HOME Line seeks individuals to organize tenants in privately-owned, multifamily developments subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to save and improve their homes as affordable housing. The positions are through Americorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), a federal program which pays full-time VISTA Volunteers a one year renewable stipend to empower people in low income communities. The tenant organizer will assist, inform, educate, and engage tenants living in buildings that are at risk of loss of affordability, assist in campaigns to preserve HUD-assisted affordable housing. This position require a person who relates well to a variety of people, has experience in and respect for developing grassroots leaders, and is comfortable representing the organization.
HOME Line is a non-profit, non-partisan, statewide tenant advocacy organization with over 24 years of experience providing free legal advice and education to renters. Our primary program, a statewide legal hotline, served over 14,000 renter households in 2016. HOME Line also organizes renters to preserve and improve their housing and advocate for proactive tenant rights policies.
- Receive training in tenant/landlord laws, subsidized housing rules, community organizing strategies
- Engage in outreach and tenant engagement at priority, at-risk apartment buildings
- Identify and recruit tenant leaders to help form or strengthen independent tenant associations
- Provide training and assistance to tenants on HUD subsidy issues, Minnesota tenant/landlord law, and leadership development
- Coordinate tenant efforts to engage owners, public officials, and HUD and other agencies
- Coordinate work with EJW VISTA Legal Fellow at local organization Housing Justice Center
- Support the broader mission of the placement organization, including assistance on our tenant hotline
- Commitment to social change and empowerment of lower-income people
- Examples of volunteer or work experience in community/grassroots organizing, outreach, engagement
- Ability to read and write clearly and concisely
- Experience in planning and conducting meetings
- Comfortable working with diverse groups of people and engaging in door-to-door outreach
- Availability to work evenings and weekends as needed
- Access to reliable transportation, occasionally outside of business hours and outside metro area
- Those with Spanish, Somali, or Hmong bilingual language skills are encouraged to apply
VISTA Volunteers are paid a monthly stipend of approximately $940 in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and an education award of $5,815 annually for each year of service, or an alternative cash stipend of $1,500. Volunteers receive a VISTA Healthcare Allowance, mileage reimbursement, 10 vacation/personal days, 10 sick days, and a monthly housing allowance to help with rent. If you are already receiving public assistance (such as Social Security, food stamps, or housing subsidy), your eligibility and level of assistance should not be affected and the stipend is excluded income in HUD subsidized rental housing. VISTAs can defer student loans during their service year. Americorps has recently revised policies on outside employment, meaning a VISTA is allowed to supplement their Americorps stipend with another job.