CONTACT Community Services is a 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. The Housing Resource Centre assists individuals and families in obtaining affordable accommodation and relevant support services; works to identify individuals with chronic housing needs and provide the required longer term assistance; works with local landlords and property managers to facilitate safe and affordable housing for persons experiencing homelessness, including landlord/tenant mediation.
The Part-Time (3-days/wk) 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, Adjala-Tosorontio, Essa 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. It is expected that the Housing Specialist will be knowledgeable of Housing First principles and will work collaboratively to provide appropriate referrals within the community and the Housing Services team. Specifically, a rights-based approach to Housing is expected and experience with advocacy is considered fundamental to success in the role. The Housing Specialist is responsible for working with the Executive team to also 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, as required;
- familiarity with the Landlord-Tenant Act, Ontario Works, Ontario Disability legislation and other related legislation and regulations and assist 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 with the Housing Services Manager, as appropriate to exchange pertinent information and receive supervision.
- agreement to use personal transportation in a work capacity including transporting clients, when appropriate.
- agreement to work flexible hours when required.
- perform other duties as assigned.
- Preference will be given to applicants with a sales background, strong critical thinking skills, and a personal passion for meeting targets and assisting others.
- Preference will be given to applicants who are are considerd by others as dynamic, multi-dimensional, and think 'outside-the-box'.
- A degree/diploma in the field of business or marketing, or social services and who have recent relevant experience working with the target population is an asset.
- A minimum of one year experience in promoting housing for marginalized persons, experience within the Addictions, Mental Health or a closely related field an asset.
- Familiarity with the communities of South Simcoe and the property rental landscape.
- Positive personality and demonstrated ability to take initiative and exhibit extra effort to better serve the client.
- Knowledge of the psychosocial rehabilitation, recovery principles and harm reduction philosophy.
- Demonstrated understanding of the principles of Housing First.
- Ability to engage sound judgement and strong problem-solving skills; excellent verbal communication skills and ability to prioritize tasks.
- Strong interpersonal skills with the proven ability to work independently as well as part of a team.
- Demonstrated knowledge of human/legal rights and relevant legislation.
- Knowledge of First Nation, Metis, and Inuit culture is considered an asset.
- Strong analytic skills; with the proven ability to make appropriate decisions.
- Valid First Aid certification.
- Mental Health First Aid.
- Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training.
- Valid G Driver’s License and access to a reliable vehicle.
The Housing Specialist will report directly to the Housing Services Manager and work closely with other members of the Housing team and agency. The Housing Specialist will be in positions where they are the sole representative of CONTACT Community Services to various community stakeholders. Therefore, sound judgement and professionalism must be exhibited at all times.
CONTACT Community Services is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates. Accommodations during the hiring process can be made available to applicants who make their needs known in advance. We appreciate all applications, however, only those candidates being considered for the position will be contacted.
To apply, please submit a detailed résumé and a covering letter indicating how your experience relates to the responsibilities of the position.