POSITION TITLE: Housing Specialist
DEPARTMENT: Housing Choice Voucher Program
DATE POSTED: 06/01/2018
CLOSING DATE: September 11, 2018
SALARY RANGE: PAY Grade 18 $ 17.12 – $ 21.05 – Hourly $ $35,601 – $43,784 – Annually
FLSA CLASS: Non-Exempt
To apply, please visit: www.civilservice.louisiana.gov


 

SUMMARY
Under the supervision of the Executive Director, the Housing Specialist is responsible for delivering superior customer service when performing a variety of case management functions related to the HCV/Section 8 program. In addition, the Housing Specialist performs a wide range of activities related to determining and documenting participant eligibility, income, rent and contractual relationships with owners in support of HCVP/Section 8 program operations. The Housing Specialist may perform admissions, re-certifications, interim adjustments, rent increases, leasing, portability, project based and single room occupancy voucher program requirements and deal with both participant and landlord issues.


ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The below statements are intended to describe the general nature and scope of work being performed by this position. This is not a complete listing of all responsibilities, duties and/or skills required. Other duties may be assigned.

General

  • Works cooperatively with other members of the Voucher Administration group, adjusting workload as necessary when other members are ill or on vacation;
  • Investigates and resolves participant and landlord complaints minimizing involvement of supervisor to the satisfaction of all parties;
  • Communicates with applicants, participants, landlords/owners and co-workers in a manner that is courteous and professional;
  • Answers resident and landlord questions, providing information on status of rent, damage claims, property inspections, provisions of the lease and contract, program regulations, Housing Authority policies, and procedures, etc.;
  • Returns calls to participants and landlords within one workday;
  • Places information received through the mail, by fax or email in appropriate part of participant file within two workdays of receipt;
  • Submits monthly performance reports as required;
  • Provides clients with information on HANO policies and procedures, and responds to requests for information within the scope of authority;
  • Maintains absolute confidentiality of work-related issues and SCPHA information;
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Waiting List Management

  • Processes applicants (waiting list and special admissions) as directed by Supervisor in a manner consistent with achieving a 97 percent utilization rate;
  • Purges the waiting list annually;
  • Recommends opening or closing the waiting list at least two months before the action is needed;
  • Places 98 percent of applicants on the waiting list in accordance with the Administrative Plan;
  • Selects 98 percent of applicants from the waiting list in accordance with the Administrative Plan.

Admissions

  • Conducts eligibility interviews with applicant and port-in families;
  • Conducts interviews in the client’s home or field office as needed;
  • Conducts criminal history check on all adult members of applicant families;
  • Determines eligibility of applicants from the waiting list, special admissions and port-ins. Informs ineligible families of informal meeting procedures;
  • Documents family composition, citizenship or eligible immigrant status and social security numbers of family members over age six (or certification that no number exists) in accordance with HUD requirements;
  • Determines Annual Income in accordance with HUD rules;
  • Obtains EIV or third-party verification of income (or documentation of why third party verifications are not present);
  • Calculates Adjusted Income correctly in accordance with HUD rules;
  • Obtains third party verification of deductions (or documentation of why third-party verifications are not present);
  • Calculates Total Tenant Payment accurately;
  • Determines the Voucher size for which each family qualifies in accordance with the Administrative Plan;
  • Issues Vouchers and briefs Voucher-holders, emphasizing housing opportunities outside areas of minority and low-income concentration;
  • Sets up complete and accurate files with all necessary participant-supplied documents and third-party verifications (or documentation of why third-party verifications are not present);
  • Receives Requests for Tenancy Approval, HAP contracts (with HUD-required Tenancy Addendum) Inspection reports, rent reasonableness determinations and leases. Checks to ensure that no participants will be paying more than 40 percent of adjusted monthly income in TTP, reviews for original signatures and internal consistency (particularly with respect to who pays for various utilities), places in participant files and authorizes HAP payments to owner;
  • Enters correct information and forwards accurate and timely 50058 form to Housing Choice Voucher Program Manager for submission to HUD.

Leasing

  • In addition to the duties described elsewhere in this document, the Housing Specialist in leasing will demonstrate a complete understanding of the leasing and admissions rules as determined in the HUD regulations;
  • Reviews Requests for Tenancy Approval (RTA) for completeness, logs RTAs and inputs data into computer; • Requests all documents required with Request for Tenancy Approval;
  • Notifies clients of missing documents;
  • Determines clients meet affordability as determined by Housing Authority on Request for Tenancy Approval;
  • Maintains automated record keeping system and updates records; • Cancel applicable contracts;
  • Contacts the owner for a contract signing and ensures that all contracts are fully executed.

Project Based (PB) / Single Room Occupancy (SRO)

  • In addition to the duties described elsewhere in this document, the Housing Specialist in PB and SRO will demonstrate a complete understanding of project-based rules as determined in the HUD regulations;
  • Performs technical and customer service functions for the Section 8 PB program;
  • Processes and reviews Section 8 PB program applicants; verifies completeness and accuracy of information;
  • Schedules and perform Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspections; updates database and other files;
  • Monitors and maintains the PB vacancy report, supporting documentation for the program, contracts, and other activity reports;
  • Communicates with Site Managers, and relays information on property vacancies, transfers, and eligibility and availability information;
  • Performs associated administrative support duties.

