Full-time Housing Grant Specialist (Hilo)

May 07 2020
Job Description

Overall Responsibility:

The Housing Grant Specialist is an organized and trained professional that acts as a positive change agent who assists and advocates on behalf of individuals and families often living with issues such as severe and persistent mental health disorders, chronic illness, brain injury, and/or substance use disorders to achieve and maintain housing while concurrently promoting awareness and teaching strategies that reduce the likelihood of a return to homelessness in the future.

The Housing Grant Specialist is responsible completing all housing program intakes, obtaining grant required documentation, provides collaborative coordination and needs assessments, and mediating tenant/landlord conflicts.

Using a multi-disciplinary skill set, the Housing Grant Specialist must be able to exercise the following skills:

  • Serve and advocate with sensitivity for clients of grant funded positions across a wide array of programs;
  • Ensure success in meeting individual and programmatic objectives;
  • Ensure that services are provided in a safe, respectful, and effective manner;
  • Ensure that all housing and service data is accurate and current for all program participants by developing, implementing and monitoring a system to maintain accurate, consistent, and coordinated data collection and data entry with the HMIS and Penelope database;
  • Provide outreach, resources, intake and assessment of clients to determine client needs and provide referral services;
  • Document program participant outcomes, including electronic and hard-file records, ensuring that data is entered accurately, in a timely manner, and in accordance with agency and regulatory standards, and funder requirements;
  • Complete reports and other program administrative duties in a timely manner;
  • Model effective Housing First Case Management techniques and strategies including: Motivational Interviewing, Assertive Engagement, Stages of Change, De-escalation, and Active Listening;
  • Respond to crisis phone calls from owners, tenants, and/or clients to directly link them to external service providers for immediate intervention;
  • Resolve complex community issues involving the program and its participants;
  • Help participants establish goals and an individualized service plan;
  • Knowledge and practice-understanding of mental health issues, trauma-informed care, mental health and addiction assessments, client-centered treatment;
  • Excellent communication skills in all mediums;
  • Communicate effectively with local community and external agencies to provide wrap around services, and foster relationships which enable needed resources to be accessed;
  • Attend assigned community and other stakeholder meetings and advocate for client and program needs, including organizing or participating in case conferences as appropriate;
  • Respond to crisis situations in a calm and professional manner, ensuring the safety of clients and staff. Collaborate with the Housing Based Case Manager and Housing First Case Manager to mediate landlord/tenant issues. Provide crisis debriefing after incidents, as appropriate.
  • Achieve knowledge of the contracts and grants working under;
  • Actively participate in staff meetings and trainings;
  • Other duties as assigned.

Grant Request Procedure

  • Inspect units utilizing HUD’s Housing Quality Standards (HQS)
  • Itemize unit inventories prior to move-in
  • Prepare Landlord Packets
  • Submit Grant Requests

The Housing Grant Specialist must be able to fulfill duties in accordance with the Housing First approach, including:

  • Housing as the first essential step, without any requirements for sobriety, participation in treatment, medication protocol, compliance, or demonstrated “housing readiness”;
  • Reducing harm to the individual and broader community;
  • Remaining non-judgmental in behaviors, practices, beliefs and actions of service participants;
  • Promoting and empowering meaningful choices and service access options, as well as allowing the service participant to influence the type, duration, frequency and intensity of supports;
  • Absence of coercion, tricks or contracting;
  • Professional relationship without dependency that supports “doing with” instead of “doing for”;
  • Expressing empathy and positivity;
  • Remaining future oriented, not anchored to past events, with a strong sense of promoting hope and possibility in a realistic manner;
  • Transparency and disclosure of information with the service participant using full informed consent;
  • Balancing the needs of the client, community and landlord in each situation;
  • The right to refuse or revoke services and/or seek restitution or grieve instances where they feel services are inappropriate or inadequate.

The Housing Grant Specialist must have an awareness of and working knowledge in the areas of:

  • Legal requirements and risks to perform this type of work, including the relevant legislation that impacts decision-making in particular situations;
  • Rental housing and requirements of tenants and landlords bylaw;
  • Homelessness, especially chronic homelessness;
  • Dependency on substances;
  • Aboriginal culture and impacts on cultural identity;
  • Economic poverty;
  • Income support services;
  • Child welfare; 
  • Health care, mental health care, and addiction services;
  • Harm reduction;
  • Trauma and abuse;
  • Domestic and intimate partner violence (victim and perpetrators);
  • Life changes and ageing;
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders;
  • Brain injuries;
  • Privacy and confidentiality;
  • Self-care;
  • Corrections and criminal justice.

In the course of performing the duties of the Housing Grant Specialist it is not uncommon to see, engage or be confronted with first hand – or have staff encounter first hand – the following: violence and threats of violence; profane, racist and/or sexist language; bodily fluids; conflict; interactions with First Responders; alcohol and other street drugs; cigarette smoke; death of service participants or her/his associates; nudity of service participants or her/his associates; friends/family dynamics with service participants; people involved with sex work; people involved in the drug trade; persons used against their consent, will or knowledge; people in conflict with the law; and/or other situations that may be unsettling. Measures are taken to train staff to appropriately deal with these situations, but those in the position should reasonably expect these types of things to occur and the Housing Grant Specialist must provide appropriate direction and support to these situations.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • High School diploma and two years of experience working in property management, with landlords, or mediating landlord/tenant issues.
  • An Associate’s Degree or higher may substitute for years of experience.
  • Available to work as-needed on evenings and weekends.
  • Current driver’s license and clear traffic abstract.
  • Personal vehicle with current and adequate insurance.

Candidates must display and/or demonstrate ability to:

  • Climb and/or walk up and down stairs and/or walkways.
  • Sit for periods of up to 30 minutes at a time.
  • Walk and/or standing for up to 30 minutes at a time.
  • Lift, carry, pull and/or push items up to 30 pounds at a time and for short distances.  Such motions may include reasonable bending, stooping, reaching and twisting.

Starting Pay: $18.00/hour