Job Details
Job Description

Position: Community Engagement Specialist

Status: Exempt, Full-time Regular

Reports to: Director of Real Estate Development  


Position Summary: The Community Engagement Specialist plays a key coordination role within the Real Estate Development team and reports to the Director of Real Estate Development. In addition to coordinating real estate development partnership and community engagement strategies with the real estate development staff, the position provides strategic planning advice to NHA leadership, educates external partners on the development process, and collaborates around community engagement with NHA’s service departments of Housing Development, Asset Management, and Resident Services. The position facilitates convening, engagement, and listening sessions with colleagues and external partners and is a representative of Northwest Housing Alternatives within the community. Researches and analyzes local and state affordable housing and community development policies. This position will explore the ways that city, county, state, and federal housing policies overlay and interact with one another to create gaps in affordable housing supply and variable access to housing across Oregon. 


Contributes to and develops sound policy decisions that improve economic security and opportunity for individuals, families, communities, and Oregon as a whole. Tasks will include supporting partner groups with policy analysis, monitoring best practices from across the state, collecting and analyzing data, and building relationships with advocates and local stakeholders.


The position requires strong quantitative and qualitative analytic skills, strong writing ability, 
self-motivation, and the ability to communicate effectively and strategically with a variety of target audiences, including policymakers, the media, and community-based organizations and their members.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Conduct research and write on timely policy issues related to affordable housing, community development, and local policy. 
  • Provide coordination and oversight for community engagement activities through leadership, strategic vision, planning, and execution.
  • Promote the organization’s research and analysis to NHA’s key audiences and community partners through legislative and local testimony, public presentations and briefings, interviews with the media.
  • Develop and maintain effective working relationships with individuals and organizations related to affordable housing and economic development policy, both at the state and local levels, including elected officials and their staff, journalists, community-based organizations, and coalitions.
  • When necessary, spearhead local partnerships, coalitions, events, and meetings in service of a specific policy goal related to affordable housing or economic development 
  • Compile, analyze, and publish data about housing, economic and demographic trends.
  • Track state legislation and local policy proposals that would impact Oregon’s housing economy and economic development; make recommendations as to when it is appropriate for NHA to weigh in on policy proposals.
  • Analyze the proposed and enacted state and local budgets with a focus on their impact on communities of color, low- and moderate-income Oregonians, and the state’s ability to fund vital affordable housing initiatives; monitor developments as budgets move through the process.
  • Attend conferences and other meetings of interest to NHA.
  • Perform other duties as assigned including supporting partners, funders, and other stakeholders.


Essential Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


  • Education and/or Experience – Bachelor’s degree in Community Development, Real Estate Development, Social Service, or related field or equivalent related work experience.
  • At least five years of professional experience in affordable housing or related industry. 
  • Communications Skills - Ability to read, analyze, and interpret the most complex documents. Ability to respond effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints. Ability to write speeches and articles using original or innovative techniques or style. Ability to make effective and persuasive presentations on complex topics to community partners, the general public, legislators and/or legislative staff, public groups, and/or boards of directors. Verbal and written Spanish language proficiency is a plus.
  • Outreach Skills- Demonstrated ability to work with diverse populations. Ability to conduct outreach to individuals and organizations. Ability to develop productive partnerships and build coalitions.
  • Analytical Skills - Ability to employ both quantitative and qualitative analysis to data interpretation, including a working knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and statistical software. Ability to generate charts and graphs that are understandable, informative, and interesting. Ability to effectively support data analysis with qualitative research.
  • Reasoning Ability- Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.
  • Experience in public presentations, coordinating a diverse team with diverse interests and backgrounds, or similar roles in leadership and education.
  • Basic knowledge of affordable housing financing tools and concepts including LIHTC. Familiarity with compliance and regulatory requirements of affordable housing. 
  • Ability to manage complex and time-critical processes, funding requirements, and partner relationships, to complete tasks on time and on budget. 
  • Ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and changing team environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with, and connect with, a diverse stakeholder community.
  • Excellent oral communication skills and comfort in public speaking environments.
  • Excellent computer skills including advanced proficiency in Microsoft Teams/Office365 and online research. 
  • Ability to travel to remote meetings (Bend, OR area). 
  • Valid driver’s license, good driving record and own reliable transportation with current insurance. Travel throughout the State of Oregon can be expected.
  • Facilitate community collaboration and engagement around housing and social services.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with community partner organizations.
  • Identify opportunities for enhanced community engagement and partnerships that deepen the community’s connections with NHA and vice versa.
  • Foster a productive and healthy dynamic with stakeholders, including staff, board, and community partners.
  • Create and utilize appropriate community engagement tools, including social media, 
    in-person listening sessions, webinars, websites, and presentations at meetings and conferences.
  • Work with local social service providers and other community resources to develop appropriate support services collaborations for each housing project. 
  • Support real estate development staff in the community engagement and outreach activities of NHA real estate development projects.
  • Serve as a liaison to underserved communities including those vulnerable to displacement, impacted by discrimination, and/or marginalized.
  • Demonstrated commitment to social and community service. 
  • Other duties as assigned. 

Preferred Competencies 


  • Analytical - Synthesizes complex or diverse information; collects and researches data; uses intuition and experience to complement data; designs workflows and procedures.
  • Continuous Learning - Assesses own strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback to improve performance; pursues training and development opportunities; strives to continuously build knowledge and skills; shares expertise with others.
  • Job Knowledge - Competent in required job skills and knowledge; exhibits ability to learn and apply new skills; keeps abreast of current developments; requires minimal supervision; displays understanding of how job relates to others; uses resources effectively.
  • Problem Solving - Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; gathers and analyzes information skillfully; develops alternative solutions; works well in group problem solving situations; uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.
  • Project Management - Develops project plans; coordinates projects; communicates changes and progress; completes projects on time and budget; manages project team activities.
  • Communications - Expresses ideas and thoughts verbally; expresses ideas and thoughts in written form; exhibits good listening and comprehension; keeps others adequately informed; selects and uses appropriate communication methods.
  • Oral Communication - Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; listens and gets clarification; responds well to questions; demonstrates group presentation skills; participates in meetings.
  • Written Communication - Writes clearly and informatively; edits work for spelling and grammar; varies writing style to meet needs; presents numerical data effectively; able to read and interpret written information.
  • Change Management - Develops workable implementation plans; communicates changes effectively; builds commitment and overcomes resistance; prepares and supports those affected by change; monitors transition and evaluates results.
  • Ethics - Treats people with respect; keeps commitments; inspires the trust of others; works with integrity and principles; upholds organizational values.
  • Organizational Support - Follows policies and procedures; completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; supports organization's goals and values; benefits organization through outside activities; supports affirmative action and respects diversity.
  • Strategic Thinking - Develops strategies to achieve organizational goals; understands organization's strengths & weaknesses; analyzes market and competition; identifies external threats and opportunities; adapts strategy to changing conditions.


Key Northwest Housing Alternatives Responsibilities:

  • Ensure the implementation of and adherence to all NHA policies, procedures, and protocols.
  • Actively work to implement NHA social and racial equity, sustainability, and community partnership goals.
  • Establish, track, communicate, and maintain records of all activities. 
  • Participate in cross departmental committees such as operation logistics, technology, safety, sustainability, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.


NHA is committed to supporting a diverse workforce and does not discriminate in employment based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual preference, or any other status protected by law.