Economic pressures of coronavirus bearing down increasingly on people living in the United States. Unemployment has skyrocketed. And rents are due. In a NYTimes opinion column today, SLU Urban Studies instructor H. Jacob Carlson, along with NYU’s Gianpaolo Baiocchi, argued that the moment demands nothing short of a rent moratorium:
We need Congress to enact an immediate, 90-day national rent moratorium — a temporary suspension of rent payments that will keep families in their homes before other dominoes start to fall.
This would be a bailout for people — for the countless families already facing difficulties making their next rent payment and who soon will face the real prospect of eviction. If we do not act now, people will lose their access to housing. The social impact of evictions on individuals, families and communities will be brutal.
They observe that 47 percent of renters spend more than a third of their income on rent, and that, “57 percent of renters could not afford an unexpected expense of $400 with the money they have on hand.” Given the precarious situation renters were in before the crisis, the current situation is utterly untenable. And the measures in place aren’t enough.
The eviction moratorium in states like New York is a crucial start but only delays the inevitable. After June 20, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 90-day stay will have lifted, renters will face unpayable debt of months of back-rent and fees, as well as damaged credit. Housing courts will swell with the backlog, and many people will be evicted. Similarly, while freezing rents going up for lease renewal is useful, it will not be enough for families unable to pay current rent prices.
FHJC is a non-profit civil rights organization that serves New York City and the seven suburban New York counties of Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester. Our mission is to: 1) challenge and eliminate housing discrimination; 2) to promote policies that foster open, accessible, and inclusive communities; and, 3) to strengthen the enforcement of local, state, and federal fair housing laws.
FHJC is currently hiring for two positions.
The Intake Analyst is responsible for providing direct assistance to individuals who wish to file complaints which allege violations of local, state, or federal fair housing and fair lending laws. The Intake Analyst collects and assembles information regarding alleged housing discrimination complaints, provides counseling on fair housing rights, and makes appropriate referrals to cooperating attorneys and/or administrative enforcement agencies. This is a part-time position (28 hours per week) that will include health insurance benefits. See full job description here.
The Investigative Coordinator is responsible for conducting tester training, coordinating fair housing and fair lending testing investigations, preserving and controlling evidence, and providing testimony regarding investigations. This is a full-time position that will include health insurance benefits. See full job description here.
Housing Court Answers seeks a Spanish speaking, part-time assistant for its Rental Arrears Hotline. HCA, an independent nonprofit, provides information to unrepresented people in Housing Court from information tables in all five boroughs and a hotline.
The Hotline and Housing Assistant’s responsibilities include providing information about Housing Court and court procedures, referrals for legal assistance, rental arrears help, and social services or organizing. Ability to speak and write English and Spanish is necessary. The salary is currently $24,342 with benefits including single health coverage, subject to ongoing collective bargaining process. The position is 23 hours per week including three full days from 9-5. The hotline is run from our main office in lower Manhattan. The assistant will also work in the courts as needed.
Email cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org with Hotline Coordinator in the subject line.
- Answer calls on our busy hotline
- Provide rent arrears and eviction prevention referrals
- Explain public benefits qualifications, application process, and maintenance
- Answer questions about Housing Court, housing laws, and tenants rights and responsibilities
- Explain housing court procedures for tenants and landlords
- Update a resource list of organizations including charities, community groups, non-profit housing organizations, legal service providers and others.
- Identify systemic issues which might be addressed through advocacy or litigation
- Develop and update information sheets and training materials on public benefits and getting assistance from charities and HRA
- Educate coworkers on hotline protocols
- Prepare and present trainings for advocates on eviction prevention, public benefits and Housing Court issues
- Assist on advocacy campaigns aimed at improving the lives of hotline callers and people in Housing Court without attorneys
- Assist on lobbying campaigns
- Bachelor’s degree preferred
- Commitment to social justice
- Ability to work with the public in a stressful and/or chaotic setting
- Knowledge of housing, tenants’ rights, and rent regulation
- Strong verbal and written communication skills in English and Spanish
- Strong computer skills especially google drive, microsoft office including publisher and access
- Ability to work independently and collaboratively
- Experience with Housing Court, housing laws, and public benefits
- We will only consider applicants that speak Spanish
CGA is looking for a part time community organizer to join our anti displacement campaign and community wealth building initiative. The anti displacement campaign seeks to preserve and expand quality affordable housing in Southwest Brooklyn (Red Hook, Columbia Waterfront, and the surrounding area) by educating and organizing with residents and allies.
The community wealth building initiative works to create living wage job and asset generating opportunities for residents historically dislocated from mainstream economic development programs. Programs and organizing focus on worker cooperative development, merchant association formation, entrepreneur education, and broader community building events.
The organizer will work directly with the Community Planner to assist in resident and worker outreach, organizing info sessions and strategy meetings, and coordinate community planning workshops.
This position is 20-25 hours per week starting at $15/hour.
Advocacy & Community Organizing:
- Coordinate and implement door-to-door outreach to renters. Develop “Know Your Rights” materials for tenants.
- Build tenant power through leadership development and assist in forming tenant associations.
- Recruit child care workers to Southwest Brooklyn’s first child care worker cooperative.
- Assist in developing a 12 week worker cooperative training for worker owners.
- Grow the merchants association through outreach, engagement, and participation in monthly meetings.
Research & Policy:
- Learn best practices for researching neighborhood demographic, economic, and housing trends.
- Learn best practices for worker cooperative development, merchant association formation, and workshop and training content for entrepreneurs.
- Develop tenant organizing and worker cooperative development presentations for broader community education.
- Update CGA social media accounts.
- Write press releases, coordinate interviews with community members, and build relationships with media representatives.
- Learn about pitching stories, press cycles and communications strategy.
- Experience in community organizing preferred.
- Demonstrated commitment and passion for social justice and building power of low-income residents and communities of color.
- Bi-lingual Spanish/English fluency strongly preferred.
- Strong writing, communication, and group work skills.
- Interest in growing a career with CGA.
- Humility and humor.
About the Carroll Gardens Association:
The Carroll Gardens Association (CGA) is an affordable housing and economic development grassroots organization working in Southwest Brooklyn (Red Hook, Columbia Waterfront, and the surrounding area). We organize with low income residents, small businesses, and allies to advocate for equitable development, permanent affordable housing, and community wealth building policies. Our belief that local residents are the experts in the problems that face them guides our program design and direct service provision, prioritizing capacity building and leadership development. Learn more about us at www.carrollgardensassociation.com
How to apply:
If interested, please send resume and cover letter to Ben Fuller-Googins at email@example.com with “Community Organizer– YOUR NAME” in the subject line. Your cover letter should address your passion for movement building and why you are interested in working with CGA.