Full time, contract until March 31, 2022 with possibility of renewal

35 hours (5 days/week)-flexibility of hours may be required

Salary range: $46,000 to $52,000

Reports to: Housing Services Manager

Location: Primarily from Alliston office, occasional travel to Bradford West Gwillimbury Office

Mileage provided at the Agency policy rate

AGENCY OVERVIEW:

  • CONTACT Community Services is a not-for profit registered charity that has a long-standing history of taking a proactive approach to changing social needs in South Simcoe. Our services include: free community information, employment and volunteer services. Our community thrift store, The Clothes Line, offers gently recycled clothing and household goods and provides support to families and individuals in need.
  • CONTACT serves as the Housing Resource Centre for the South Simcoe catchment area in the County of Simcoe. Our agency provides assistance to people at risk of experiencing homelessness, as well as those experiencing homelessness, along with assistance accessing energy support programs. We are looking to hire a part-time Housing Access Worker to assist individuals and families to obtain affordable accommodation and relevant support services; to identify individuals with chronic housing needs requiring longer term assistance; to assist clients in identifying their housing needs, programs they qualify for, complete application forms, and submit applications as directed; to provide regular follow-up and casework to clients, assisting them in completing program requirements.

POSITION OVERVIEW:

  • The Full Time Housing Specialist will work closely with the internal Housing Services Team to understand the needs of specific clients and work to facilitate appropriate housing in the community. Specifically, the role will involve the development and implementation of an effective marketing plan to recruit and retain landlords and property owners to secure rental units for Housing First Clients (those persons who have experienced chronic or episodic homelessness). The Housing Specialist will collaborate with the larger, external Regional Housing Support Services team to obtain adequate and affordable housing and to facilitate ongoing cooperative and successful landlord/tenant relationships to reduce high acuity, chronic homelessness.
  • The role will involve minimal one-on-one work with clients and will be primarily focused on longer-term relationship building with landlords throughout the South Simcoe catchment area (New Tecumseth, Bradford West-Gwillimbury, Essa, Adjala-Tosorontio, and Innisfil). The Housing Specialist will be available for on-call crisis purposes to help mediate pressing landlord/tenant relations, in tandem with the larger internal Housing Services team. The Housing Specialist will be knowledgeable of Housing First principles and will work collaboratively to provide appropriate referrals within the community and the Housing team. The Housing Specialist will be knowledgeable and have an up to date understanding of Landlord Tenant Board, the Residential Tenancy Act, and Human Rights laws, policies/processes surrounding commonly encountered issues/situations relevant to residential tenancies. Specifically, a person-centered rights-based approach to Housing is expected and a passion for helping others is considered fundamental to success in the role. The Housing Specialist is responsible for working with the Executive team to develop relevant departmental materials and contribute to the planning and development of affordable housing.

DUTIES and RESPONSIBILITIES (including, but not limited to):

  • Engage and recruit landlords in the South Simcoe catchment area of Simcoe County to participate in the Housing First model;
  • Work with landlords and property managers to ensure safe housing options for clients;
  • Initiate new and ongoing relationship with local landlords, property owners, property manager, realty companies and tenants;
  • Proactively work with landlords and the housing services team to identify barriers and gaps in services;
  • Collaborate with the Regional Housing First team when appropriate;
  • Meet regularly with members of the Housing Services team to assess housing and stabilization plans to best meet housing and stabilization goals;
  • Organize and facilitate workshops, information sessions and in-services to landlords, property owners and property management companies;
  • Responsible for direct mediation of housing issues between relevant parties, working with the internal team to help resolve pressing client issues;
  • Maintain and populate a housing registry of landlords, persons willing to rent rooms, apartments, or houses to persons with exceptional housing needs;
  • Conduct property inspections to ensure the unit meets the client’s safety and security needs, as well as conduct move in and move out inspections as required.
  • Familiarity with the Landlord-Tenant board (policies, procedures), Residential Tenancy Act, Human rights in relation to tenancy, Ontario WORKS, Ontario Disability legislation and other related legislation and regulations relevant to assisting landlord-tenant relations accordingly;
  • Attend all relevant community events and meetings linked to homelessness or housing issues, as agreed upon with the Executive Director;
  • Maintain records in accordance with applicable standards and regulations, funding requirements, etc.;
  • Participate in continuing education activities, remaining knowledgeable in area(s) of expertise through training benefits and self-motivation;
  • Participate and contribute to the staff team through active participation in staff meetings, retreats, debriefing and program events;
  • Attend supervision meetings, as appropriate, and meet regularly with supervisor to exchange pertinent information and receive supervision;
  • Access to personal transportation for a work capacity including transporting clients, when appropriate;
  • Available to work flexible hours when required;
  • Other duties as assigned.

SUPERVISION:

The Housing Specialist will report directly to the Housing Services Manager, and work closely with other members of the agency. The Housing Specialist may be in positions where they are the sole representative of CONTACT Community Services at various community events as a spokesperson. Therefore, sound judgment and professionalism must be exhibited at all times in consultation with the Housing Services Manager and the Executive Director.

Organizational Support:

As a charity, our organization relies on fundraising activities and events.  We encourage all staff to volunteer at our events/activities.