Cooperative Housing Specialist (Southeast MA)

Job Type
Programmatic/Project Management
Cooperative Development Institute
Contact Name
Jason Brady
Contact Email
Contact Phone

PO Box 1051
Northampton, MA
United States

Job Description

Cooperative Housing Specialist (Southeastern Massachusetts)

Reports To: Housing Program Manager

Salary and Hours: $19-22/hour for 40 hours/week. Paid time off (3 weeks vacation, increasing to 4 weeks after two years' tenure, plus 8 paid holidays/year). Health benefits. Family and Medical Leave. Mileage reimbursement at the IRS rate. Ability to contribute to a retirement plan.

Position Overview

Successful candidate will work as a Cooperative Housing Specialist in the New England Resident Owned Communities (NEROC) program of the Cooperative Development Institute. This program is designed to provide affordable, secure housing to residents of manufactured housing communities by helping them finance, purchase and run the communities they live in through the creation of democratically-run cooperatives. The primary focus of this position is initially on post-purchase guidance, training and assistance to each community in the management  and governance of their cooperative. Special attention is paid to helping members understand their roles and responsibilities in order to more effectively function as resident­ owners and to foster a sense of empowerment and community spirit. Travel averages 4-8 site visits per month. Staff tend to serve communities within an hour's drive each way, but this can vary.

Essential Job Functions: Cooperative Housing Specialist

  1. Provides technical assistance to resident-owned  manufactured housing communities. Duties include:
    1. Assisting in resident association board meetings, including preparation, agenda assistance, coaching in running efficient meetings, parliamentary  procedure, effective follow-up, and review of minutes and financial statements.
    2. Training and coaching co-op boards on the creation, implementation, and enforcement of bylaws and community rules and regulations.
    3. Training and coaching co-op boards on the creation and implementation of policies related to member applications, parliamentary  procedure, committee structures, rules enforcement, management practices, etc.
  2. Collaborates with other staff inside and outside CDI on developing and delivering trainings of best practices relating to the ROC model, including:
    1. Cooperative principles  and democratic processes.
    2. Leadership  development.
    3. Rights, roles and responsibilities of members and directors.
    4. Communication skills.
    5. Understanding  financial statements.
    6. Capital improvements planning.
  3. Provides organizational and administrative assistance to the NEROC program to ensure that the various elements of the program are running smoothly.
  4. Assists both established and developing resident-owned  communities with all aspects of their financial and loan compliance responsibilities.
  5. As needed, assists struggling cooperatives to assess their organizational health, identify problems, and develop goals and a plan of action.
  6. On occasion, serves as a Project Manager for community projects, oversees the sub­ contractor and consulting Request for Proposal (RFP), recruiting and contracting process, and oversees work and performance of project subcontractors and consultants.
  7. May communicate with a variety of town and state officials, attorneys, engineers, and other professionals regarding community needs.
  8. Provides project progress reports, as required.

Organizational  Expectations

  • Responsible for conducting all activities within the prescribed policy and budgetary guidelines as set by the CDI Board and administered by the Executive Director.
  • Functions as a participant in CDI's Cooperative Development Team, sharing information effectively to assist others in doing CDI's work. Builds positive and strong relationships with other CDI staff.
  • Demonstrates personal responsibility in job performance.
  • Responsible for role-modeling professional behavior and is consistently respectful with colleagues, staff and clients.
  • May be required to perform additional, related duties or functions of lesser or greater responsibility as negotiated to meet the ongoing needs of the organization.

Required Skills and Abilities

  • Must have a valid driver's license.
  • Must provide their own personal transportation by car and a computer.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills; compassion and assertiveness.
  • Highly organized with the ability to pay close attention to detail.
  • Proven ability to learn quickly, process a lot of information, and apply it on the job.
  • Flexible availability that includes days, evenings and some weekends.
  • Comfort and ease with cloud platforms and video conferencing (e.g. Google Drive, Box, Zoom, RingCentral, Salesforce).

The following skills and abilities, if not already acquired, will need to be developed within the first 3-6 months of beginning employment.

  • Ability to provide assistance, resources and advice, while developing community leadership; meeting people where they are while nurturing self-sufficiency.
  • Knowledge and comfort with democratically-run organizational structures, management, policies and best practices--knowledge of cooperative governance structures and working with boards of directors a bonus.
  • Experience with meeting facilitation.
  • Experience with conflict mediation.
  • Comfort with public speaking.
  • Strong knowledge of fiscal management, strategic planning and general business practices.
  • Working understanding of budgeting, accounting, and financial reporting.
  • Strong knowledge of and commitment to cooperatives and cooperative development.
  • Comfort working remotely/independently.
  • Computer literate, familiarity with common office systems.
  • Culturally sensitive to working with diverse groups of people.
  • Experience with real estate financing, property management, or contractor negotiations a bonus.

Relevant/Preferred Experience

  1. Cooperative business experience, including project management experience in for-profit, non-profit community or economic development organizations.
  2. Experience with group facilitation, training and coaching a group through an autonomous decision-making process and coping with conflict situations.


  1. Clear and assertive communicator.
  2. Able to perform under pressure during difficult interpersonal conflict.
  3. Plans ahead, able to complete tasks and meet tight deadlines.
  4. Able to understand and manage multiple complex tasks and prioritize.
  5. Works collaboratively, self-motivated, flexible, enthusiastic.
  6. Demonstrates a strong belief in the cooperative philosophy and affordable housing mission CDI represents.


About The Cooperative Development Institute (CDI)

The Cooperative Development Institute (CDI, ) is the Northeast's  Center for cooperative business education, training, and technical assistance. CDI was founded in 1994 by cooperative leaders across industry sectors to build a cooperative economy in the Northeast.

Our mission is to work with people in the Northeast to create cooperative businesses and networks that grow a prosperous, equitable economy. We envision a democratically-owned  and just economy where everyone can fulfill their needs and aspirations.

CDI works to support, advise and provide technical assistance to all sorts of cooperatives in the Northeast. CDI's New England Resident Owned Communities (NEROC) program provides support and assistance for residents of manufactured home communities to purchase their parks and run them cooperatively. Our Business Ownership Solutions (BOS) program focuses on conversion of existing businesses to worker ownership and our Cooperative Food Systems (CFS) program works with all food-related cooperatives; from assisting New American and Native American farmers to rural food cooperative retail stores and producer co-ops. And that's not all of what we do!

CDI is a virtually based 501(c)3 non-profit that has 26 employees. CDI employees enjoy their jobs and appreciate the flexibility of working from home, the commitment to continuous learning, and how interesting and varied our work is. Because our organization is transparent , accountable, and participatory, our staffs ideas and opinions count. We are committed to maintaining this as a priority.

Application Instruction

Please phone 877-NE COOPS (877 632-6677, toll-free) or 413-665-1271, extension 1, for application instructions. The deadline for applications is September 18, 2019.



In accordance with Federal law, this institution is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. CDI is an equal opportunity employer and service provider.

We promote economic prosperity for all through our work with our clients, our hiring practices, and our vigorous commitment to cooperative principles. We strive daily to acknowledge and eliminate all forms of oppression. By examining bias within ourselves and our organization, we work mindfully to make our board and staff more inclusive. We actively fight against racism, classism, gender inequality and all efforts to marginalize anyone. The nature of our work engages us directly with the working poor, the educationally disadvantaged, the elderly, immigrants and refugees. It is our goal to see all of our clients prosper within the cooperative movement.

We welcome applicants from underrepresented  identities, and those who have a commitment and track record of bringing an inclusive and equitable approach to their work.