Thank you for completing this brief screening. We will be interviewing for this position until it is filled. We will reach out to you if we need more information. If you would like more information about the position, the job description is below. Thank you!
Community Legal Services of Philadelphia’s (CLS) Housing Unit is seeking to hire a full-time Peer Tenant Advocate. The Peer Tenant Advocate’s primary responsibility will be to work collaboratively with legal teams representing tenants in the eviction process either pre-court, in Fair Housing, Municipal Court or the Court of Common Pleas. Teams are comprised of attorneys, social work staff, paralegals and peer advocates (tenants who have experienced the eviction process). In addition to providing our clients with high quality legal defense, objectives of the teams include improving safe, stable, affordable, and healthy housing for our clients.
Peer Tenant Advocates will receive ongoing supervision on their cases from lawyers and social workers. Peer Tenant Advocates can expect intensive, interdisciplinary training on CLS’s Advocacy model, the eviction process and housing-destabilizing issues, client interviewing, and other critical skills. Peer Tenant Advocates will also have regular opportunities to debrief and provide mutual support with Peer Advocates in other CLS units. CLS is dedicated to providing ongoing professional development in best practices in all these areas in a variety of training forums for all staff.
JOB DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
The job duties and responsibilities necessary for this position include:
• Providing support and practical information to tenants
• Helping to advocate for tenants with the Philadelphia Housing Authority, Rental
Assistance, and other social service agencies
• Attending Municipal Court hearings
• Supporting tenants at various meetings such as public assistance, housing, Medicaid, and
other important venues
• Keeping case data and client files up to date
• Participating in CLS’s policy initiatives
• Providing advice and participating in outreach efforts to neighborhoods hardest hit by the
• Presenting to community-based agencies about available services, resources, and rights of
• Acting as a liaison with community organizing bodies (attending meetings, connecting interested tenants with appropriate organizing, assisting with media requests for client voices
All Peer Tenant Advocate applicants must have personally experienced and negotiated the eviction system in the past and be committed to using their knowledge to help other tenants involved in these systems.
The ideal candidate will have the following skills and abilities:
• Informal or past work experience advocating on behalf of other tenants (which could include friends, neighbors or relatives)
• Experience with housing and related issues (public benefits, rental assistance, housing
• Experience doing community outreach
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills and ability to interact well in a multi-cultural environment
• Ability to learn complex material quickly
• An ability to work as part of a team
• Personal experience as a tenant in the eviction system
• High School Diploma or a GED
• Aptitude for or demonstrated skill in client interviewing, written and oral advocacy
• Strong writing skills
• Computer literacy
• Willingness and motivation to assist on substantive cases and administrative matters.
• Fluency in writing and speaking a language other than English, preferably Spanish, is strongly preferred, but not required.
• Completion of a peer advocate course, such as Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services certified peer specialists training is preferred, but not required.