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Simpson Housing Services

Housing Specialist

39 – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Department 39
Employment Type Full-time FT-BE
Minimum Experience Mid-level
Compensation $37,500 to $40,000

Why Work For Simpson?

Our Mission is to house, support and advocate for people experiencing homelessness. We believe that everybody has the right to safe and affordable housing; we strive to strive to create a collaborative community with the individuals we serve, within Simpson, and with the greater community; and we advocate against the injustices of society that cause homelessness and poverty. On a daily basis, we celebrate and embrace the uniqueness and dignity of every person and encourage people to draw upon their strengths and promote the power of self-advocacy.

Simpson Housing Services began as an emergency overnight shelter in the basement of Simpson United Methodist Church in 1982. Simpson has since become a leading nonprofit providing assistance to people experiencing homelessness. In response to un-met community needs, our programs have grown to include emergency shelter, single adult supportive housing, and family supportive housing. We work across the metro area, partnering with landlords and developers to find affordable housing for all families and individuals. At any given time, we provide supportive services to 100 individuals and 200 families with over 400 children.


How Can You Contribute?

This position provides support to SHS scattered-site housing programs for families through recruitment of landlords, housing search, inspection and rental subsidy administration. This position works with between 150-200 landlords. This position provides intense, short term housing search for about 10-15 participants at any time. Additionally this position provides rental subsidy administration to another 80-100 participants. Participants will be located in scattered site housing throughout Hennepin County.

The goals of SHS housing programs are to provide stable housing and effective support services to homeless families and individuals.

 

Responsibilities

Maintain and expand base of landlord participation:

  • Recruit landlords not currently working with our housing programs through newspapers, on-line databases, landlord coalitions, and other methods of landlord recruitment.
  • Explain programs to rental property owners, emphasizing benefits they will receive from program participation.
  • Maintain regular contact with property owners to determine if program is meeting their expectations and to resolve concerns.
  • Maintain a listing of current vacancies in Hennepin County and landlord database.
  • Contact rental property owners with information regarding their rights and responsibilities as needed.

 

Coordinate Housing Search:

  • Partner with advocates to assist participants in locating housing of their choice.
  • Provide advocates and participants with appropriate housing vacancy information.
  • Prepare lease and contract materials for advocate and participants in the scattered site Transitional Housing, Young Parent Program and Rental Assistance Program.
  • Coordinating lease process with property owners.
  • Conduct background checks on new participants.

 

Administer rental subsidies for scattered site:

  • Complete all required paperwork for rental subsidy administration.
  • Complete recertification for program participants whenever income changes significantly or annually as required.
  • Complete monthly requests for rental payments to landlords.
  • Complete monthly request for payment to MN Housing for Rental Assistance Program.

 

Ensure that properties are safe for habitation:

  • Conduct Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspections on all properties (as required for GRH, subsidy and RAP), including re-inspections, and annual re-certification inspections.
  • Notify landlords of necessary repairs and follow up to ensure compliance.
  • Maintain knowledge of local housing codes.

 

Complete required documentation and record-keeping:

  • Complete documentation of contact with or on behalf of participants in timely manner.
  • Provide demographic information as necessary to program funders.
  • Maintain accurate records including time sheets, travel expenses and billing information.
  • Maintain client records both in written and electronic form.

 

Provide expertise to help housing staff navigate landlord / tenant relationships:

  • Be well versed in landlord/tenant rights and basic housing laws.
  • Provide information to landlords, tenants, and staff on processes to assist in resolving disputes such as prefilling mediation.
  • Be available to assist in dispute resolution.

 

Public Relations/Networking/Liaison:

  • Communicate and coordinate services with team members and attend team/other meetings, as required.
  • Promote the program to constituents and speak to community organizations or groups.
  • Develop and maintain positive working relationships with staff as well as volunteers.
  • Network with providers of similar services.
  • Participate in professional meetings, workshops, and staff meetings.

 

Demonstrate essential knowledge, abilities and skills:

  • Excellent skills in teamwork and collaboration
  • Ability to take initiative and work well independently
  • Ability to be flexible and manage time.
  • Knowledge of Harm Reduction/Housing First Model and commitment to that model.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, positively and professionally with participants, providers, landlords and others.
  • Ability to work with individuals from very diverse backgrounds.
  • Should have organizational skills and be able to multi-task in order to accomplish the day-to-day activities
  • Must possess superior computer skills, with experience in Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, and Outlook. Demonstrate ability to learn additional computer skills/program as necessary
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Ability to promote a professional work environment that is affirming, respectful and understanding of diverse people.

Scope of Position

Employee may provide back up for program staff during periods of absence or during times of increased workloads.

 

Job Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equal experience in field is required.
  • Minimum of one year working with rental property owners required.
  • Driver’s License and a vehicle are required.

 

Desired:

  • Experience in housing inspections and rental subsidy administration preferred.  
  • Real estate license and/or HQS certification is helpful.

 

Essential Mental Functions

Employee must be able to read, write, and perform basic math and report writing functions to be able to perform the daily duties. Decisions made by the employee often require good judgment, discretion, and initiative. The employee must be able to act in a manner that provides for a positive and supportive atmosphere. The employee must have the ability to interact with a variety of people.

 

Essential Physical Functions

Employee must be able to hear and speak, in order to communicate with staff and participants in person, on the telephone and in writing.  Employee must be able to move about the community and public places.  Employee must be able to lift up to 40 pounds on an occasional basis.

 

Percentage time spent away from main office/location: 
Time inside:  80%, Time outside: 20%, Agency travel time required: 10-25%
Travel includes travel within the community including but not limited to property inspection, housing appointments, and visits with rental property owners.

Percentage time spent in direct care: 15%

Type of guidance and supervision received: Will participate in weekly team meetings as well as bi-weekly direct supervision meetings.

Number of Direct Reports: None

Number of In-direct Reports: May provide volunteer/intern supervision

Budget Responsibility: None

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  • Location
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Department
    39
  • Employment Type
    Full-time FT-BE
  • Minimum Experience
    Mid-level
  • Compensation
    $37,500 to $40,000
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