AMERICORPS VISTA | HOMEOWNERSHIP PRESERVATION INITIATIVE
Job Opportunities with New York State Homes and Community Renewal Hosted by: Cayuga County Homsite Development Corporation (Auburn) + Home HeadQuarters (Syracuse). VISTA member positions available in Albany, Rochester, Ithaca, Syracuse/Auburn, and Poughkeepsie)
New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) aims to build, preserve and protect affordable housing and increase homeownership across the state. A critical source of affordable homeownership opportunities in New York are manufactured home parks. Yet these communities are seeing a decline in affordability, speculative investment by large financial institutions and degrading conditions due to age and deferred maintenance. HCR’s new Homeownership Preservation Initiative (HPI) aims to strengthen community knowledge of affordable homeownership resources made available to manufactured home park owners and their residents. The HPI is in partnership with the NYS Neighborhood and Rural Preservation Programs (N/RPP). New York is proud to pave the way towards leading the nation in preservation of its housing stock.
AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members bring passion and perseverance where the need is greatest: to organizations that help eradicate poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA members serve as a catalyst for change, living and working alongside community members to meet our nation’s most pressing challenges and advance local solutions. VISTA members will work in the office of a selected preservation company in either Rochester, Poughkeepsie, Ithaca, Syracuse/Auburn area, or HCR’s Albany office. VISTA members will gain valuable field and office experiences and significant travel will be required in a designated region of the state.
VISTA members will play an important role in the HPI by tracking manufactured home park sales and park conditions. This will be done, primarily, by researching online ads, cold calling brokers and park owners, and speaking with residents and community stakeholders about living conditions. VISTA members will also conduct outreach to residents and prospective residents of manufactured home parks, as well as to other industry players by distributing promotional materials, hosting and attending informational meetings.
Essential Duties / Responsibilities:
Addressing concerns raised by manufactured home park residents about poor conditions in their communities.
Working with safe and health officials at the county and State governments to identify and track “at-risk” communities.
Assisting in conducting introductory sessions for first-time homebuying for residents and prospective residents of manufactured home park communities.
Conducting outreach directly to residents/prospective residents of manufactured home park communities and indirectly through manufactured home retailers and other industry players. Outreach will focus on HCR-housing resources and will be done by passing out flyers, making cold calls, knocking on doors, and by conducting community meetings.
Training residents on how to access and qualify for HCR-financing. Training enables residents to decide how to preserve their communities, whether through third-party ownership and management or by enabling the residents themselves to purchase, improve, and operate their community as a limited-equity co-operative.
Providing information to park owners about how they may access HCR-financing to make infrastructure improvements, while maintaining affordability for the residents.
Excellent interpersonal, community building, and public speaking skills.
Ability to plan and facilitate workshops and effective meetings.
Ability to listen to and understand the needs of the diverse populations.
Strong organizational skills – planning, follow-through, follow-up.
Confident and engaging personality.
Excellent computer skills including the Microsoft Office.
Willingness to attend evening meetings.
Willingness to travel within a designated region of New York, in small groups or alone and sometimes in inclement weather.
What we offer:
Training to understand mortgage financing and government assistance, as well as networking with preservation company staff and other housing industry players, will set VISTA members up for a successful career in community development. While in service, AmeriCorps VISTA members receive a modest living allowance from the Corporation for National and Community Service. Members also have the option to receive either an Eli Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or an end-of-service cash stipend after successfully completing a term of service. In addition, HCR, in partnership with the preservation company host-sites, will provide grocery store cards in the amount of $200 a month throughout the service. AmeriCorps VISTA members must be at least 18 years of age and must be either a U.S. citizen, national, or legal permanent resident alien of the United States. Each member makes a year-long, full-time commitment to serve at a specific project.AmeriCorps VISTA members must have a personal car that they can use for work-related travel during their service. Reimbursements for all work-related travel will be provided by HCR and in partnership with the preservation company host-sites.
Go to my.americorps.gov and then click on “search listings”.
For local information on the initiative, please contact Crystal Cosentino, Deputy Director for Cayuga County Homsite/Home HeadQuarters, by email at CrystalC@homehq.org.