The Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB) is seeking a Co-op Preservation Project Associate. All applicants must be English/Spanish bilingual. The main function of this role is to work with a small group of affordable housing co-op residents to protect and strengthen their housing. The ideal candidate will be passionate about housing justice, and eager to learn about the affordable cooperative housing model and other related policy issues.
UHAB empowers low- to moderate-income residents to take control of their housing and enhance communities by creating strong tenant associations and lasting affordable co-ops. Since 1973, UHAB has helped form hundreds of tenant associations and assisted in the transformation of some 1,600 troubled rental buildings into 1,350 affordable co-ops, providing homeownership opportunities for residents of more than 30,000 apartments. With democratic community control at the core of our mission, we work to sustain this thriving affordable housing community for this generation and those to come.
We organize residents to be active participants and decision-makers in shaping their neighborhoods. UHAB’s programs address a full spectrum of affordable housing needs: from building resident power and organizing tenants as community leaders, to developing thousands of units of affordable housing across the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, to making small loans to first-time homeowners, to preserving existing affordable co-ops through training, education workshops, technical assistance, and regulatory compliance. UHAB’s programs and activities address the needs of future generations through long-term solutions: developing new affordable co-ops, creating energy efficient and solar power opportunities, and strengthening housing policy.
We are a collaborative organization of more than 30 full time staff who work together to address housing issues in our city. Working at UHAB offers multiple opportunities to get involved in citywide initiatives, national conferences, and unique partnerships.
About the Preservation Department
The Co-op Preservation staff is a dedicated team that works to support existing low-income housing cooperatives (HDFCs) through technical, organizational, and financial planning assistance, including loan packaging and work-outs for distressed housing co-ops. Each staff member is assigned to monitor a caseload of co-ops to ensure compliance with lenders’ and City regulations. We currently provide monitoring to over 200 HDFC co-ops.
What matters most in this role is not expertise but having a curious nature and a positive attitude. Our team provides training on various topics relevant to the work and offers support throughout the first year to ensure a strong onboarding process.
The role is made up of two main responsibilities: Technical and Financial Planning Assistance and Ongoing Monitoring.
Technical Finance Planning Assistance
The Associate works with the Director of Co-op Preservation as a team to assess the financial needs of each co-op and develop a strategy to stabilize and improve the co-op. This entails:
- Help boards of directors and shareholders organize effectively to improve the performance of their co-op. Work to identify problems, clarify goals, and implement plans to meet those goals
- Providing assistance to co-op boards of directors dealing with organizational issues, “rent” collection strategies, budget preparation, management, etc.
- Communicating financial relief and strategy to co-op residents, management companies, co-op employees, and regulatory bodies
- Maintaining open lines of communication, positive working relationships, and high levels of trust with building leaders and residents. Ensure that residents are fully aware of the work plan and their role in it
- Providing assistance by telephone and e-mail, offering information and referrals based on specific issues, problems and needs
- Attending meetings at the building to address specific issues and keep board and shareholders informed of progress and tasks that need to be performed
- Offering advisory consultations to board members and shareholders on an as-needed basis. Consultations may be in the office or on-site at the building, as determined to be most appropriate
Most co-ops working with the Co-op Preservation Department have a monitoring agreement. Under the monitoring agreement, the project associate works to ensure that the co-op thrives, stays in good physical and financial condition, stays compliant with government regulations, and is governed democratically by its residents in accordance with its bylaws. In order to meet these goals, the Co-op Preservation Project Associate will be expected to:
- Review and analyze co-op financial records on a quarterly and/or annual basis
- Attend meetings (often in the evening) with co-op residents and leaders on an as-needed basis
- Review all documents pertaining to the sale and transfer of apartments
- Monitor elections of co-op boards
- Respond by phone and email to questions and requests for technical assistance
- Record interactions and visits with the co-op in UHAB’s database
- Perform detailed quantitative analysis
- Prepare budget recommendations
- Draft correspondence for the co-op as necessary
- Compile annual reports
- Provide daily and/or weekly work plans and progress reports, and meet regularly with supervisory staff to discuss work progress and future work and to identify areas for improvement
- Participate in UHAB wide meetings, committees & activities and contribute to improving and promoting the organization
We fully expect that candidates will offer some but not all of the skills needed to do this job. Coaching and on-the-job training will be available to fill skill gaps. However, from the start, we believe that the successful candidate must be able to demonstrate that he or she has certain talents and attributes, including the ability to:
- Fluently speak English and Spanish
- Establish productive trust-based relationships with residents and leaders of limited-equity housing cooperatives
- Establish effective professional relationships with real estate professionals, particularly property managers, bank representatives, and government officials
- Proficiently use Microsoft Office, especially Excel
- Research government regulations and legal documents and interpret them to concerned parties
- Express oneself clearly and persuasively in speech and in writing
- Work both independently and as part of a team
- Have a disposition that is inclined toward optimism, even under conditions of some adversity and pressure
- Utilize a problem solving/dispute resolution style that favors flexibility and creativity
UHAB’s work is carried out by over 30 staff members in our main office in Lower Manhattan. During the COVID pandemic we are working almost completely virtually, but expect to return to the office.
UHAB offers a generous benefits package including medical and dental insurance; long-term disability insurance; medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts; 3 weeks of paid vacation for new employees and 4 weeks of paid vacation after 2 years of employment; 14 paid holidays, 12 sick days, and 1 personal day per year; and bereavement leave.
How to Apply
Please email a cover letter and resume to email@example.com with the subject line “Preservation job”.
UHAB is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, people of color, LBGTQ+ people, and people from low-income and working class backgrounds are encouraged to apply.