Housing specialists work to match clients' profiles with available housing units in a defined market to assist them in securing appropriate, permanent housing. They are often employed by government agencies to find affordable subsidized housing for candidates who have limited income or are in assistance programs, and they may also find appropriate housing for those with special needs, such as the elderly or handicapped, or work for a property/facility that offers such residences. They must be familiar with the FHA (Fair Housing Act), which prohibits discrimination in housing based on nationality, race, and other factors.
Locating and inspecting potential sites in target communities is a critical aspect of the housing specialist's role, so they must also be knowledgeable of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act, as both outline requirements for disabled accessibility in public facilities. They also review and inspect premises to ensure that they meet the necessary criteria.
Housing specialists often assist applicants in completing paperwork to be considered for housing, as well as help to prepare them for interviews or questions associated with the housing placement process. They may help applicants tour potential residences, help them through the selection process, and even assist with moving in, and as part of the support services offered to clients, they may also conduct workshops or training sessions or prepare educational materials to help people understand available services and options for their circumstances.
Ideally, housing specialists work to build groups of landlords and communities which are willing to accommodate the clients with which they work, and they must always maintain a list of available premises for clients.
Housing Specialist Tasks
Interview and investigate applicants to determine eligibility and status according to policies.
Write periodic reports and analyses.
Communicate with a range of agencies, landlords, businesses and individuals.
Deliver instructional materials around topics like budgets, credit score, mortgages and foreclosure.
Conduct one-on-one and group sessions to advise and educate about housing.