State and federal fair housing laws prohibit housing discrimination based on race, ethnic identity, sex, familial status, disability, and other factors. However, there are still instances of discrimination occurring throughout central and northern Illinois. It’s our mission to change that.
Prairie State Legal Services is seeking a Testing and Outreach Coordinator for its Fair Housing Project. This position will be located in PSLS’ West Chicago Office, but will cover several counties in the PSLS service area with a designated focus on Lake and McHenry Counties. The Project provides free legal services to individuals who experience unlawful discrimination in acquiring or maintaining housing. The Coordinator is an integral part of the Project, and under the supervision of the Deputy Director of Litigation, will recruit and train volunteer testers as well as coordinate housing tests to determine the presence of unlawful housing discrimination. Testing is a method of measuring and documenting differences in the quality, content, and quantity of information and service given to home-seekers by housing providers. The Coordinator will also be responsible for organizing fair housing educational sessions and distributing outreach materials.
Among other duties as assigned, the Coordinator will:
- Recruit and maintain a diverse pool of fair housing testers
- Plan and arrange for tester training sessions
- Set up fair housing tests by assigning trained testers, designing and coordinating the tests, debriefing the testers, maintaining test data; and evaluating and reporting test results to the Project attorneys
- Conduct and arrange outreach presentations to create awareness of fair housing rights and of our Project’s services
- Create and maintain strong working relationships with social service agencies and other community organizations throughout the service area to provide fair housing training and cross-referrals between our respective organizations
- Develop a working knowledge of software and other methods to identify sites for systemic fair housing investigations
- Assist in promoting fair housing services through the Fair Housing Project’s social media channels
- Assist with reports of Project activities to funders
- Work with attorneys to support the goals and activities of the Fair Housing Project
Salary and Benefits
The Testing and Outreach Coordinator position is a full-time position at 37.5 hours per week. PSLS offers a salary competitive with similar organizations. Our Coordinator salary scale starts at $32,500 per year for candidates who meet the minimum qualifications, and increases with each year of relevant experience. PSLS is committed to providing an excellent, comprehensive benefits package to its full-time employees that includes:
- Health insurance, including the opportunity to qualify for a wellness credit
- Dental insurance
- Vision insurance
- 403b retirement plan including employer contributions
- Extensive training and education program
- PTO that starts at 3+ weeks/year and increases with additional years worked at PSLS
- Paid sick leave
- 6 weeks of paid parental leave after one year of employment
- 12 paid holidays
- Bachelor’s degree in a relevant area of study or equivalent relevant experience required
- Ability to work independently and demonstrate initiative as well as strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively as a team member
- Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
- Excellent oral and written communication and comfort with public speaking
- Strong computer skills including proficiency using Microsoft Word and Excel
- The ability to cultivate and maintain strong relationships with project testers
- Spanish language proficiency is highly preferred, but not required
- Travel throughout our service area (Northern and Central Illinois) is necessary; valid driver’s license and/or reliable transportation is required
- We will give preference to candidates who have experience providing services to low-income individuals
- Knowledge of Fair Housing rules, regulations and laws is helpful but not required
Please indicate “Fair Housing Testing and Outreach Coordinator” in the subject line and email a letter explaining your interest and experience, resume, and three references to [email protected] Resumes accepted until position is filled.
Prairie State Legal Services is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive working environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We recruit, employ, pay, and promote qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, expression, or presentation, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or any other legally protected status.
Prairie State Legal Services is a not for profit civil legal aid organization that has served northern and central Illinois for more than 40 years, maintains 11 office locations, and has a staff of nearly 200 employees including training and litigation staff with extensive experience. Our 36 county service area includes rural communities, suburban areas, and mid-size urban cities which necessitates the development of diverse strategies and we encourage our staff to cultivate and utilize creative approaches to reach and serve our client population. Employees of PSLS benefit from the expertise and community connections of their local office staff along with robust program-wide resources. We strive to provide an array of services responsive to the needs of our clients and therefore have developed several specialized projects and maintain one of the most productive pro bono programs in the nation. PSLS has excellent fiscal controls and upholds the highest rating from Charity Navigator and Guidestar. For more information regarding PSLS services and operations, please visit our website at www.pslegal.org.