About the City of Somerville
Somerville is a city that upholds progressive principles for both employees and residents. The City of Somerville values diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging throughout our hiring practices; these values are embedded in our company mission and work environment—furthermore, we encourage applications from a diverse range of professional experiences and skillsets. We embrace and encourage an innovative, empowering, and collaborative workplace culture in a fast-paced, challenging environment. The City also offers a generous benefits package that embodies a strong work-life balance. Not only is Somerville a “Model City,” as termed by The Boston Globe, it is also a model employer.
Now Hiring: Housing Intake Specialist
Statement of Duties
The Housing Intake Specialist will work under the direct supervision of the Director of Housing Stability or their designee. The Housing Intake Specialist will be responsible for providing client and program assistance to the Office of Housing Stability (OHS), with primary responsibility as initial contact for all persons seeking OHS assistance and for administering and overseeing the OHS referral and intake system.
The essential functions or duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various type 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.
• Provide high quality customer service to and serve as the primary contact for all persons seeking assistance about housing related matters from the Office of Housing Stability (whether as a walk-in, or by telephone, email, or online referral.) .
• Complete an online referral form in a timely manner for anyone seeking OHS assistance for themselves or someone else who has not already done so (walk-ins or telephone calls).
• Monitor and track all online referrals and intakes to ensure timely intakes (including responding appropriately to emergencies) and case assignments, information and advice, or referrals out.
• Determine whether person(s) seeking OHS assistance is a Somerville resident, homeless in Somerville, or otherwise meets OHS criteria for service, and if not, provide brief advice or appropriate referral (if any) to other resources.
• If person seeking OHS assistance is a Somerville resident or otherwise meets OHS criteria for service, then take appropriate next steps to assist, in consultation with supervisory staff, as follows:
If client needs only information, advice, or other such brief assistance, then either (a) provide and use the database or other online tracking system to summarize the advice content or (b) refer the case to other OHS staff for such assistance.
If client’s needs are primarily for rental assistance, assign case to staff or contractors for intake and help with rental assistance application
If client has other case management needs, including housing search or eviction prevention needs, complete intake and assign to OHS staff or make external referral, as appropriate
• Responsible for timely entering into Google spreadsheet or OHS database or other electronic system all steps taken to contact clients; provide brief assistance; complete intakes; assign cases to OHS staff/contractors; provide assistance with housing or financial applications; and complete outgoing referrals (for housing search, legal assistance, rental or other financial assistance, etc.).
• Responsible for data entry and maintenance of client data bases to track outcomes and, in collaboration with OHS database manager(s), produce reports as requested by supervisory staff or as needed for the smooth operations of the OHS programming.
• Maintain up-to-date information and knowledge regarding resources for tenancy preservation and homelessness prevention, affordable housing opportunities offered by city, state and non-profit agencies, and housing-related policies and programs.
• Assist with housing emergencies, as directed.
• Complete paperwork necessary for applications for financial assistance and affordable housing.
• Perform limited case management and assist other OHS staff with interpretation/translation as appropriate. Utilize language line as needed to effectively communicate with callers who speak a language not spoken by intake staff. Assist with OHS workshops, trainings and other events and programs as directed.
• Monitor supplies, and submit purchase orders and vendor invoices for payment.
• Obtain and monitor repairs, where necessary, for equipment. used by OHS staff.
• Perform other duties as required by the Director or their designee.
Education and Experience:
Associate’s Degree and at least three (3) years’ administrative and/or housing advocacy experience; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.
Special Requirements: Job duties may include attending some evening meetings. Knowledge of affordable housing programs is strongly preferred.
Knowledge, Abilities and Skill:
Knowledge: Some knowledge of and experience with strategies and programs geared toward maintaining and expanding affordable housing opportunities; strong knowledge of Excel and Microsoft Office suite. Knowledge of affordable housing programs, landlord/tenant law or other housing related knowledge preferred but not required.
Abilities: Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing with other City departments, state and federal agencies, architects, contractors, developers, owners, supervisors, employees, and the general public; ability to exercise good judgment and focus on detail; ability to work as a team member and maintain project timelines; continuous effort to improve operations, decrease turnaround times, streamline work processes, and work cooperatively and jointly to provide quality seamless customer service to the public at-large.
Skills: This position requires excellent organizational skills with careful attention to detail; strong skills in oral and written communication; and excellent customer service skills. Bi-lingual or multilingual ability in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian-Creole and/or Nepali is strongly preferred.
Send your resume and cover letter by August, 13, 2021:
City Hall Personnel Office
93 Highland Avenue
Somerville MA 02143
Email: [email protected]
City of Somerville residents are especially encouraged to apply.
The City of Somerville is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability or any other protected category. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats, and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities free of charge, upon request.
Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Nancy Bacci 617-625-6600 x 2250 [email protected].
The work environment involves everyday discomforts typical of offices, with occasional exposure to outside elements. Noise or physical surroundings may be distracting, but conditions are generally not unpleasant. Employee may be required to work beyond normal business hours in response to attend evening meetings or complete work assignments.
Physical and Mental Requirements
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the position’s essential functions.
Minimal physical demands are required to perform the work. Work effort principally involves sitting to perform work tasks, with intermittent periods of stooping, walking, and standing. There may also be some occasional lifting of objects such as office equipment or photocopy paper (up to 30lbs.).
Duties are largely mental rather than physical, but the job may occasionally require minimal motor skills for activities such as moving objects, operating a telephone, personal computer and/or most other office equipment including word processing, filing and sorting of papers. Visual Skills Visual demands require constantly reading documents for general understanding and analytical purposes.