Organizing and Policy Director
The Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB) is seeking an Organizing and Policy Director.
UHAB empowers low- to moderate-income residents to take control of their housing and enhance communities by creating strong tenant associations and lasting affordable co-ops. Since 1973, UHAB has helped form hundreds of tenant associations and assisted in the transformation of some 1,600 troubled rental buildings into 1,350 affordable co-ops, providing homeownership opportunities for residents of more than 30,000 apartments. With democratic community control at the core of our mission, we work to sustain this thriving affordable housing community for this generation and those to come.
We organize residents to be active participants and decision-makers in shaping their neighborhoods. UHAB’s programs address a full spectrum of affordable housing needs: from building resident power and organizing tenants as community leaders, to developing thousands of units of affordable housing across the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, to making small loans to first-time homeowners, to preserving existing affordable co-ops through training, education workshops, technical assistance, and regulatory compliance. UHAB’s programs and activities address the needs of future generations through long-term solutions: developing new affordable co-ops, creating energy efficient and solar power opportunities, and strengthening housing policy.
Organizing and Policy Department
UHAB’s Organizing and Policy department works with tenants who are at risk of displacement due to predatory behavior from landlords, gentrification, or poor living conditions. UHAB works with tenant leaders to develop resident associations and engage members in fighting for their own housing solutions. Tenant associations that UHAB works with fight to educate and enforce existing tenants’ rights, and to strengthen them through participating in City and Statewide campaigns.
Since 2018, UHAB’s tenant organizing work has been focused in Brownsville and East New York, Brooklyn. In 2019, alongside tenant leaders in the neighborhood, we launched HOPE (Housing Organizers for People Empowerment), a community group building tenant power through political education, coalition building, outreach, and fighting for legislation that expands tenants rights. In 2020, the UHAB Organizing and Policy department was awarded a “Champion of Justice” award from Brooklyn Legal Services for our work with HOPE fighting displacement in East Brooklyn.
UHAB is seeking an Organizing and Policy Director to support the growth of HOPE and to help shape UHAB’s policy and organizing priorities. The Director will help build tenant power, grow HOPE’s base, and connect tenants to larger policy issues and campaigns such as Housing Justice for All and the Brownsville Residents Green Committee. Additionally, the Organizing Director will work cross-departmentally to advance policy priorities that further UHAB’s mission, and will report to UHAB’s Executive Director.
- Develop base-building and outreach strategies to carry out with staff organizers and members
- In collaboration with members, plan and co-facilitate monthly HOPE leaders meetings, agenda planning meetings, and community meetings (currently over Zoom)
- Develop curriculum for HOPE’s leadership development and political education programming
- Research landlord and portfolios throughout East Brooklyn and other New York City neighborhoods to identify targets for organizing
- Support staff and tenant leaders in organizing rallies, press conferences, and other direct actions
- Help start and sustain tenant associations in multi-family buildings in East Brooklyn, as needed
- Help identify and support opportunities to convert buildings into cooperative ownership, or other tenant participatory ownership models
- Partner with the Co-op Development department on trainings and organizing strategy for tenant associations interested in pursuing co-op conversion, as needed
Supervision and Administrative Work (25%)
- Supervise, train, and mentor a team of 3 full-time organizers and one apprentice organizer
- Oversee the Department’s budget and fundraising strategies
- Manage contract and grant reporting, and ensure organizing staff achieve any required deliverables
- Represent the Organizing and Policy department on the UHAB management team
Organizational Strategy and Policy Work (15%)
- Participate in organization-wide policy development strategy, on both tenant and co-op issues
- Provide support and guidance for UHAB’s shareholder leaders group
- Maintain a database of press and elected official contacts
- Collaborate with other departments on developing UHAB-wide trainings, social events, and professional development opportunities for staff
- Respond to organizing and training requests, referrals and inquiries
- A strong commitment to housing, racial, and economic justice,
- At least four years prior experience working as a community or labor organizer (preferably within New York City),
- At least one year supervising staff or volunteers,
- The ability to communicate complex ideas in a clear and accessible way,
- The ability to work in a fast-paced environment and effectively handle multiple projects at the same time,
- And an interest in alternative ownership models of housing such as cooperatives and Community Land Trusts.
UHAB’s work is carried out by 32 staff members in our main office in Lower Manhattan. During the COVID pandemic we are working almost completely virtually, but expect to return to the office.
$65,470 annually. UHAB offers a generous benefits package including health care, dental care, a 403B, a flexible spending account, and accrued paid time off.
To apply, send a resume and cover letter to email@example.com. UHAB is an equal opportunity employer. Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.