing homeless adults and families into permanent housing. 
• Proficiency in MS Office and Google Docs. 
• Ability to work with a team.
• Ability to travel in the boroughs of New York City and its adjacent counties as needed.
Knowledge and Abilities preferred:

• Bilingual
• Familiarity with housing vouchers (i.e. Section 8, FEPS, SEPS, LINC, FHEPS, SOTA, EOSD, CityFHEPS).
• Familiarity with SOI (Source of Income Discrimination) and Human Rights Law regulations. 
• Ability to assess needs and assist residents in developing housing plans for promotion of self-sufficient and permanent housing.