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Homeownership Project Administrator

Philadelphia VIP is a nonprofit that recruits and supports volunteer attorneys to represent low-income Philadelphians who face critical legal issues, but cannot afford a lawyer.

Since 1981, VIP has been the hub of pro bono in Philadelphia, annually supporting over 1,000 volunteers assisting hundreds of low-income clients in four priority areas: preventing homelessness, preserving income, supporting family stability, and promoting community economic development. Our staff of eighteen consists of attorneys, case managers, and other professionals and is highly collaborative, creative, and passionate about our capacity-building model of service. VIP values a diverse work environment and encourages people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, and people with disabilities to apply.

POSITION SUMMARY

Reporting to the Senior Staff Attorney, the Homeownership Project Administrator plays a critical role in VIP’s tangled title project. Clients experiencing a tangled title have a legal claim to their home (such as through inheritance) but do not have their name on the deed, preventing them from accessing benefits and services available to homeowners. VIP is the leading expert on tangled title issues in Philadelphia and, with a four-year grant commitment from the City of Philadelphia, is expanding and enhancing its 20-year-old tangled title program.

The Administrator’s primary duty is to manage the Tangled Title Fund, a City-funded program of well over $100,000 that pays for costs associated with resolving clients’ title issues. Key responsibilities include maintaining case files and data, preparing for and leading Advisory Committee meetings, and preparing detailed bimonthly reports. Additional duties include providing support to Tangled Title Fund applicants who are not represented by attorneys, completing TTF applications for VIP clients, providing logistical support to facilitate volunteers’ resolutions of cases, and coordinating with VIP staff to monitor referred VIP cases and propel them toward resolution. To perform all aspects of this role, the Administrator will develop a basic working knowledge of the key legal issues involved, with attorney support.

The position is full-time and nonexempt, with a salary range of $40,000 to $45,000, and an outstanding team atmosphere. VIP’s generous benefits include medical and dental insurance (with employee medical premium fully paid by VIP); a 403(b) plan with employer contributions; short-and long-term disability and life insurance; flexible spending accounts for health and dependent care; industry-leading paid time off, including substantial vacation and sick time, 12+ paid holidays, and paid parental leave; an individual budget for professional development; and alternative work arrangements, including generous telework hours and scheduling flexibility.

KEY QUALIFICATIONS

A strong homeownership project administrator will demonstrate: a sound commitment to VIP’s mission and to helping clients experiencing tangled titles; a drive for excellent recordkeeping and maintaining sound, accurate data; strong communication skills; and interest in working in a collaborative, team-oriented environment. Further qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree required
  • Excellent attention to detail and to data integrity
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • Capacity for learning and understanding basic legal issues related to homeownership
  • Demonstrated capacity to build relationships with individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Experience assisting clients living in poverty or volunteers preferred, but not required
  • Team player, collaborative, and able to receive and act on feedback
  • Aptitude with technology, including a comprehensive case management system
  • Notary public is a plus, but not required

KEY FUNCTIONS

Manage Tangled Title Fund (TTF) applications, case files, and data:
  • Receive incoming applications and disbursement requests, and review for completeness.
  • Communicate promptly with applicants’ attorneys, and regularly follow up for missing information and
    documentation.
  • Provide support to TTF applicants who are not represented by attorneys, including directing them to key
    resources to ultimately enable them to utilize TTF monies.
  • Maintain and promptly update case files.
  • Track data in LegalServer, VIP’s case management system.
  • With attorney support, develop a basic working knowledge of the probate process, real estate transactions, and
    real estate litigation.
Prepare for and lead monthly TTF Advisory Committee meetings:
  • Electronically compile packets with applications and disbursement requests, including relevant information on
    applicants’ prior requests.
  • Coordinate monthly meetings with the Advisory Committee members, and lead those meetings through review
    of all submissions and by providing current information on the Tangled Title Fund’s funding status.
  • Promptly and accurately communicate approval decisions to applicants’ attorneys.
Manage the monthly disbursement of funds, execute on bimonthly reporting, and monitor overall expenditures:
  • Request disbursement checks from VIP’s finance team, process checks, and send to applicants’ attorneys.
  • Track disbursement data in LegalServer, VIP’s case management system.
  • Prepare detailed bimonthly reports of approved applications and disbursement requests, for submission to the
    City of Philadelphia’s Division of Housing and Community Development.
  • Prepare case narratives to highlight the impact of the Tangled Title Fund.
  • Continually monitor the TTF’s overall expenditures, and implement changes needed to ensure that available
    funds are utilized fully and properly.
Provide administrative support to VIP’s homeownership project:
  • Assist VIP staff with the completion of TTF applications for VIP clients.
  • Provide logistical support to VIP volunteers handling tangled title cases, including coordinating the signing and
    notarization of key documents.
  • Develop customized status reports for referred VIP cases, and finalize the closing of resolved cases by gathering
    necessary documents and information.
  • Coordinate regular meetings among the key legal services agencies that serve tangled title clients, including
    setting agenda topics and following up on key action items.
  • Attend regular meetings, and perform all other duties, as assigned.

HOW TO APPLY:

E-mail cover letter, resume, and references, to Karna Laubenstein, Director of Operations, klaubenstein@phillyvip.org.  References will not be contacted without prior permission from candidate. No calls, please.

What to include in your cover letter: All cover letters should include a salary requirement, potential start date, and any non-English language skills. Applicants are invited to include a statement about how the applicant’s unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of VIP’s staff and legal practice.

Deadline: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with priority given to those received by Thursday, March 10, 2022.

COVID-19 note: VIP is returning to in-person operations, with appropriate safety precautions, as of March 14, 2022. Staff are required to get COVID-19 vaccinations, including CDC-recommended boosters.

PHILADELPHIA VIP IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER