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Community Organizer for Housing Justice

New Settlement Apartments


Description
OVERVIEW OF NEW SETTLEMENT APARTMENTS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES: New Settlement Apartments, home of Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA), is a non-profit, mixed-income housing and community service organization with a 23-year track record of active commitment to neighborhood revitalization, community building and organizing, and positive youth development. New Settlement currently provides year-round educational, cultural and recreational programs and social services to 11,500 youth and adults who live in the surrounding area.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW: Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA) is New Settlement Apartments' housing organizing initiative. Our work at CASA is grounded in the belief that everyone has a basic right to a safe, healthy, affordable and stable home and that our organizing work should be led by our members. We are made up of community members who work together to improve the living conditions in our neighborhood and maintain affordable housing through collective action. We achieve this by organizing to protect rent stabilization, organizing against predatory landlords, fighting against landlord harassment, working to reform the Bronx Housing Court, working to eliminate landlords' ability to charge non-rent fees, educating tenants about their rights, building a critical mass of members involved in our work, and developing leaders to guide these important fights. Our work is based in the Bronx but many of our initiatives and campaigns work with allies and coalitions and all of our work benefits tenants throughout NYC. In March 2013, we received an award from the Association of Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD) for Excellence in Neighborhood Organizing.

We seek an experienced, bold, passionate, hard-working, and dedicated person who wants an opportunity to grow their organizing skills and capacity and help move our cutting-edge work forward.

Responsibilities:
POSITION DESCRIPTION AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Guided by the Director of Housing Organizing and in coordination with other organizers and interns, the C.O. will work to strengthen CASA’s broad base of members, who are committed to housing justice, understand what it takes to build a movement and are prepared to take bold action to transform the quality and affordability of housing in the Southwest Bronx. The Community Organizer’s Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:


• Building a Strong Base of Members through: o Organizing Tenants’ Associations: We organize so that landlord harassment stops, repairs are done, people can stay in their homes, communities are stabilized, and ultimately so that people know and claim their own power. Our model is to develop steering committees that work collectively based on people’s skills, interests and time. We teach leaders how to facilitate meetings, make flyers, write letters, run press conferences, pressure the banks, meet with their landlords and lobby resources like HPD. Our goal is to develop tenants’ associations that can ultimately operate independently of our support while bringing members of tenants association into our organization and developing them as leaders to lead our campaigns.

o Conducting Effective Outreach and Base building Work: Using various creative methods to recruit new members, keeping accurate records, assessing potential members, and effectively meeting goals to turnout members to key actions and events.


• Leadership Development: The organizer will work to develop the skills, capacity and analysis of our members through ongoing informal and formal leadership-development work. The organizer will work to encourage participation and a sense of ownership among members.


• Campaign Strategy and Development: We have two active campaigns: The Campaign to Reform the Bronx Housing Court, which includes the fight for the right to counsel and the Campaign to End Non-Rent Fees, which will ban landlords’ ability to charge tenants for fees that they don’t owe. We seek an organizer to lead one of these important campaigns, which includes mobilizing for actions, developing campaign strategy and innovative tactics, conducting research, working with media, etc.


• Actively Participate in and Develop our Organizational Capacity: This includes participating in and prepping members to facilitate our monthly CASA Membership Meetings, creating and facilitating regular workshops specific to housing rights, laws and processes, seeking out training and learning opportunities, facilitating staff meetings, actively participating in staff retreats, keeping up with database and reporting requirements, and thinking through ways to develop CASA into the organization it can and should be.

Qualifications:
DESIRED EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS: Minimum two years’ experience in organizing; a well-developed theory of change; a strong track record of a commitment to social justice; ability to communicate, listen and motivate people to action from diverse backgrounds; strong experience in facilitation, training and leadership development; excellent writing and public speaking skills; computer literate; ability to work nights and weekends as necessary. English/Spanish bilingual skills preferred.

SALARY AND BENEFITS OFFERED: Competitive salary, depending on experience. Comprehensive benefits package, including 401(k). Great opportunities for learning, growth and development.

How TO APPLY:
TO APPLY: Send cover letter, résumé and list of three professional references to housingorgsearch@newsettlement.org or by mail to Housing Organizer Search, New Settlement Apartments, 1512 Townsend Ave, Bronx NY 10452. No faxes or phone calls, please. EEO/AA

About Organization:
OVERVIEW OF NEW SETTLEMENT APARTMENTS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES: New Settlement Apartments, home of Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA), is a non-profit, mixed-income housing and community service organization with a 23-year track record of active commitment to neighborhood revitalization, community building and organizing, and positive youth development. New Settlement currently provides year-round educational, cultural and recreational programs and social services to 11,500 youth and adults who live in the surrounding area.


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