Public Interest Law Center seeks Housing Community Organizer

The Public Interest Law Center is seeking applications for a community organizer to ensure low-income families in Philadelphia are able to live and thrive in safe, healthy, and affordable rental homes. The organizer will work to ensure a voice for communities in combatting uninhabitable housing, unresponsive landlords, discrimination in Landlord-Tenant Court, and all too frequent evictions that create poverty and trauma, and can leave families homeless.

The community organizer will be paired with a newly hired attorney, both of whom will join the Law Center’s growing housing project. In conjunction with the housing team, the organizer and the attorney will identify three neighborhoods in which to commence targeted organizing and community education based on factors such as areas with the highest eviction rates, clusters of unlicensed landlords, clusters of buildings owned by offending landlords, poor health outcomes, or high rates of poverty. Working with these communities, the organizer and attorney will develop tenant-centered, data-centered, plans for each of three communities, identify the communities’ key housing priorities, describe how those priorities may be addressed, establish activities for engaging more residents, and set measurable, tailored outcomes.

The organizer will conduct numerous individual and small group informal meetings, run community trainings, and build community capacity, such that community members become actively engaged and equipped to advocate for better housing policies and assert their own legal rights against abusive landlords.

The end goal of the project is to have more low-income Philadelphians living in safe, healthy housing. Accordingly, the organizer will work hand in hand with the attorney, and with the community itself, to put a plan into action. The organizer will identify a core group of leaders in each neighborhood and develop an initial set of tenant-articulated priorities pertaining to rental housing quality, as well as engagement strategies. The organizer will then take the lead on carrying that plan to fruition. As a result, the job will be rewarding, but also will require a candidate who is sensitive to high-stress situations and empathetic to client populations who often find themselves in precarious situations.

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