Since 1982, LUCHA (Latin United Community Housing Association) has served thousands of moderate and low-income families with Affordable Housing Development, First-time Home Buyer Counseling, Foreclosure Prevention, Senior Home Repairs and Legal Assistance. LUCHA owns and operates 200 units of affordable housing in the West Town, Humboldt Park and Logan Square Communities, and through its Freddie Mac Borrower Help Center counsels 8,000 families annually in Chicago and the Midwest region. LUCHA also partners with residents, community organizers, financial institutions and government agencies to maintain its $34 million in real estate assets and to advocate for greater affordable housing options in the region.
Position Purpose: In support of its mission, LUCHA seeks the ideal team leader that will combine energy, leadership and innovation to the Housing Counseling and Advocacy Programs. The Housing Counselor will assist with duties required by the department, including facilitating seminars and trainings within all areas of the department, preparing mortgage-ready files, serving clients in our lending and foreclosure prevention programs, and managing data in client software systems. The housing counselor will have a deep commitment and passion for working with low- income, working class and communities of color, and experience with Spanish speaking constituents and communities.
Role and Responsibilities
Pre-purchase Counseling: Create budget, conduct credit analysis and affordability assessment for potential home purchase. Implement work plan developed to satisfy client objectives and education requirements. Collaborate with HCA staff to facilitate educational workshops. Conduct one on one counseling sessions with program participants identifying client objectives, provide technical assistance during property selection process, facilitate loan application, provide credit counseling and support to denied loan applicants. Coordinate with Senior Housing Counselor to process and facilitate home buyer grant assistance and client certification. Enter closings in LUCHA’s tracking tool “barometer” in efforts to maintain record and meet grant requests to funders and other stalk holders.
Post-purchase Counseling: Follow up with homeowners regularly to assure sustainability and financial stability. Counsel participants. Collaborate with HCA staff to facilitate educational workshops.
Foreclosure Intervention Counseling: Help client re-negotiate the terms of their mortgages with various lenders. Assist seniors with reverse mortgages (HECM). Make calls to at risk borrowers from monthly call list and offer HUD free housing counseling services. Collaborate with HCA staff to facilitate foreclosure prevention workshops
Financial Capability Counseling: Counsel clients, providing debt management support; create emergency budget, credit analysis and financial assessment as necessary to assure client stay current in their financial obligations. Collaborate with HCA staff to facilitate educational workshops.
Clerical Support: Maintain organized files and documents, file incoming and ongoing correspondence, schedule follow up client appointment, obtain additional documentation needed from clients, make reminder calls, mass mailings, make photocopies (as needed), substitute receptionist during his/her lunch break (as needed), any other duties assigned by senior housing counselor and director of programs.
Qualifications and Education Requirements
Bachelor Degree preferred
Minimum of three years of housing counseling experience with HUD approved agency, preferred.
Ability to become a HUD Certified counselor within 18 months of start (REQUIRED)
Ability to perform tasks concurrently with ease and professionalism
Conscientious and detail-oriented
Knowledge of HCO, ECM, HOPE Loan Portal or other housing counseling database is desirable.
Ability to work effectively in team environment
Ability to represent LUCHA in a positive and professional manner at all times
Must demonstrate integrity and commitment to the organization’s mission and values
Must have weekend and flexible schedule for local travel for trainings and seminars.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): Knowledge of HUD programs, offices, resources, applications processes, and public and private partnerships. Previous experience & On the Job Training.
Software systems: Extensive knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, HCO or other housing counseling reporting software. Previous experience.
Customer and Client Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and client (internal) services; including client assessment, meeting quality of standards for services, and evaluation of client satisfaction. Previous experience.
English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. Fluency and Previous experience.
Spanish Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the Spanish language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. Experience helpful, though not required.
Interpersonal: Highly-developed interpersonal, oral and written communication skills; excellent presentation skills. Ability to communicate and actively listen at all levels with staff, Board of Directors and external relationships in a professional manner. Previous experience.
Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex financial issues and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. Previous experience.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. Previous experience.
Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential organizational actions; to choose the most appropriate course of action in collaboration with the Executive Director. Previous experience.
Negotiation: Bringing others together to try to reconcile differences, whether strategic or tactical, organizational or departmental. Previous experience.
Time Management: Managing one's own time and the time of others. Previous experience.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. Previous experience.
Ethics: Genuine and deep-rooted ethical approach to all business, finance, interpersonal and mission-related matters. Previous experience.
Task Management: Ability to prioritize multiple and varied tasks within broad guidelines. Previous experience.
Fluency of Ideas: The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic, and the ability to inductively or deductively come about to solutions or resolutions. Previous experience.
Mathematical Reasoning: The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem. Previous experience.
Problem Sensitivity: The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. Previous experience.
Written Comprehension and Expression: The ability to read and understand information and idea presented in writing; and the ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so that others understand. Previous experience.
Majority of work performed in a general office environment.
Position requires availability for extended hours plus non-traditional hours to perform job duties.
Also requires participation and attendance at conferences, meetings or organization-sponsored events and meetings across the city, region and country.
Nature of work requires an ability to operate standard business office equipment.
Requires the ability to transport and carry up to 15 pounds of materials to satellite locations, though accommodations can be made to candidate that otherwise meets qualifications.
Requires the ability to communicate and exchange information, collect, compile and prepare work document, set-up and maintain work files.
Periodic overtime is required.
Occasional local travel to LUCHA facilities and satellite locations may be required.
Occasional day and overnight travel by air and/or automobile to conferences may be required.
Scope of Responsibility:
Work with minimal direction.
Significant impact on the programs and compliance functions.
Regularly interacts with LUCHA team, including and Development and Finance Departments.
Life and disability, health and dental insurance, 401 (k), paid vacation and holidays.
How to apply:
Send Resume, Cover Letter and three references via email only, with the subject line “LUCHA Housing Counselor” to: Isaias Solis, Director of Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for application: • Until the position is filled.
Potential start date: • February 15, 2018.
LUCHA is 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and an equal opportunity employer. To learn more about LUCHA, please visit www.lucha.org.