Cooperative Housing Specialist

Cooperative Development Institute

Transforming ownership of our economy

Job Description

Cooperative Housing Specialist - Massachusetts New England Resident Owned Communities (NEROC) Program

About Us: 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, housing 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. See our website for more!

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

FLSA Status: Non-Exempt

Wages, Benefits and Hours: $24.42/hour. 40 hour work week. Paid time off (3 weeks vacation, increasing to 4 weeks after two years’ tenure, plus 9 paid holidays/year). Eligible for five week sabbatical at completion of five years of employment. Health benefits. Family and Medical Leave. Mileage reimbursement at the IRS rate. Ability to contribute to a retirement plan.

Supervision: Works under the supervision of the NEROC’s State Manager. This position has no supervisory responsibilities. 

Geography: The majority of client work will be focused in Southeastern MA.

General Statement of Duties: 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 assists manufactured housing residents in financing, purchasing and operating the communities they live in through the creation of democratically-run cooperatives. As a result, residents operate and maintain affordable, secure housing as neighbors within their manufactured housing communities.

The primary focus of this position is initially on guidance, training and assistance to each community in the post-purchase 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. 

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.
  9. Other tasks and special projects, as assigned.

Required Skills and Abilities

  • Must have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation, or ability to obtain within first 6 months of employment.
  • Flexible availability that includes days, evenings and some weekends.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills.
  • Highly organized with the ability to pay close attention to detail, plan ahead, prioritize and meet tight deadlines. 
  • Proven ability to learn quickly, process a lot of information, and apply it on the job.
  • Able to perform under pressure during difficult interpersonal conflict.
  • Works collaboratively, self-motivated, flexible, enthusiastic.
  • Demonstrates a strong belief in the cooperative philosophy and affordable housing mission CDI represents.

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.

Organizational Expectations

  1. Responsible for conducting all activities within the prescribed policy and budgetary guidelines as set by the CDI Board and administered by the Executive Director.
  2. Functions as a participant in CDI's overall Team, sharing information effectively to assist others in doing CDI's work. Builds positive and strong relationships with other CDI staff.
  3. Demonstrates personal responsibility in job performance.
  4. Responsible for role-modeling professional behavior and is consistently respectful with colleagues, staff and clients.
  5. 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.


CDI is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. 

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.

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and three references at The position will remain open until filled, but applications received by Sunday December 5 will receive priority attention.

No phone calls, please.
 Equal Opportunity Employer
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