Affordable Housing Co-op Preservation Associate (Bilingual): Co-op Improvement Program
The Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB) seeks a full time bilingual Spanish-speaking Project Associate to work in our Co-op Improvement Program. The primary functions of this role are to work with housing cooperatives, prevent foreclosure, develop resident leaders, and preserve affordable housing in New York City.
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 1,200 affordable co-ops (HDFC 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.
About the Co-op Improvement Program (CIP)
CIP is a newly created and funded program. UHAB’s Co-op Improvement Program will directly help low-income homeowners in HDFC (Housing Development Fund Corporation) co-ops at risk of losing the equity in their homes. The Co-op Improvement Program team will carry out a complete assessment of the distressed HDFCs and work with building residents to create individualized remediation work-out plans. Work-out plans include training, stabilizing leadership, preparing budgets for repairs, and facilitating loan packaging. Our plan is to engage all distressed buildings in the four-year initial phase of the Co-op Improvement Program. Some of the many goals are to complete a total assessment of all distressed HDFC co-op buildings, provide case by case remediation work-out plans, and to help each HDFC get on track to full financial recovery and/or provide them with the resources they need to take necessary next steps.
This is a great opportunity for someone who has an interest in all aspects of affordable housing preservation and stewardship. The Co-op Improvement/Co-op Preservation Project Associate will report directly to the Assistant Director and Director of UHAB’s Co-op Preservation Department but will work cross-departmentally and collaboratively with several other departments within the organization, including Co-op Development, Organizing and Policy, Member Services and Training. UHAB’s culture is one of cross program collaborations, and this position will give the Project Associate the opportunity to take full advantage of the wide breadth of knowledge housed within each department while advancing UHAB’s mission.
The successful candidate for Co-op Improvement Program/Co-op Preservation Project Associate is a bright, motivated professional who wants to make a tangible, positive impact on both our team and on the residents with whom we work. In addition, the candidate will express a willingness and a passion to work across neighborhoods and cultures and to cultivate and foster relationships with government officials. The successful candidate will be fluent in Spanish.
Cooperative Improvement Program (CIP), Preservation and Stewardship Oriented activities (85%)
• Identify pipeline of “at risk” co-ops through research and reference to UHAB’s expansive database.
• Develop strategies to assist distressed co-ops though mechanisms such as tax relief or loan packaging for debt reduction or capital improvements.
• Assist shareholders to collectively identify problems, determine goals, and implement democratic work plans to improve the performance of their co-ops.
• Attend resident and board meetings at buildings.
• Establish effective professional and trust-based relationships with leaders and residents of HDFC co-ops and rental buildings, with real estate professionals, particularly property managers, owner/developers, attorneys, bank representatives, and government officials
• Conduct outreach and provide technical support for renewable energy projects, including budgets and analysis to determine financial feasibility and funding sources.
Organization-wide work (15%):
• Assist with the coordination and facilitation of a policy committee including relevant staff to support legislative initiatives to improve the financial health of HDFC co-ops and the cooperative sector.
• Participate in UHAB-wide meetings, committees, and activities and contribute to improving and promoting the organization.
• Support cross-department project of organizing shareholder leaders to fight for broader recognition of and support for alternative models of housing ownership, including co-ops
What matters most in this role is not expertise but having a curious nature and a positive attitude. Our team provides training on various topics relevant to the work and offers support throughout the first year to ensure a strong onboarding process.
• Self-motivated and creative
• Excellent organizational, multitasking, follow-up and interpersonal skills, and careful attention to detail
• An ability to communicate complex ideas, orally and in writing, in a clear and accessible way
• An ability to establish, cultivate and maintain relationships with many different types of individuals and groups promoting solidarity, inclusion and respect
• An ability to work as part of a team or individually, in a fast-paced environment that values and requires openness, transparency, and information sharing
• Strong commitment to social and economic justice and grassroots mobilizing
• An understanding of and interest in cooperative housing and alternative models of ownership
• Interest in serving and supporting low-income residents through programmatic work and activities
• Relevant financial or underwriting acumen
• Community outreach and organizing experience, or experience with cooperative housing
• Leadership development, team building, or conflict resolution skills
• Experience with facilitation, teaching, or training adults
• An interest in project management and learning about and discussing the technical aspects of cooperative living (heating systems, solar panels, legal agreements, etc.).
• At least one-year prior experience working as a community or labor organizer, project manager or other related employment in NYC or similar experience in the college or university setting.
UHAB’s work is carried out by over 30 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
UHAB offers a generous benefits package including medical and dental insurance; long-term disability insurance; medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts; 3 weeks of paid vacation for new employees and 4 weeks of paid vacation after 2 years of employment; 14 paid holidays, 12 sick days, and 1 personal day per year; and bereavement leave.
How to Apply
Email cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org with the acronym “CIP” as the subject line
UHAB is an equal opportunity employer. Women, people of color, LBGTQ+ people, and people from low-income and working-class backgrounds are encouraged to apply.