Sample Housing Specialist Job Description

September 10, 2014  |  Toolkits and Training Materials

Sample Housing Specialist Job Description

Rapid Re-housing (Transition-in-place) Model
This is an example of a new job description for a provider who shifts from a typical scattered site transitional housing model to a rapid re-housing/transition-in-place model. It has been adapted from job descriptions created by Community Rebuilders (Grand Rapids, MI), and Tabor Community Services (Lancaster, PA).

Project Description

The project is a scattered site transition-in-place/rapid re-housing program that promotes consumer choice in housing within the private rental market. The Housing Specialist assists with housing search and placement along with leveraging supportive services that will assist the participant household to maintain permanent housing.

General Statement of Duties

Provides a variety of office and field activities to manage and monitor a rapid re-housing/transition-in-place program for families, performs direct client services, and compiles related documentation.

Work involves orienting all eligible participants to the program and providing housing search and supportive services to promote participants self sufficiency, integration into the community, and permanency in housing; performing administrative tasks involved in the review and maintenance of a caseload of program participants. The principal duties are performed both in a general office environment and in the field and community where program participants reside.

Essential Functions

This list is not exhaustive and may be supplemented as necessary.

  1. Assess housing barriers of individuals and families experiencing homelessness to determine housing and service needs.
  2. Develop a housing procurement, financial, and self-sufficiency case management plan with clients. This shall include intake interview to determine client’s needs, goals, and eligibility.
  3. Provide mediation and advocacy with landlords on the client’s behalf to develop a workable plan to obtain and or maintain housing.
  4. Assist participants in locating and securing housing of their choice.
  5. Create and maintain consistent communication channels, both verbal and written, between several parties (i.e. tenant, landlord, referral source, collaborating agencies, debtors and creditors).
  6. Serve as an ongoing liaison between property managers and participants as well as between participants and neighbors.
  7. Provide information and referral assistance regarding available support from appropriate social service agencies and/or community programs.
  8. Assist in development of and encourage adherence to a personal budget through pro-active housing and budget counseling sessions; provide budget counseling and education to assist clients in establishing payments plans for bills and past debts and to assist clients in obtaining and maintaining their housing.
  9. Assist participants in development of a strength-based/solution-focused individualized goal and action plan that promotes permanent housing and self-sufficiency; develop an effective, timely referral network in order to ensure ongoing direction and support as needed.
  10. Identify participant strengths and barriers to stability and assist participants to reducing barriers and linking to resources and services.
  11. Provide pro-active follow-up home visits to ensure stability and further progress towards self-sufficiency; this includes support, advocacy, reducing isolation, listening, problem solving, and identification of resources to assist with reintegration of participants in the community.
  12. Apply knowledge of residential lease contracts to educate clients of their rights and responsibilities.
  13. Maintain accurate daily logs records, monthly outcome reports, and files for each client.
  14. Transport clients as deemed necessary.  Transportation requirements should be limited to housing and job searches and occasional visit to relevant social service agencies.
  15. Collect and report program data, including but not limited to HMIS reporting and funders’ required data.

Other Functions

  1. Complete all appropriate monthly and annual report forms.
  2. Maintain a complete working file providing activity documentation and copies of all corresponding paperwork.
  3. Assume other responsibilities as assigned.

Minimum Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Requires knowledge and belief in “Housing First” philosophy and strategies.
  • Minimum Education Requirements: Bachelor Degree in Human Services preferred or a minimum of a two years degree in Human related services and two years related experience.
  • Excellent communication skills, particularly listening, mediation, and writing skills.
  • Possess strong organizational skills with ability to meet a demanding workload.
  • Detail oriented to complete requirements of files and contract compliance.
  • Creative thinker/adaptive personality.
  • Knowledge or understanding of tenant’s rights and responsibilities as well as “strengths based” case management.
  • Concentrated record keeping, budgeting, and mathematical skills; ability to produce required reports to federal, state. and local government agencies and funding sources.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of community resources, social service agencies, and landlords.
  • Fluency in the English language is required. Spanish speaking ability is an added asset, but is not required.
  • Experience with computer and knowledge of Microsoft Office.
  • Valid driver’s license and a car.
  • Sensitivity to cultural and socioeconomic characteristics of population served.
  • A commitment to empowering others to solve their own problems.
  • A conviction about the capacity of people to grow and change.
  • The ability to establish and set appropriate limits with persons served to help them gain skills and confidence.
  • The ability to work collaboratively with other personnel and/or service providers or professionals.
  • The capacity to maintain a role to empower clients and to intervene appropriately to meet service goals.