AmeriCorps VISTA Member/Tenant Organizer

The Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB) is seeking a full-time bilingual (preffered) AmeriCorps VISTA member* / Tenant Organizer for one year. 

The Organization

Since 1973, UHAB has been organizing low- and moderate-income tenants to fight poor living conditions in multi-family buildings neglected or abandoned by landlords. We have helped form hundreds of tenant associations and assisted in the transformation of some 1,600 distressed rental buildings into 1,200 affordable co-ops, providing homeownership opportunities for more than 30,000 households. By promoting self-help among residents, UHAB works to sustain this thriving affordable housing community.

Our activities include advocacy, tenant organizing, classroom and on-site management and maintenance training, direct technical assistance, development of new co-ops, development consulting, and special services to member co-ops, such as bookkeeping, insurance, legal advice, bulk purchasing, IT assistance, and cost-saving energy conservation tips.

 

*About Vista

VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) is a federal volunteer service program through which community activists and energetic, talented people spend a year working in low-income communities. The VISTA program is often called the "domestic Peace Corps" and was developed by President Johnson as part of the "War on Poverty." VISTA members may not be in school or working any other jobs while completing their year of service.
 
UHAB is seeking a VISTA volunteer to organize tenants in privately-owned, multifamily developments subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to save and improve their homes as affordable housing. The VISTA volunteer will educate and build tenant associations in HUD-subsidized buildings to improve building conditions and protect affordability. The VISTA volunteer will coordinate with HUD organizers across NYC to form a citywide tenant movement as well as build tenant leaders to participate in a national HUD tenant coalition through the National Association of HUD Tenants (NAHT).
 

Responsibilities

  • Receive training on organizing basics, affordable housing preservation strategies, and other relevant topics.
  • Identify and reach out to buildings with deteriorating conditions and/or where affordability is at risk.
  • Work with individuals and groups in a building to develop a strong tenant association.
  • Assist residents with collectively identifying and implementing strategic plans for the preservation of their buildings.
  • Mobilize residents to participate in the NYC affordable housing movement.

Required Qualifications

  • Self-motivation, excellent organizational, follow-up, and interpersonal skills, as well as careful attention to detail.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to establish, cultivate, and maintain relationships with many different types of individuals and groups.
  • Comfort working with an economically, racially, and ethnically diverse population.
  • Interest in social and economic justice and grassroots mobilizing.
  • Computer literacy or willingness to learn.
  • Ability to work well both as part of a team and independently.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bilingual English-Spanish.
  • Tenant or community outreach and organizing experience.
  • Leadership development, team building, and conflict resolution skills.
  • Experience with federally-subsidized HUD or Mitchell-Lama buildings.
  • Experience working with media and/ or elected officials.
  • Experience training adults.

Compensation

AmeriCorps*VISTA members serve full-time, for one year and receive a modest living allowance of $1,276 a month, health insurance, and a monthly MetroCard that will cover public transportation travel expenses. Upon completion of their service year, AmeriCorps*VISTA members are eligible to receive either an educational award of $5,730 to pay educational expenses at qualified institutions of higher education, for educational training, or to repay qualified student loans, or a $1,500 cash bonus. The AmeriCorps*VISTA Member/Tenant Organizer position is a great way to gain professional experience in the field of grassroots organizing and affordable housing preservation. UHAB provides training and many opportunities to build your resume and increase your professional skills. Many of our organizers have found full-time employment with UHAB or with other progressive community organizations following their AmeriCorps year.
 

To Apply

Send resume and cover letter to
 
Samantha Kattan
UHAB
120 Wall Street, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10005
 
kattan@uhab.org
 
Fax: (212) 344-6457
 
 
For more information, please call Samantha at (212) 479-3389
 
Applicants must also apply through AmeriCorps
For more information on the program, visit www.equaljusticeworks.org.