Help ensure that renters know their rights and responsibilities.
The Tenant Counselor is a part of the Supportive Services team. This position is responsible for providing timely and accurate assistance to individuals facing the loss of their rental housing, providing accurate information on community resources via phone, workshops/webinars, and community events, leading community education and outreach activities, assisting tenants in organizing to address concerns with landlords, providing in agency landlord/tenant expertise, participating in relevant committees and organizations focusing on housing issues; tracking client trends and advocating for systems changes to address needed improvements in housing issues. This position also works in collaboration creating and facilitating Rent Smart power point presentations to agencies in the community sharing education with renters about their rights and responsibilities and those of the landlord.
Essential Responsibilities, Duties & Tasks
Tenant Counseling: Provide staff coverage during regularly scheduled shifts on the Tenant Counseling Services voice message line. Conduct thorough intake; inform households of their rights and responsibilities under applicable WA State rental housing laws, connect callers to community services, (including legal representation) for housing issues and other crisis related social services. Be highly knowledgeable about strategies to help households maintain housing stability. Provide customer-service oriented one-on-one tenant counseling to households who are at imminent risk of losing their housing or need assistance with asserting their rights as provided under WA State rental housing laws. Address circumstances that affect household’s ability to stay housed and maintain rent payments including discussion of action plans to resolve housing issues and prepare tenants to negotiate with landlords to implement agreements to help households maintain housing. Provide in-house support in understanding Landlord/Tenant Laws and responsibilities. Track engagement with callers and workshop participants using agency Database. Provide templates and sample letters for tenants to assist in asserting their rights. De-escalate interactions with callers and webinar/workshop participants as necessary.
Tenant Law: Research tenant law and conduct outreach events sharing education to inform the community on housing stability issues such as tenant rights and responsibilities, fair housing laws, legislative advocacy, etc., via in person interactions, phone, blog posts and social media, and resource broadcasting; develop partner sites and opportunities for tenant educational workshops; develop, improve and maintain topical and cultural relevance of tenant education information and outreach materials. Update materials as laws change and as needed, partner with local legal providers to ensure successful referrals, work with internal partners to increase access to information and opportunities to advocate for tenant rights, coordinate with partner agencies in providing joint workshops and clinics, participate in resource fairs and community resource exchanges providing information on landlord/tenant laws.
Research: Collect and analyze client issues that are trending for the purpose of advocacy to inform reports for the board, etc., local and statewide organizations of issues that most negatively affect the long-term stability of tenants, especially for at-risk populations; represent tenant issues at community meetings. Participate in local and statewide advocacy by testifying at legislative hearings, assisting clients with getting involved, writing letters, etc. Assist with organizing tenants to address concerns with landlords that have not been resolved through other means.
Organization: Maintain accurate and confidential client files and documentation necessary for program administration and funding requirements using agency database. Submit client success stories quarterly to support reporting. Enter client information during voice message calls regularly into database, and/or within 48 hours after the call. Manage requests for information in an efficient manner while maintaining a high level of customer service appropriate to populations in crisis. Participate in case conferencing with other staff on the Tenant Counseling Services and other Solid Ground teams. Provide coverage for peers during vacation or leaves of absence. Work with advocacy programs, legislative involvement and civic engagement in city and state initiatives that impact renters. Assist in continual program evaluation efforts, development of systems and procedures to enhance Tenant Counseling Services; participate in program, department, agency and outside organization meetings and committees as required and/or desired. Partner with homelessness prevention team to refer eligible tenants to potential rental assistance when funds are available.
The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.Full Job Description