Community Building Housing Equity VISTA

Chelsea, MA

The Neighborhood Developers, Inc. (TND) (http://theneighborhooddevelopers.org/) creates vibrant neighborhoods where people from all walks of life can thrive.  TND is a community development corporation that serves the residents of the cities of Chelsea, Revere and Everett, MA, Gateway Cities that have been home to new immigrants for many years.  In Chelsea, 45% of residents are foreign born and 65% identify as Latino.  Revere has sizeable Latino, Moroccan and Cambodian populations.  These are tight knit communities that have pride of place even though they are low income and face multiple barriers.

Due in part to easy access to Boston, rents have risen significantly in recent years and many residents face the threat of displacement in the communities that TND serves.  Pre-pandemic, housing affordability was a growing concern, and COVID-19 has only exacerbated that issue.  In the face of the worsening housing crisis, residents came together in August 2020 to launch the Housing Equity Committee (HEC).  With technical assistance and training provided by the Community Building Team at TND, members are learning about the housing issue and ways that they can take action. 

During a service year as a VISTA, you will have a unique opportunity to learn about the various factors that have created the housing crisis in our communities and to assist residents as they work to address housing inequity.  By supporting the Housing Equity Committee and helping its resident members as they advocate for systemic change, you will gain community engagement and organizing experience and will learn how to build community power. Our AmeriCorps VISTA alumni have described their year of service as a truly transformative experience that facilitated their growth personally and professionally.

Member Duties

The Housing Equity VISTA will build TND’s capacity to support the Housing Equity Committee by helping foster the leadership of community members and by refining systems for communication and recruitment. These efforts will lead to increased civic engagement and enable the committee to ultimately be self-sustaining.  The VISTA will fine tune the Housing Equity Committee manual started by the previous VISTA to guide committee activities.  In addition, the VISTA will connect residents to training opportunities that will enable them to confidently raise their voices and contribute to community decision making related to housing justice. To accomplish these objectives, typical activities may include conducting interviews, facilitating meetings, researching legislation and anti-displacement efforts, organizing events and training opportunities, and more.

Please note this is a VISTA member position, not a staff position. The VISTA member will be supervised by the Community Building Director and will work closely with the other Community Building staff.  The VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program provides full-time volunteers to nonprofit, faith-based and other community organizations to create and expand programs that bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty.  In addition to living allowance, the VISTA program offers an education award or cash stipend, health insurance, and week-long training in a U.S. city. In Suffolk County (where TND is located), service members receive a bi-weekly living allowance of $1027.88 and can choose an education award of $6,495 at end of their year of service. For more information about AmeriCorps VISTA, see https://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorpsvista

Qualifications

Required:

● College degree or relevant work history

● At least 18 years of age

● Excellent verbal and written communication skills

● Responsible, self-motivated, and able to carry out and prioritize multiple ongoing projects

● Thrives in a fast-paced work environment

● Ability to work occasional evenings or weekends, not to exceed 40 hours/week

● Strong work ethic, a good sense of humor, and a commitment to social justice

Desired:

● Bi-lingual English-Spanish (or English-Khmer, English-Arabic or English-Portuguese)

● Experience working in a diverse multi-cultural community 

● Relevant experience in community building 

To Apply

TND is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.  

Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled - through August 12, 2022. 

JOB CODE: 1000028