Tenant Organizer - DC

The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) is a non-profit, tax-exempt community development organization founded in 1991. LEDC’s mission is to drive the economic and social advancement of low- to moderate-income Latinos and other D.C. area residents by equipping them with the skills and tools to achieve financial independence and become leaders in their communities. We achieve our mission through small business development and lending, homeownership counseling and affordable housing preservation.

The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), of Washington, DC, a non-profit community development organization, seeks a full-time, Tenant Organizer to join our team.

Background
Tenant Organizers work with low-income tenants in Washington DC to exercise and protect their rights when their building is for sale, fight for better conditions in their building, and collaborate with city-wide campaigns to preserve affordable housing and prevent displacement. DC has unique housing protections that allow tenants to stay and decide what happens to their building when it is for sale, but they must act quickly as a group to exercise and protect those rights. Organizers support tenants in learning about and deciding between two main options: purchase the building themselves and convert it to an affordable housing cooperative or decide who purchases the building and negotiate a contract ensuring benefits to the tenants, such as improved conditions or rent protections. 

Job Responsibilities
When advocating for better building housing conditions, the organizing team assists tenants in collectively voicing their demands and asserting their rights. We work with various city and legal aid agencies to pressure landlords to complete needed improvements and repairs. If that does not work, we support tenants in organizing rent strikes and withholding rent until conditions improve and tenants’ demands are met. 

Some of the essential duties of the tenant organizer position are listed below.  

  • Outreach to tenants through door knocking, flyering, texting, and calling 
  • Plan and facilitate tenant association meetings 
  • Lead training on tenant rights and resources 
  • Organize tenants to form and strengthen tenant associations to purchase their building, improve conditions, or negotiate with the building owner and/or policymakers 
  • Coordinate and/or provide translation and interpretation during tenant meetings 
  • Complete the necessary paperwork to ensure tenants can exercise their rights when their building is for sale, and coordinate with attorneys, potential buyers, and/or investors  
  • Provide technical assistance to tenants who wish to establish or strengthen a tenant or cooperative association, keep their building affordable, improve conditions at the building or exercise an option to purchase, or organize a rent strike
  • Develop tenant leadership, including recruiting, identifying, and supporting tenants to lead in their buildings, join city-wide campaigns, and build tenant power throughout the city 
  • Organize campaign activities including planning events and actions, mobilizing tenants, preparing spokespeople, creating materials, coordinating communication with the press 
  • Advocate with the DC government to improve or create programs benefiting low-income tenants, i.e., to strengthen existing rent control laws or prevent eviction

This is a full-time, 40-hour/week position that requires evening and occasional weekend hours. Our typical work week is 12-8 pm, Monday – Friday and we flex our schedules if we work weekends or significant hours outside our regular schedule, with the idea of keeping the work sustainable. Due to the pandemic, the position is currently hybrid, or a mix of remote and in-person work, including remote and in-person outreach and tenant meetings, and two days / week in the office. We anticipate this position will return to a fully in-person position at some point. Proof of COVID vaccination is required to work at LEDC.

Compensation: $48,000 - $52,000. Candidates with extensive experience in housing organizing may be considered for a more senior role.

Required Qualifications: Strong writing, public speaking, and computer skills. Highly organized, detail-oriented, and able to work with limited supervision. Culturally sensitive and respectful of people from various economic and social statuses. Grounded in anti-oppression values and practice. Outstanding interpersonal communication and the willingness to develop working relationships with a wide variety of people. A college degree is not required for this position. Candidates must be based in or willing to relocate to Washington, DC.  

Preferred Qualifications: Bilingual in Spanish and/or Amharic. Strong general knowledge of DC communities and related housing issues. At least one year of volunteer and/or paid experience with community organizing, popular education, or providing direct services to low-income people of color.

DC residents, immigrants, tenants, Black, Indigenous, people of color, and LGBTQI+ people are strongly encouraged to apply. 

We are reviewing applications on a rolling basis. To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to [email protected]. The cover letter should state why you’re interested in the tenant organizer position in particular, what relevant experience you have (personal, volunteer or professional), and any broader insight you’d like to share about housing and the struggle to prevent displacement.

LEDC is an EEO employer committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all applicants and employees. In accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and Executive Orders, LEDC takes affirmative action to ensure that applicants and employees covered are not discriminated against because of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex (gender), age, disability, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, personal appearance, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic that is protected by applicable law. For more information about your equal employment opportunity rights, please view this poster: EEO is the Law. LEDC also participates in E-Verify. 

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