Director of Housing Counseling

Location

1880 Oak Ave, 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 that 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 HUD-certified Housing Counselor to serve as the Director of Housing Counseling and Education. The Director of Housing Counseling and Education is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the housing counseling program, intake, and educational programs. The advocate selected for this role must be grounded in desire to help others, aware of the impact that is possible, and will collaborate with others both internally and externally to further housing equity in our communities.

Status

Reports to CEO

Requirements

  • HUD Housing Counseling Certification required

  • NCHEC Certifications in all disciplines preferred (must obtain within 36 months of hire)

  • NCHEC Certification HO360 preferred (must obtain within 12 months of hire)
    B.S. or B.A. in appropriate related discipline preferred (Social Science, Business, Education)

  • At least five (5) years housing counseling experience with a minimum of 2 years administration and supervision experience preferred

  •  The above qualifications express the minimum standards of education and/or experience for this position. Other combinations of education and experience, if evaluated as equivalent, may be taken into consideration

  • Flexibility to work outside normal business hours

  • Valid driver’s license

Qualifications


  •  Good working knowledge of the components of a housing counseling program, including rental assistance, foreclosure, home owner assistance programs, and the pre-purchase home buying process.

  • A strong desire to learn, including the ability to analyze complex policy issues and remain current in a changing regulatory environment.

  •  Self-directed and well-organized with a demonstrated ability to handle multiple clients and projects simultaneously.

  •  Detail oriented with ability to organize complex material in clear and concise manner.

  • Demonstrated ability to work with others in establishing goals and objectives

  • Ability to structure and convey information for a large group in a manner that is engaging and approachable

  •  Ability to effectively communicate and work with individuals from diverse backgrounds and experience.

  • Technical Skills – Must be proficient at using required technology; using client management systems, spreadsheets and reporting tools; willing to pursue training and development opportunities; strive to continuously build knowledge and skills; willing to share expertise with others; able to balance multiple tasks and manage conflicting priorities required.

  • Client Service – Able to manages difficult or emotional client situations; respond promptly to customer needs and requests for service and assistance; able to meet commitments.

  •  Interpersonal Skills - Maintains confidentiality. Focuses on solving conflict. Listens patiently to clients without interrupting.

  • Adaptability - Adapts to changes in the work environment. Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.

  •  Excellent communication, writing, problem solving, and organizational skills.

  • Dynamic personality with extensive group presentation experience.

  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.

  • Ability to represent Open Communities in a professional manner.




Responsibilities:

  • Proactive leader and team player with the ability to be influential and establish positive working relationships that attracts, retains, and motivates quality employees.

  •  Oversee counseling staff, providing direct support, feedback, and coaching on a regular basis, along with an annual performance review.

  • Identify and develop program-specific outcomes to ensure program effectiveness and impact, and the ability to report that to funders and the community. Design and manage program services directly related to those outcomes.

  •  Ensure staff has appropriate training and resources to perform their jobs effectively.

  •  Continuously evaluate programs, processes, and procedures for enhancements and operational efficiencies to meet the demand for client needs.

  • Ensure that Open Communities HUD Housing Counseling Workplan, internal documents and disclosures, and processes are updated and facilitated in accordance with HUD and the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling.

  • Ensure that the client management system (CMS) is utilized timely and effectively to track, maintain, and report program data in compliance with HUD and other program contracts.

  •  Monitor and evaluate the accuracy of program paperwork and client files for completeness, appropriateness, and compliance for respective grant requirements.

  • Prepare accurate and timely reports as required by various program contracts.

  • Maintain a working knowledge of all counseling program contracts, operational policies, and reporting procedure.

  •  Assist in the preparation of grant proposals and applications, and all audits by counseling program funding sources (HUD, IHDA, et. al.).

  •  Oversee the development, coordination, and facilitation of content for all Homebuyer Education, Mortgage Delinquency, and Financial Literacy classes and workshops.

  • Work with Outreach Coordinator to implement and execute a marketing and outreach strategy to create program and workshop awareness.

  • Manage a caseload of financial capability counseling clients, foreclosure prevention and delinquency clients and rental housing clients.

  •  Develop and maintain relationships with lenders, realtors, home inspectors, real estate attorneys, insurance agents, professional peers, and other human service organizations as referral and program support resources.

  • Maintain a broad-based working knowledge of HUD, its Housing Counseling Handbook and local housing programs, and ensure staff/volunteers are well-versed and current in their knowledge.

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 may be required. This is a flexible 40-hour schedule with some calls/client contact or workshops needed to be conducted 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- $75,000 based on qualifications. Excellent paid-time off, many corporate-style healthcare, dental, vision, and ancillary benefits available.