Housing Specialist

Summary of the Role:  

This is a highly professional position representing HOPE South Florida, Inc. (HSF). The position
provides housing placement and related services to clients who participate in Rapid Re-Housing
and other housing programs. Works directly with homeless program Participants, landlords and
Case Managers to assist Participants to obtain and maintain permanent housing. The Rapid Re-
Housing Program moves homeless individuals and families into permanent rental housing as
quickly as possible, in conjunction with case management, workforce and support services
being provided simultaneously. After rental assistance ends the clients will move into aftercare
case management to provide on-going support and assistance to prevent homelessness in the
future. The Housing Specialist assists program participants in locating and securing permanent
housing as quickly as possible through outreach to landlords, property managers and housing
authorities. In addition, the Housing Specialist collaborates closely with landlords and Case
Managers to mediate landlord-tenant issues and ensure successful tenancies.
Meet families / individuals in the field, shelters or the program office to remove barriers to and to
facilitate Rapid Re-Housing. Work with Case Management staff to identify barriers to re-housing
and to develop prevention and intervention strategies in order to lessen the likelihood of the
family/individual returning to homelessness. Other duties include screening and assessing
families for program eligibility and needs, referring to community-based resources as necessary,
acting as a family’s advocate, and writing multiple reports. Housing stability services to be
provided include tenant counseling, assisting individuals and households to understand leases,
securing utilities, making moving arrangements, and mediation and outreach to property owners
related to locating or retaining housing. Responsible for working with landlords and diverse
target populations of families/individuals having experienced homelessness in a manner
consistent with HSF’s mission and vision and in partnership with landlords and collaborative
partner agencies.

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Essential Duties and Responsibilities:  

  • Conduct initial interview/intake and client housing barriers and other assessments.
    Gather and document all necessary information for program eligibility and case plans.
  • Conduct research, outreach, education and public relations to build a pool of landlords
    and property management companies willing to rent to program participants.
  •  Help program participants identify potential neighborhoods where they wish to live,
    conduct housing searches in said areas and negotiate with potential landlords on behalf
    of the participants.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with landlords, property management companies.
  • Assist in the processing and submission of applications for housing (subsidized and
    unsubsidized).
  •  Conduct, or arrange for, inspections of potential permanent housing units where
    program participants will reside.
  • Collaborate with program participant’s assigned Case Manager to ensure seamless
    services and solve any potential issues.
  • Provide tenant education including: tenant rights and responsibilities, housing
    discrimination and communication with landlords.
  • Maintain a regular and open line of communication with landlords in order to assess the
    landlords’ satisfaction with the programs and address any questions or concerns that
    landlords may have
  •  Respond to complaints from landlords and participants related to housing conditions and
    provide mediation as needed.
  • Ensure maintenance of resident confidentiality.
  • Collect and document all required client and program data for Homeless Management
    Information System (HMIS), grantor required reports, etc.
  •  Develop and implement housing, and aftercare plans with each resident to ensure that
    adequate services are received to aid resident in attaining and maintaining housing
    stability.
  • Ensure that services rendered are in a culturally competent manner according to HSF’s
    Mission, Principles, and Core Values.
  •  Guide and advocate for the clients in planning goals and setting attainable objectives
    consistent with deliverables and outcomes of the program.
  • Provide support, encouragement, and accountability to the Participants in their daily
    activities so they fulfill their housing plan and maintain housing stability.
  •  Ensure compliance with all federal, state, regional, and local regulations, and guidelines.
  •  Provide field-based housing placement and aftercare services as well as maintain office
    presence and attend meetings with staff colleagues and collaborative partners as
    needed.
  •  Attend trainings and workshops to promote professional growth.
  • Additional tasks as determined by the VP of Housing, executive staff and needs of the
    organization.

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Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing
  •  Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with the general public,
    landlords, provider agencies, governmental organizations, employers, elected and
    appointed officials, and members of diverse cultural backgrounds
  •  Ability to establish goals and objectives, and to implement an appropriate plan of action
  • Ability to establish priorities, meet deadlines, and develop and manage Participants’
    housing plans and other work assignments.
  • Ability to form positive, collaborative relationships with members of the HSF collaborative
    team.
  • Ability to problem solve in a proactive, creative manner, using sound judgment based on
    factual and clinical knowledge.
  •  Ability to effectively negotiate with landlords and internal and external service providers.
  • Knowledge of external requirements that impact the residents, such as the U.S. Dept. of
    Housing & Urban Development (HUD), Veteran’s Administration (VA), Broward County, Public Housing Authorities, etc.
  • Ability to serve as an effective liaison between landlords, employers, clients and
    agencies to assist clients to maintain housing stability.
  • Knowledge of relapse prevention strategies, life-skills related to household stability,
    employability and workplace expectations.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of records and information.

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Education, Training and Experience:

  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree in housing
    or human services related field.
  •  Minimum of two years of experience in the homeless/social services field, with emphasis
    on housing placement experience preferred
  •  Knowledge of homeless housing resources and community services.
  •  Knowledge of housing placement and case management methods, procedures, and
    documentation.
  • Proficient use of computers, basic office software and any other database software(s)
    used to track service delivery
  • Fluent in both oral and written English. Bilingual in Spanish and/or Creole preferred
  • Ability to work with clients and landlords from diverse cultural, ethnic, religious, and
    socio-economic backgrounds.
  •  Must have access to a reliable vehicle on a regular basis to attend off-site meetings and
    to visit program sites and apartments
  • Must be Level II Background Screened and determined drug-free as proven by negative
    pre-employment drug screening

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Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • A valid Florida’s Driver's License.
  •  Complete and pass a drug screening and Level-2 background search.

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Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform
essential functions of the job.

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Compensation and Benefits:

Salary range: 39,450-42,000 yearly. Negotiable and commensurate with experience

Benefits:

  • Full-time: 40 hours per week.
  • Salary negotiable and commensurate with experience
  •  Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  •  Life Insurance
  • Retirement plan 403b (with HSF providing a 2% match)
  • Paid time off (Vacation, holidays, personal/sick time)
  • Ability for single coverage of health and dental insurance.
  • Waiting period may apply

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The process:

To apply for this position please submit your resume and cover letter.
A level 2 background check and drug screen will be conducted once an offer of employment has
been extended. Employment is contingent upon the results of these screenings.
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HOPE South Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer and a Drug Free Workplace.

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Please, email your resume and cover letter to:
Tania Taveras – Human Resources Manager
1100 N. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL  33311
Email: ttaveras@hopesouthflorida.org
Website: www.hopesouthflorida.org

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