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Community Organizer for Housing Justice – Community Action for Safe Apartments

Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA), New Settlement’s Housing Organizing initiative, has been working since 2005 to build tenant power through community organizing to not only address prevailing threats to tenants’ rights and existing affordable housing stock, but to expand access to safe and affordable housing. CASA works primarily in Community Board 4 (CB4), or the Highbridge/Concourse section of the Southwest Bronx, but our campaigns have city- and state-wide impact and thus, we work with vibrant and diverse coalitions.

We conduct strategic outreach and organize tenant associations, provide monthly housing workshops and legal clinics, hold monthly membership meetings and both lead and participate in city and state-wide policy campaigns. Our campaigns focus on the reform of Housing Court and the implementation of the historic Right to Counsel legislation, building city-wide support for a rent freeze for all rent-stabilized units, a state-level campaign targeting DHCR for the administrative reform of the MCI process, and leading a campaign for the participatory rezoning of the Southwest Bronx.  All of our campaigns are member-envisioned, member-led and member-implemented.

The Bronx Defenders awarded CASA the Partner in the Pursuit of Justice Award in 2017. In 2016, the Rent Justice Coalition recognized CASA for our “leadership to fight for a rent freeze.” In 2015, we were awarded the Standing Up for Justice Award by the MinKwon Center for Common Action and the Ally Organization Award by CAAAV, Organizing Asian Communities. In September 2014, we were awarded the Activist Award by the Urban Justice Center for our “long-standing dedication to building the power of Bronx tenants and fiercely advocating for affordable housing” and in March of 2013 we received an Excellence in Neighborhood Organizing Award from the Association of Neighborhood and Housing Development, for our tenant organizing work.  For more information, go to: https://newsettlement.org/casa/

We are looking for an experienced, bold, passionate, hard-working, and dedicated person who is looking for an opportunity to grow their organizing skills and capacity and help move our cutting edge and exciting work forward.  

POSITION DESCRIPTION AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Guided by the Director and in coordination with other organizers and interns, the C.O. will work to strengthen CASA’s broad base of members, who are committed to housing justice, understand what it takes to build a movement and are prepared to take bold action to transform the quality and affordability of housing in the Southwest Bronx.

Duties will include but are not limited to:

  • Building a Strong Base of Members through:
    • Conducting outreach to educate neighborhood residents and groups about the rezoning process, community development plans, gentrification and anti-displacement strategies.
  • Organizing Tenants’ Associations: We organize so that landlord harassment stops, repairs are done, people can stay in their homes, communities are stabilized, and ultimately so that people know and claim their own power. Our model is to develop steering committees that work collectively based on people’s skills, interests and time.  We teach leaders how to facilitate meetings, make flyers, write letters, run press conferences, pressure the banks, meet with their landlords and lobby resources like HPD.  Our goal is to develop tenants’ associations that can ultimately operate independently of our support while bringing members of tenants association into our organization and developing them as leaders to lead our campaigns.
  • Conducting Effective Outreach and Base Building Work: Using various and creative methods to recruit new members, keeping accurate records, assessing potential members, and effectively meeting goals to turnout members to key actions and events.
  • Leadership Development: The organizer will constantly work to develop the skills, capacity and analysis of our members through informal and formal leadership development work.  The organizer will work to encourage participation and a sense of ownership among members.
  • Actively Participate in and Develop our Organizational Capacity: This includes participating in and prepping members to facilitate our monthly CASA Membership Meetings, providing monthly narratives and statistical reports on work accomplished, creating and facilitating regular workshops specific to housing rights, laws and processes, seeking out training and learning opportunities, actively participating in staff retreats, keeping up with database and reporting requirements and thinking through ways to develop CASA into the organization it can and should be.

DESIRED EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS: This can be either an entry level or a mid-level position. Responsibilities will depend on the C.O.’s experience.  Tenant Organizing experience is a plus. We are looking for someone with a strong track record of a commitment to social justice; demonstrated commitment to leadership development, community building, and community organizing as strategies for social change; ability to communicate, listen and motivate people to action from diverse backgrounds; strong experience in facilitation, training and leadership development; excellent writing and public speaking skills; computer literate; ability to work nights and weekends as necessary. English/Spanish bilingual skills preferred.

SALARY AND BENEFITS OFFERED: Competitive salary, depending on experience. Comprehensive benefits package, including 401(k). Great opportunities for learning, growth and development.

TO APPLY:  Send cover letter, résumé and list of three professional references to housingorgsearch@newsettlement.org or by mail to Housing Organizer Search, New Settlement Apartments, 1512 Townsend Ave, Bronx NY 10452. No faxes or phone calls, please. EEO/AA

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