Tenant Engagement and Community Economic Development (TECDev) Community Advocate VISTA


Cause Areas


Sun Jun 10, 2018 - Sun Jun 09, 2019


1901 Centre AveSuite 200Pittsburgh, PA 15219


Interested in affordable housing, community organizing, tenant engagement, or economic development?

Through partnership with Equal Justice Works, Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG) is seeking a passionate community advocate to dedicate a year of AmeriCorps VISTA service to improve the lives of residents in Pittsburgh area Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) properties, public housing projects that have been switched to the Section 8 voucher program. The VISTA will work with tenants, community leaders as well as PCRG and Equal Justice work staff to empower this critical population through education and advocacy.

To apply, you must create an application on the My AmeriCorps Portal and apply to the TECDev listing (https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?id=70587). For instructions on how to create an application, consult https://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorpsvista/start-your-application. If you have any questions or would like more information, contact Alyssa Lyon, PCRG Manager of Community Outreach and Member Engagement, at alyon@pcrg.org or 412-391-6732 x209.

Assignment Objectives

  • Build tenant and community capacity
  • Develop best practices and training materials for tenant engagement
  • Publicize project and plan for program sustainability

Assignment Activities

  • In consultation with supervisor and Equal Justice Works, research and identify eligible buildings for outreach, organizing and tenant engagement.
  • Participate in monthly national calls with Equal Justice Works.
  • Engage tenants in grassroots coalition building to address community needs.
  • Establish regional partnerships.
  • Help tenants develop strategies for meeting community development needs.
  • Facilitate meetings and/or mediations between tenant associations and HUD representatives and/or building owners and managers.
  • Track the number of organizations and tenants that receive capacity building services through an activity log.
  • Develop written reports on best practices, success stories and related materials to share with Equal Justice Works and other TECDev project partners and tenant associations.
  • Draft reports and publications regarding successful aspects of the program and challenges that were overcome.

Required Exerpience/Qualities/Skills

  • Interest in affordable housing, community organizing, tenant engagement, or economic development
  • Basic word processing and spreadsheet skills

Preferred Experience/Qualities/Skills

  • Experience with community organizing in nonprofit or public service environments
  • Awareness of community development principles and practices
  • Basic knowledge of affordable housing programs and organizations

Benefits of AmeriCorps VISTA Service

  • Living Allowance: Receive a modest bi-weekly living allowance of $472.22 to cover basic living expenses.
  • Relocation Allowance: If you move 50+ miles from your home to a new community, you receive relocation travel assistance up to $1,000 (based on the federal mileage rate) and a settling-in allowance of $550.
  • End of Service Award: Choose between a $5,920 Segal Education Award to pay for a range of education expenses or a $1,800 cash stipend.
  • Health Care: Enroll in either out-of-pocket reimbursement ($7,150 medical, $1,000 for dental, $200 for vision) for healthcare or a healthcare plan. Dental and vision are also included, as are telehealth services.
  • Non-Competitive Eligibility: Qualify for Non-Competitive Eligibility, a unique hiring path that makes it easier for federal agencies to hire you.
  • Professional Development: Attend in-person and virtual professional development sponsored by AmeriCorps VISTA, Equal Justice Works, and PCRG.
  • Child Care: You may be eligible to receive up to $400/month for child care if you have children under the age of 13.


Participants in the VISTA Tenant Engagement and Community Economic Development Project (TECDev) will work to assist and create opportunities for residents of Project-Based Section 8 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) properties. Equal Justice Works oversees 45 VISTA Legal Fellows and Community Advocates collaborating to provide capacity building services to their host sites to assist, inform, educate, and engage tenants of RAD properties regarding their rights, responsibilities and options. Qualified candidates are paired with a host site which provides direct supervision for the member throughout their one-year term of service. VISTA members are also administered training and provided with technical assistance by Equal Justice Works.

For more information, visit www.equaljusticeworks.org/post-grad/VISTA or email VISTA@equaljusticeworks.org.


  • Basic Computer Skills
  • Grant Writing / Research
  • Community Outreach

Good Match For


Requirements & Commitment

  • Must be at least 18
  • Full time

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