KEJC Hiring Housing Justice Attorney

Updated: Aug 24

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Applicants have until August 30th to apply for this position.


KEJC is hiring a full-time housing attorney! Wooooo! Details about the position and how to apply ⤵️ ⤵️ ⤵️


Housing Justice Attorney

Kentucky Equal Justice Center seeks an attorney with experience in housing law and policy as our new Housing Justice Attorney. KEJC is a mid-sized poverty law advocacy nonprofit with a staff of 16 and a budget of $1.6 million. We believe every Kentuckian has the right to health care, housing, fair pay, food, education, and safety. KEJC’s staff of 16 works in Kentucky’s capital and in courtrooms and communities across Kentucky. Our program at Maxwell Street Legal Clinic in Lexington provides immigration law services.


Working at KEJC is challenging and exciting because there is always a lot to do and many ways we could help directly impacted Kentuckians, engage with coalition partners, and work towards a Kentucky in which everyone has enough. KEJC works internally and externally in teams and coalitions and therefore seeks a Housing Justice Attorney who will help establish and maintain a healthy culture of collaboration.


About the Position

The Housing Justice Attorney will be responsible for leading KEJC’s response to the current eviction crisis and working across organizations, coalitions, and geographies to ensure that all Kentuckians facing eviction have access to rental assistance, legal assistance, and justice.


The Housing Justice Attorney will join a multi-function advocacy team that includes our Outreach Coordinator, multiple Housing Outreach workers, Senior Counsel, Communications Coordinator, Grant Manager, and Director to build a housing justice program. The attorney will supervise the housing outreach work at KEJC and will work with KEJC’s communications, development, and legal staff.


The immediate goal: deliver rental assistance and housing security to all Kentuckians. The long term goal: every Kentuckian experiences housing as a human right.


Duties and Responsibilities

The primary work of the Housing Justice Attorney will be to:

  • deliver direct services to Kentuckians facing eviction

  • support attorneys, legal aid organizations, and other community service providers who are also delivering those services

  • build systems (internal to KEJC and with our organizational partners) to allow Kentuckians to access legal assistance and rental assistance more easily and reliably

To achieve these broad goals, the Housing Justice Attorney will:

  • Develop detailed knowledge of policy options and best practices for preventing evictions and delivering rental assistance to Kentuckians

  • Monitor proposed changes in local, state, and federal law, regulations, and practices related to eviction and rental assistance programs

  • Develop state, regional, and national peer and expert networks for advice, counsel, and development and evaluation of proposals and initiatives

  • Prepare a variety of written materials including briefing papers on promising options, best practices, and current issues; and compelling public-facing communications on housing, evictions, and rental assistance

  • Participate in meetings, conferences calls, and activities of local, state, and national public interest partners, including Kentucky Housing Corporation, National Low Income Housing Coalition, ThriveKY, and coalitions of organizers and directly impacted Kentuckians with a focus on ensuring every Kentuckian who needs rental assistance gets it and every Kentuckian facing eviction experiences zero days of homelessness

  • Help plan and conduct meetings of the statewide legal services Consumer and Housing Task Force

  • Help develop and implement a communications plan designed to provide useful and timely information through multiple media to support delivery of rental assistance

  • Assist Kentuckians in accessing rental assistance

  • Defend Kentuckians facing eviction in court that legal aid organizations cannot represent

  • Identify and pursue impact litigation opportunities on key issues and handle a small caseload of individual matters

  • Work with KEJC staff to identify additional funding opportunities to ensure the sustainability of KEJC’s housing justice work ​

Qualifications

The successful candidate will demonstrate:

  • Active membership in the Kentucky bar

  • A minimum of two years’ experience as an attorney with preference for candidates with 5+ years of experience including housing litigation and experience working across organizations to deliver housing stability services to Kentuckians

  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, including demonstrated public policy communications

  • Comfort speaking in front of groups

  • Excellent interpersonal skills

  • Comfort working in a multicultural setting, with sensitivity to language and cultural issues

  • Excellent organizational and problem-solving and skills

  • Facility with social media and web-based communications tools

  • Ability to be a self-starter in developing and carrying out activities, to take initiative and work independently, as well as in a team

  • Knowledge of low-income issues

  • Commitment to racial justice, diversity, equity and inclusion

Proficiency in a second language, especially Spanish, is a plus.

Location

KEJC has offices in Lexington and Louisville, but we seek to hire the most outstanding candidate for this position. We consider geographic diversity within Kentucky both a strength and a challenge. We will explore it with candidates invited to interview for the positions.

Salary and Benefits

Salary based on experience and our salary scale. Illustrative examples: $48,504 at two years, $68,823 at 15 years. Generous fringe benefits include health and retirement, dental, life and disability coverage. KEJC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, but we provide health and retirement benefits through participation in state employee plans.

Grant Funded Position with Potential Renewal

This position is funded by a grant of federal funds through the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) to provide KEJC and our legal services partners with additional capacity to provide housing stability services. We expect KHC funding to last until the middle of 2025. Over time, sustainability will depend on identifying and securing new sources of support.

Starting Date: September 15, 2022, or as soon as possible.

Application Instructions

To apply, please email the following materials as .pdf attachments to KEJC’s Senior Counsel, Ben Carter (ben@kyequaljustice.org) with the subject line “Housing Justice Attorney Application”:

  • cover letter

  • writing sample

  • resume

  • three references (include both a phone number and an email address)

Only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

Application Deadline: August 30th, 2022. Open until filled.

Diversity Statement

KEJC welcomes your application. Employees shall be selected entirely on a nondiscriminatory basis with respect to age, ancestry, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender, gender identity, limited English proficiency, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, and all other categories provided nondiscriminatory treatment by law, statute, or ordinance.