Tenant Advocate

Employer: 
CommunityPlus+ QSTARS
Region: 
Brisbane
Job Description: 

Tenant Advocate - Community Worker

  • Employer: Community Plus+
  • Work Type/s: ContractFull TimePart Time
  • Classification/s: Community Development,Disability Services, Housing and Homelessness,Mental Health and Counselling, Social Work
  • Sector/s: Not For Profit (NFP)
  • Location: Brisbane & Gold Coast
  • Job posted on: 12th April 2017
  • Applications close: 26th April 2017
    • Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award – Level 4
    • Minimum of 30 and a maximum of 38 hours per week

The QLD Statewide Tenant Advice and Referral Service (QSTARS) is now offered in the Brisbane Local Government catchment area South of the Brisbane River by Community Plus+. The mobile work team is based at a variety of locations in this catchment area. We are looking for a passionate and highly motivated tenant advocate to become the sixth member of the QSTARS team.

About the Tenant Advocate – Community Worker

The primary role of the Tenant Advocate – Community Worker is to offer direct and personalised tenant advice, advocacy and referral support to renters of the Brisbane Local Government area south of the Brisbane River. The worker facilitates self-advocacy by building on individual strengths and goals and providing referrals and links to appropriate services. QSTARS workers ensure equitable access to tailored tenancy information, advice, direct advocacy, and professional support for people and groups experiencing vulnerability. The aim of the work is to build capacity to resolve tenancy issues and prevent or reduce the risk of homelessness.

About QSTARS

The QSTARS program has been established across Queensland to ensure Tenants and Residents in Queensland understand their rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008, and are able to exercise those rights and fulfil their tenancy obligations. QSTARS offers tenancy advice and further assistance not available through the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) call centre.

About Community Plus+

A not-for-profit community development organisation based in the southern suburbs of Brisbane, Community Plus+ has a vision of Strong Centres for Active Communities. Community Plus+ works with local people and their key strengths, resources and capacities in order to increase the wellbeing of all. We are part of creating communities that are equal, connected and empowered.

Community Plus+ operates three community centres - Annerley Community Hub, West End Community House and Yeronga Community Centre – and delivers Queensland Tenant Advice and Referral Services on Brisbane’s Southside. Through a combination of centre-based and outreach activities, Community Plus+ offers community information and referral, community development, social enterprise opportunities and local meeting and venue hire spaces including South Brisbane Croquet Club.

The work of Community Plus+ is guided by our core values:

  1. We act in accordance with the principles of social justice as we work with individuals, communities and institutions to address the imbalance of access, equity, rights and participation in the community;
  2. We make a difference in our community, working effectively with the community and our partners to achieve positive and lasting change for those most in need;
  3. We are caring, acting with warmth, kindness, sincerity, respect and dignity in all our interactions;
  4. We are respectful of each other, and base our relationships on honesty, fairness and trust;
  5. We empower the community, working with individuals to help them make the best choices for themselves, and with communities to contribute to the well-being of the whole community, strengthening community spirit and resilience;
  6. We are proactive in advocating for social and legal frameworks to protect vulnerable members of the community.

For more information please visit www.communityplus.org.au.

Key responsibilities

Contributing to program development and operations within the structure of a self-organising team:

  • Actively contribute to decisions and recommendations regarding QSTARS and Community Plus+ more broadly
  • Participate in the delivery and ongoing development of the QSTARS program and as an active member of the Community Plus+
  • Participate in initial and ongoing training in tenancy legislation and tenant rights
  • Ensure that all statistical, financial and program reporting requirements are fulfilled, including accurate collection and recording of data

 Offering individual advice and advocacy:

  • Provide information, advice and advocacy on resolving tenancy issues and sustaining tenancies in relation to The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (The Act) through face-to-face appointments, telephone and/or written advice and outreach
  • Assist tenants to identify strengths and resources to solve tenancy/residency problems, including information on effective communication with real estate agents and lessors
  • Work alongside tenants to develop a plan to achieve resolution of issues and build the capacity of tenants to manage their tenancy, including referrals to other organisations or services as required
  • Assist tenants to understand and complete forms and paperwork

Supporting individuals in resolving tenancy issues:

  • Guide tenants and residents through legal pathways of Notices, Dispute Resolution and the Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to encourage and assert rightful and responsible outcomes
  • Facilitate meetings with real estate agents or landlords to enable informal and/or formal dispute resolution processes
  • Attend formal or informal dispute resolution processes, where a tenant has limited capacity to advocate on their own behalf, including QCAT hearings
  • Coordinate with local service providers to address identified tenancy issues

Selection criteria

1. A passion for empowering tenants to realise their rights under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act

  • Knowledge of the Act (desirable), or the ability to rapidly acquire knowledge (full training is provided to successful applicants)
  • Conflict resolution and mediation skills
  • Operating within a social justice framework

2. Demonstrated experience in empowering people in a vulnerable situation using a strengths-based approach

  • Skills in relating to people with dignity and respect
  • Excellent listening and communication skills, including experience working with people at risk of homelessness, financial disadvantage, people with a lived experience of mental health challenges and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
  • Ability to help people link in with other relevant community resources and to promote people’s rights, responsibilities and wellbeing

3. Demonstrated professional work practices

  • Adaptable and self-motivated working style, with the proven ability to work both autonomously and in a self-organising team environment
  • Proven ability to prioritise competing and changing needs
  • Ability to work in a variety of settings and challenging environments
  • Demonstrated ability to build and nurture positive working relationships with government, private and community sector stakeholders
  • High-level problem solving, computer and organisational skills

4. Relevant educational and professional qualifications, which may include;

  • Tertiary qualifications in Disability Services, Mental Health, Social Work, Community Development, Human Services or similar (desirable);
  • Diploma or Certificate in a related area or other non-related tertiary qualification; and/or
  • Extensive relevant work experience

5. Other requirements

  • Current Blue Card and Positive Notice Police Check or ability to gain
  • Current driver's licence and use of personal car

Classification and hours of work

The position is classified at Level 4 under the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award. Salary sacrificing is available.

Duration of appointment

This position is for an initial 12-month contract, with a 6-month probation period

For more information please contact the team by emailing cherry@communityplus.org.au or phoning Cherry during business hours on 0488 084 652.

A position description is attached below.

 

Location
Address: 
559 Ipswich Rd Annerley 4103
Suburb: 
Annerley
State: 
QLD
Postcode: 
4 103
Contact
Name: 
CommunityPlus+
Phone No.: 
0488 084 652
Closing Date: 
Wednesday, April 26, 2017