Under the direct supervision of the Executive Director, Legal Counsel administers all legal aspects of public housing and Section 8 Program tenancy, and ensures the JCHA’s compliance, in this area, with all applicable agency policies and federal, State and local rules, laws and regulations. The role of Legal Counsel is a highly visible, leadership position requiring a person who is analytical, organized, and detail-oriented. Legal Counsel may also perform other legal services as required.
Primary Job Responsibilities:
Establishes and administers a fair and consistent system of lease enforcement for all public housing and Section 8 households. Vigorously enforces JCHA’s criminal activity policy for drug-related and violent crimes at public housing developments and Section 8 properties to provide safe and secure living environments for low-income families and senior citizens.
Reviews all recommendations for eviction and oversees the processes leading to and following eviction. This includes the filing/processing of “orders to show cause”, “stipulations of settlement”, complaints and warrants for removal. Represents the JCHA in tenancy court, small claims, and municipal court, and ensures that the cases are properly processed before and after the eviction hearings in court.
Researches and provides advice and counsel to JCHA staff, as requested, on all areas of tenancy, including relevant HUD rules and requirements of federal and State law and other programs administered by the JCHA as necessary. Reviews and revises the JCHA’s legal forms, including the Residential Lease Agreement, to ensure documents are effective and thorough and conform with all applicable rules and regulations.
Meets with and provides training for Asset Management, HCV and other staff regarding tenancy issues.
May present information at resident meetings to describe the tenancy policies and the eviction process of the JCHA, as well as applicable governmental rules and regulations.
Provide detailed monthly reports to the Executive Director regarding the status of all pending and completed tenancy cases. Makes recommendations to the Executive Director regarding policy development and strategies for effective policy implementation. Supervises staff and interns and oversees work of outside counsel as necessary.
- Admitted to the Bar in the State of New Jersey
- Three years of full-time experience, particularly in the area of tenant/landlord law, including some experience in public housing and/or Section 8 program tenancy issues.
- Possession of a valid New Jersey State Driver’s license and access to an automobile for work use.
- Required skills & Abilities:
- The successful candidate must have the ability to:
- Prepare clear, sound and informative management reports, which includes identification of problems and recommendation of solutions.
- Handle diverse projects and concurrent priorities and responsibilities, follow through on assignments, and meet deadlines.
- Provide thorough and practical advice regarding federal, State and local rules and regulations governing public housing and Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Programs.
- Execute all job responsibilities in a manner reflecting the highest standards of professional and public service integrity; represent the JCHA in court and in other areas in an effective manner; and work harmoniously with peers, supervisors and subordinates.
- Administer the tenancy program with consistency, fairness and confidentiality.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
To perform this job successfully, the employee is frequently required to remain in a stationary position. Daily movements include sitting; standing; operating computers and other office equipment; moving about the office; and attending onsite and offsite meetings. The employee must be able to communicate via email and verbally via telephone. The employee must occasionally transport up to 15 pounds.
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Office environment the noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
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