Housing Navigation Specialist
- Experience Level
Program and Position Overview
Hamilton Families (HF) is dedicated to ending family homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Housing Solutions program assists families to secure permanent housing through housing search assistance, move-in financial assistance, eviction prevention, medium-term rent subsidies, and home-based case management to help families move toward self-sufficiency.
As a Housing Navigation Specialist, you will work with families to help them find and move into market-rate, permanent housing. You will be an advocate and matchmaker, supporting families as they find housing that meets their needs. You will collaborate with colleagues to search for potential units with the family, reaching out to landlords and accompanying families to view potential units. You will also provide coaching for these families about how to be successful in housing search and tenancy, assist them to address housing barriers and offer referrals to resources such as financial coaching and employment opportunities in their new community. You will also be responsible for making sure all data about the family and their activities is accurate and up-to-date in the internal database, and that files are complete and accurate. This position requires a California Driver License and clean driving record.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities
- Provide housing navigation services to a caseload of approximately 15-20 families/participants in the program.
- Work with participants to assess their housing needs, including preferences for location and size of housing, and any rental barriers they have (e.g., employment, behavioral health, rental history).
- Build trusting relationships with participants and coach them on housing search processes, including but not limited to topics such as rental search, housing applications, unit viewings, move-in procedures, utilities set-up, maintaining positive landlord relations, and applying to permanent affordable housing.
- Communicate with participants regularly, in person and over the phone, to support them in their independent housing search, and to alert them to units that Hamilton Families finds that may suit their needs.
- Help participants understand their credit report, coach them on landlord communication and basic tenancy.
- Assist participants in viewing potential units, including offering driving support.
- Coordinate with colleagues on the landlord liaison team to initiate and maintain positive relationships with landlords and property management companies interested in renting to participants in the program.
- Help participants move into housing; work with colleagues to provide funds for move-in costs, support participants to understand and sign the lease agreement, and inspect the unit to ensure it will be safe and comfortable for the family.
- Maintain precise and accurate documentation of case management services, updating participant files and entries into Salesforce database; maintain participant confidentiality and HIPAA requirements.
- Provide weekly updates to referring and/or shelter case managers and participate in case conferencing with other social service providers as needed.
- Bilingual case management positions require providing all services described above to a caseload of participants who are predominantly monolingual in the language for which the bilingual premium applies, in addition to translating and/or interpreting verbal interactions, written materials, community meetings, workshops, events, and other information verbally and/or in writing as needed.
- Other duties as assigned.
Qualifications, Skills and Abilities
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (social work, psychology, or related field preferred) or a minimum of 3 years of relevant experience in housing or social services.
- Commitment to Hamilton Families’ mission of ending family homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ideal candidates are familiar and committed to the principles and practices of housing first, participant-centered care, harm reduction, and participant confidentiality.
- Strong work ethic and ability to work independently. Ideal candidates are self-motivated, organized, clear communicators who are comfortable following program policies and processes and delivering high quality outcomes within urgent timeframes.
- Flexible and creative; open to creating and joining a culture of feedback and learning; ability to meet multiple deadlines and priorities with a positive attitude and problem-solving approach.
- Detail-oriented and demonstrated experience keeping thorough notes and records; proven ability to follow complex policies and procedures.
- Excitement about working on diverse teams and collaborating with colleagues and participants from many different backgrounds.
- Knowledge of community resources for families with very low incomes in the Bay Area and/or housing law a plus.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills; proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Excel, etc.).
- Experience using Salesforce databases a plus.
- Bilingual positions require verbal and written proficiency in English as well as the second language for which the bilingual premium applies, as demonstrated through agency-administered proficiency testing.
- Essential functions of the position may require use of a telephone, working at a standard computer terminal, and the ability to follow reasonable ergonomic recommendations, sit for long periods, stand, reach, bend, lift, and carry up to 40 pounds, and driving.
- Criminal background check, fingerprint imaging, and tuberculosis (TB) clearance required post-offer.
- Valid CADL and DMV report; ability and willingness to travel locally.