NHLP Seeks Candidates for the David B. Bryson Memorial Fellowship
The National Housing Law Project (NHLP) announces that it will host a David B. Bryson Memorial Fellow and invites all interested candidates to apply, including 2021 law school graduates.
The National Housing Law Project is committed to an environment of inclusion and equitable opportunity for members of the Housing Justice Network, our partner organizations, clients, staff, and board. We seek to hire individuals from diverse backgrounds, especially people with lived experiences impacted by housing insecurity and discrimination, or who have experienced the intersection of multiple systems of discrimination. We actively promote mutual respect, acceptance, appreciation and teamwork across all lines of difference.
THE BRYSON FELLOWSHIP
The Bryson Fellowship honors the life and work of David B. Bryson, a gifted NHLP attorney who committed his boundless talent to promoting housing justice for low-income people. His groundbreaking work in affordable housing policy and litigation and his legal support for tenant advocates nationwide, including his authorship of portions of NHLP’s seminal publication, the “Green Book,” continue to serve as inspirational benchmarks for public interest attorneys.
The David B. Bryson Memorial Fellowship presents a unique opportunity to join a passionate and dedicated staff of housing advocates during a critical moment in our nation’s history. Already faced with a historic lack of affordable housing, the pandemic heightened the need for all levels of government to implement eviction prevention and housing stability measures. As a fellow at NHLP, you will help lead the national fight for the rights of tenants through education, collaboration, and collective action. You will also have an opportunity to help communities threatened with the reduction and elimination of federally-assisted housing, work that is at the core of NHLP’s mission.
THE FELLOWSHIP PROJECT
The fellow will direct and perform research and writing to update the fifth edition of NHLP’s comprehensive practice manual, HUD Housing Programs: Tenants’ Rights. This book, commonly called the Green Book by practitioners, covers the array of issues arising in the representation of tenants and applicants under HUD’s major low-income housing programs, including admissions, rents, utilities, maintenance, leases, and evictions and terminations. The Green Book, which transferred to a digital platform in 2019, includes all applicable cases, statutes, regulations, and sub-regulatory guidance. With the guidance of attorney staff, the fellow will lead a major revision of the on-line manual.
The remainder of the fellow’s time will be devoted to working with NHLP colleagues on core initiatives that advance the goals of the organization’s mission to fight for housing justice such as:
- Preserving Affordable Housing: Due to federal budget and policy decisions, communities across the country face an increasingly acute housing crisis worsened by significant losses of affordable housing units or subsidies. A fellow interested in these issues would join NHLP staff and allies nationwide to engage in policy advocacy, training, and selective litigation to preserve affordable housing for very low-income families.
- Protecting the housing rights of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013) expanded housing protections for survivors of domestic and sexual violence by covering additional federal housing programs, including the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program (LIHTC), and requiring that covered housing providers provide emergency transfers for survivors who must leave their units because of abuse. The fellow will develop legal strategies and policies ensuring that VAWA be implemented properly for survivors in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Should Congress reauthorize VAWA, the fellow would work on implementation of the new law.
- Expanding Tenants Rights in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program: The LIHTC program is one of the nation’s largest affordable housing programs, supporting over two million units through a public subsidy that covers a substantial portion of each unit’s capital cost. However, because the program is administered by the U.S. Treasury Department and more than 50 different state and local allocating agencies, applicants and tenants have few rights to fair treatment. A fellow would collaborate with advocates around the country to develop a tenant rights policy agenda aimed at establishing critical rights in key jurisdictions through rulemaking and the LIHTC Qualified Allocation Plan process. The fellow’s work would also likely include training for advocates and litigation support in LIHTC cases.
- J.D. degree; candidates must have Bar membership or the ability to sit for an upcoming state Bar.
- A demonstrated commitment to working with and for low-income and underserved populations or lived experience;
- Strong legal research and writing skills;
- Ability to establish plans and meet schedules for research, drafting and production;
- Demonstrated ability to work independently and as a member of a team;
- Excellent communication skills.
Preferred location is NHLP’s main office in San Francisco but other locations will be considered.
SALARY AND BENEFITS
Salary will depend on the qualifications of the applicant but are roughly tied to NHLP’s attorney salary scale. The salary scale is dependent on years of service. First year attorneys start at $62,000, while attorneys at year 10 make $100,000. NHLP provides fully paid health, dental, vision, and other insurance for its employees.
Applications should include the name of the position in the subject line. Please email the following to email@example.com :
- Cover letter that details your interest in the position and how your skills relate to the job description
- Three references
The position was posted on September 20, 2021. This position will remain open until filled but an initial review of applications will occur starting on Wednesday, December 1. The start date is flexible through September 2022. Third year law students are encouraged to apply. This a 12-month fellowship.
The National Housing Law Project’s mission is to advance housing justice for poor people and communities. We achieve this by strengthening and enforcing the rights of tenants, increasing housing opportunities for underserved communities, and preserving and expanding the nation’s supply of safe and affordable homes. NHLP works at the crossroads of housing and community development advocacy, legal services for the poor, and civil rights. Our work is grounded in the realities that shape poor people’s housing choices. Housing security is an essential component of racial and civil equality and a critical foundation for education, health, employment, social engagement, and opportunity. We provide communities and their advocates with the tools they need to advance those rights. We believe that access to safe, decent, and affordable housing is a fundamental human right that should be enjoyed by everyone. NHLP has offices in San Francisco and Washington DC.