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 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: Program Specialist (Fair Housing)
The Program Specialist for Fair Housing, Inclusionary Housing, and Program support engages in an array of activities and projects that aid the City of Somerville in developing and implementing housing programs to meet community needs. The employee will assist with activities in support of HUD funded CDBG and HOME programs, fair housing and the City’s Inclusionary Housing Program. The employee will serve as staff to the City’s Fair Housing Commission, review and respond to housing discrimination complaints, and carry out fair housing initiatives and reporting activities. Additional duties include maintaining, monitoring and updating the City’s Subsidized Housing Inventory and administering the Closing Cost and Down Payment Assistance Programs. The employee also performs related duties as required.
The essential functions or duties listed below 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.
- Assist in marketing and outreach of various CDBG and/or HOME-funded housing and housing related programs to potential applicants; attend outreach events to present on those programs; provide customer service to prospective and active applicants; and literature; provide community with referrals and information on landlord tenant laws and resources.
- Serve as staff to the Fair Housing Commission: facilitate Commission meetings and special events; prepare agendas, minutes, and annual report for transmittal to the City Council and Mayor; handle referral of housing discrimination complaints and reasonable accommodation requests and ongoing efforts related to the City’s Assessment of Fair Housing (implementing actions to mitigate impediments to fair housing in Somerville).
- Responsible for the review of tenant selection criteria, the appeals process and leases for Affordable Dwelling Units created through the Inclusionary Housing Program.
- Assist in reviewing applications for completeness, to ensure all necessary documentation is provided for Inclusionary, CDBG or HOME-funded projects and other programs; assist with marketing efforts for affordable units;
- Determine and certify income eligibility of applicants to the Inclusionary Housing Program and/or other housing programs.
- Assist with updating Inclusionary Housing and other program information on an ongoing basis, including on the Housing Division’s website, flyers and brochures (electronic and/or hard copy);
- Assist in preparing information on Inclusionary, CDBG or HOME-funded, fair housing and other programs as necessary for the Mayor’s Office and or City Council.
- Assist with determinations of income eligibility of owners and tenants and re-certification of tenant income on CDBG-funded and other programs; assist with monitoring housing applications to ensure all necessary documentation is provided.
- Assist in preparation of reports on program activities, selected best-practice and/or other research, and survey preparation;
- Assist with other activities as needed.
Education and Experience
Bachelor’s Degree and three (3) years’ 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. Job duties include attending some evening meetings as necessary. Bilingual or Multilingual lingual ability in Spanish, Portuguese, and/or Haitian-Creole is preferred but not required.
Knowledge, Abilities and Skill
Knowledge: Some knowledge of and/or experience with strategies and programs geared toward maintaining and expanding affordable housing opportunities; knowledge of housing income certification process; state fair housing law; strong knowledge of Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, Illustrator, and social media applications are preferred. Familiarity with Zoom, Go to Meeting and Mail Chimp a plus.
Abilities: Position requires the ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing with other City departments, state and federal agencies, architects, contractors, developers, tenants, property owners, supervisors, employees, and the general public. Demonstrates the 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 customer service to the public at-large.
Skills: This position requires strong skills in oral and written communication; excellent customer service skills. Bi-lingual ability in Spanish, Portuguese, and/or Haitian-Creole is preferred but not required.
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.
Physical Skills: 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. Work requires some agility such as moving in or about construction sites or over rough terrain. There may also be some occasional lifting of objects such as office equipment or photocopy paper (up to 30lbs.).
Motor Skills: 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.
Send your resume and cover letter to:
City Hall Personnel Office
93 Highland Avenue
Somerville MA 02143
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, at 617-625-6600 x2250 or NBacci@somervillema.gov.
COVID-19 Vaccination Required
To better protect the health and safety of staff and the public, all City of Somerville employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of November 1, 2021. Reasonable accommodations will be made for medical and religious reasons.