DIRECTOR OF FAIR HOUSING ENFORCEMENT

Location

Evanston, IL 60201, USA

Job Type

Full Time

Overview

Open Communities is a non-profit organization that seeks to eradicate housing discrimination, an illegal and divisive force which perpetuates poverty, segregation and limits opportunity. Established in 1972, Open Communities educates and advocates for equal housing opportunities in the north suburbs of Chicago and enforces federal, state, and local fair housing laws. Open Communities also engages in activities to encourage fair housing practices and to open dialogue leading to increased housing equity in our communities.

Job Description

Open Communities, Evanston, IL. seeks an experienced fair housing advocate to serve as the Director of Fair Housing Enforcement which investigates and leads enforcement efforts of federal, state, and local housing discrimination violations. This position will represent clients in fair housing matters in both mediation and administrative settings, as well as collaborate with outside counsel to file and litigate claims in federal and state courts. This position will also represent the organization in fair housing advocacy efforts. The person selected for this role must have a strong demonstrated history of fair housing work, be aware of the impact that is possible, and will collaborate with others internally and externally to further housing equity in our communities.

Status

Reports to CEO

Requirements

Applicants must have at least five years of fair housing work history with increasing responsibilities. A JD from an ABA -accredited law school is preferred but not necessary.

Qualifications

  • A demonstrated commitment to civil rights work is required.

  • Three years of fair housing experience highly preferred, or three years of civil rights litigation experience with an ability to learn fair housing with little direct supervision.

  • Ability to handle a diverse caseload, and collaborate on fair housing initiatives.

  •  Excellent research, writing and speaking skills.

  •  Ability to navigate and keep excellent records in a CRM system.

  •  Ability to speak and work with clients of diverse backgrounds. Bi-lingual abilities are desirable.

  •  Creativity and a willingness to work with others to develop effective strategies for advancing housing equity.

Responsibilities:

  • Assist with the screening of requests for legal assistance and the investigation and development of potential new fair housing matters.

  • Provide general oversight of the fair housing department including fair housing testing and outreach.

  • Assist the Testing Coordinator with developing complaint-based testing/investigation strategies.

  • Engage in a full range of advocacy services, including but not limited to: general legal advising, drafting demand letters and requests for reasonable accommodations.

  • Devise creative litigation strategies aimed at providing the greatest positive outcome for the client and larger community.

  • Represent Open Communities and clients in mediation, or administrative civil rights enforcement activities. Collaborate with outside counsel in federal court proceedings.

  • Maintain full and accurate case files for legal proceedings, and assist with the maintenance of records for grant reporting, audits, and other purposes as necessary.

  •  Supervise legal interns, cooperating attorneys, and volunteer attorneys in fair housing litigation and administrative enforcement activities.

  •  Represent Open Communities in the areas we serve by attending fair housing meetings, events, conduct outreach and advocating before government entities.

  • Develop and maintain networking relationships within the community.

  • Safeguard clients’ records and confidentiality;

  •  Work as a team to further the mission and goals of Open Communities and all its programs.

  •  Other duties as assigned.

Working Conditions

Remote, hybrid as Covid-19 conditions allows. All positions require proof of vaccination, or appropriate religious or medical exemption. Some use of a vehicle is required for this position. This is a flexible 40-hour schedule with some calls/client contact needed to be made outside of the general 9-5 schedule to accommodate clients. Travel as required for national training

Why Work for Us?

At Open Communities, we don't just accept difference — we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it. We believe that diversity and inclusion among our teammates are critical to our success, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. We value critical thinkers, problem solvers, and the ability to laugh with each other. Open Communities is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace.

COVID-19 Policy

In response to this new variant and concerns form staff, clients and board members, Open Communities has decided to move forward with a mandatory vaccination policy. As a condition of employment, all full-time, part-time, temporary, seasonal, on-call employees of Open Communities must receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

 

To be compliant with this requirement, employees must do one of the following: 
• Provide Open Communities with proof of immunization within the specified timeframe. Proof of immunization must include a copy of documentation showing the vaccine was received, but it should not include any personal health information or family medical history information; or 
• Comply with the designated procedure for obtaining a permissible exemption as described in our full policy. If employee has an approved exemption, employee will not be able to work in the office with other vaccinated employees. They must continue to work remote.

Salary

$65,000- 80,000 based on qualifications. Excellent paid-time off, multiple health-care options available