Tenant Organizer – Queens
Communities Resist Inc., a project of Southside United HDFC (CoRe), seeks a tenant organizer to join a team combating gentrification, displacement, social disenfranchisement, and structural injustice through tenant organizing in Brooklyn and Queens.
CoRe is a legal services organization for housing and community justice steeped in the 50-year tradition of community lawyering in North and East Brooklyn. In these communities, we have spent years working together with neighborhood organizations and organizers in representing hundreds of tenants and tenant associations. Our representation has aimed to assist them with enforcing their right to social citizenship by struggling, resisting, and enduring against any attempts to deny working communities, largely of color, their place and their agency. CoRe has arisen out of a collective effort of these communities to ensure that this unique model continues unchanged.
The tenant organizer will work in collaboration with this extraordinary coalition of neighborhood organizations to help preserve and expand affordable housing for lower income residents of those areas—in the face of rapid gentrification and tenant displacement throughout their neighborhoods. The work involves developing tenant associations and partnering with CoRe’s staff attorneys to combat landlord harassment and discrimination of low-income residents; protecting individuals and families facing eviction; representing low-income tenant co-ops seeking to reinforce and sustain themselves; protecting community institutions facing closures or adverse actions due to extraordinary market pressures and neighborhood displacement; organzing low-income tenants in fair housing litigation; as well as organizing community groups involved in struggles against pervasive housing discrimination, neighborhood segregation, and other issues critically affecting the future of their communities.
This position will involve forming and organizing tenant associations and assisting individual tenants in Queens suffering from harassment and displacement – particularly due to prior/imminent local rezonings – predominantly in the communities of Flushing, Astoria, Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, and Woodside. The tenant organizer will work to stop such pernicious practices in these communities by: providing advice and legal services to help improve conditions in their homes and buildings; conducting Know-Your-Rights housing workshops, clinics, and other educational efforts to ensure that tenants are aware of their protections under housing laws; participating in neighborhood advocacy efforts to stop tenant harassment, displacement, and residential segregation; participating in citywide dialogue around these issues; and contributing to CoRe’s efforts to shape our housing advocacy and legal strategy to effectively respond to the ongoing needs of our communities.
Applicants must have the following qualifications:
- Fluency in Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, Bengali, Arabic or another language commonly spoken in Queens.
- Ability to be attentive, walk up and down stairs, door-knock and canvass in the neighborhoods CoRe serves throughout the year.
- Ability to attend frequent evening tenant associations and community meetings.
- Cultural competence demonstrated through present or past residence in, or employment at, organizations serving our clients’ communities.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate with individuals from diverse backgrounds and diverse local organizations.
- Experience working with low-income tenant groups, community organizations and/or coalitions.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and effective communication skills, including the ability to work with people in desperate crisis.
- Ability to work independently with strong motivation, to manage a high caseload, track case data, meet deadlines, and to be flexible.
- Computer proficiency sufficient to independently review and generate materials relevant to the position as well as track client information in our database, prepare reports for grantors, attend meetings, and perform tasks related to the work such as timekeeping and case notes.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate with individuals from diverse backgrounds and local organizations.
CoRe is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of race, religion/creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, victim of domestic violence status or marital status. Salary will be commensurate with experience; excellent health and other benefits will be provided.
To apply, forward a cover letter with your resume to:
Lina Lee, Executive Director Communities Resist Inc.
Please put ‘Tenant Organizer’ in the subject line