Portability

  • In addition to the duties described elsewhere in this document, the Housing Specialist in Portability will demonstrate a complete understanding of port rules as determined in the HUD regulations, and their application;
  • Receive incoming ports requests, and timely schedule appointments;
  • Communicate requests for extensions with the other Housing Authority;
  • Schedule and signs contracts within timelines prescribed by the regulations;
  • Submit 52665s to initiating PHA within the timelines prescribed by the regulations;
  • Maintain a log of all port-in requests processed and their status.

Continued Occupancy: HUD Annual Re-certifications, Interim Adjustments and Owner Rent Increases

  • Provide case management to participants in the HCV program;
  • Requests inspectors to schedule and conduct annual and special inspections;
  • Schedules and conducts annual recertification interviews in a manner that ensures that notices of rent increase are provided at least 30 days before the anniversary date and the entire process is completed by the anniversary date;
  • Determines whether the participant family qualifies for a different unit/Voucher size than previously, issues new voucher for correct unit/Voucher size when appropriate;
  • When families move later than 120 days after the most recent annual recertification (in a manner acceptable under program guidelines and the Administrative Plan), conducts a full annual recertification (including working with Inspector to set up inspection) and changes the family’s anniversary date;
  • When participant reports changes in income or family circumstances, processes Interim Adjustment;
  • Documents all information (complete information for the annual recertification, only changed information for the Interim) using EIV when available, otherwise third-party verifications or documentation of why third-party verification was unavailable;
  • Makes determination in accordance with the Administrative Plan when tenants request to add family members for reasons other than the birth, adoption or Court-awarded custody of children;
  • Receives owner rent increase requests and performs rent reasonableness determinations. Forwards completed package to the supervisor to determine whether the program can afford the rent increase within available budget;
  • When rent increases are approved by Supervisor, notifies owner in writing and finance department within two working days;
  • As the utility allowance schedule is updated, ensures that the utility allowances used in determining tenant rent are correct and accurate, considering the size and type of unit and the utilities paid directly by the tenant;
  • Enters correct information and forwards accurate and timely 50058 form for submission to HUD;
  • Properly processes client files as assigned within prescribed timeframe;
  • Performs rent reasonableness analysis based on fair market values;
  • Utilize market research techniques to establish rental levels for assisted housing units in accordance with HUD and the St Charles Parish Housing Authority, (SCPHA) guidelines;
  • Issue the vouchers for the families that are requesting to move; contacts the owner for contract signing and ensures that all contracts are fully executed.

BEHAVIORAL COMPETENCIES
This position requires the incumbent to exhibit the following behavioral skills:

Problem Solving: Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions; Works well in group problem solving situations; Uses reason even when dealing with sensitive topics and/or irate customers.

Customer Service: Meets/exceeds the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers; Manages difficult or sensitive customer situations; Responds promptly to customer needs; Solicits customer feedback to improve service; Responds to requests for service and assistance.

Interpersonal Skills: Focuses on solving conflict, not blaming; Maintains confidentiality; Listens to others without interrupting;

Teamwork: Balances team and individual responsibilities; Contributes to building a positive team spirit; Puts success of team above own interests.

Professionalism: Approaches others in a tactful manner; Reacts well under pressure; Treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; Accepts responsibility for own actions;


QUALIFICATIONS
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Job Competencies

  • Knowledge of HUD policies, and other Federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations related to low income housing and Housing Authority policies;
  • Knowledge of general office practices and procedures, business English and basic mathematics. Knowledge of spoken and written Spanish preferred but not required;
  • Comprehensive and demonstrable knowledge of HUD HQS, inspection procedures and Housing Authority Section 8 policies and procedures;
  • Certification in Income, Rent and Voucher program administration required within first year of employment (training and test at Housing Authority’s expense)
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Ability to communicate with and relate to persons of diverse backgrounds and abilities and to establish and maintain effective working relationships with participants, landlords and other employees
  • Ability to complete complex and detailed tasks in a timely manner;
  • Ability to plan and prioritize duties.

Education and/or Experience
Two years of college course work and three years of experience in public housing, Section 8, case management, apartment management. Bachelor’s degree and Housing Choice Voucher Specialist Certification is preferred. An equivalent combination of education and /or experience may be considered.

Technical Skills
To perform this job successfully, an individual should have above average abilities using computer software such as MS Word, Excel, Outlook, etc. and should be capable of using internet resources for research and developing advanced reports. Ability to learn other computer software programs as required by assigned tasks.


PHYSICAL DEMANDS
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 essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, stand, and walk. While the work is primarily sedentary, excessive walking, standing, bending, and carrying of items such as books, binders, files, and documents is required. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.


EEO POLICY STATEMENT
The St Charles Parish Housing Authority (SCPHA) provides equal employment opportunity to all individuals regardless of their race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state, federal, or local law. Discrimination of any type will not be tolerated.

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