Housing Specialist I, II, III

Job Specifications

Class Code: GE1, GE2, GE3
Analyst: EM

Date Originated: 7/14
Date Revised:



Under general supervision, provides a variety of support services related to the development of affordable housing projects and development and implementation of homeowner assistance programs for acquisition or rehabilitation of affordable housing, housing assistance, community development, and homeless services; and performs other duties as required. 


Housing Specialist I is the entry and first working level class in the Housing Specialist series, with incumbents receiving training from and assisting higher level Specialists.

Housing Specialist II is the journey level class in this series, capable of independently performing the full range of duties. This class differs from the Housing Specialist I in that incumbents may provide training to lower level Housing Specialists and make presentations to internal and community groups, as well as carrying primary responsibility for grant application preparation and compliance.

Housing Specialist III is the advanced journey level class in this series, having the primary responsibility for performing the full range of housing support duties and for acting as team leader for larger and more complex projects. Incumbents are expected to develop expertise in all Housing Section functions so they can assume independent responsibility for assignments. This class is distinguished from the Housing Specialist II in that the incumbent is responsible for implementation and compliance with complex programs and projects and functions as a team leader. Incumbents in this class receive administrative and technical supervision from the Housing Coordinator. 


Administer grant funding and ensure program compliance, screen and evaluate programs and projects; assist the Housing Coordinator in meeting County housing program objectives through projects, programs and preservation efforts, including programs to assist homebuyers, development of new affordable housing and homeless assistance programs; process and recommend loan applications; review and analyze credit, title, income and expense information on applicants in accordance with accepted underwriting standards; monitor construction for compliance with work specifications and housing regulations; prepare loan documents; set up and maintain escrow accounting of all funds; monitor compliance for projects and programs with regulations; develop public education materials; provide staff support to Housing Advisory Commission; administer and insure compliance with Measure J (SCCC§17.10); communicate effectively with individuals from diverse socio-economic backgrounds; draft, process and monitor outside contracts; develop and conduct training and marketing programs on affordable housing programs and finance programs; represent the Housing section at public meetings; coordinate fiscal transactions; may plan projects for affordable housing which may include grant writing, environmental review, mediation of issues, financial planning and reporting, programmatic auditing and monitoring and records keeping; inform and advise property owners about housing rehabilitation and related affordable housing programs; provide construction advice and instruction to homeowners; prepare deficiency lists, cost estimates, plans and specifications; implement and monitor projects; develop and manage budgets; assess community needs; develop program objectives; prepare grant applications; interpret regulations; administer grant requirements including reporting; prepare construction specifications; provide technical assistance; and work with community groups.   


Knowledge of:

Housing Specialist I

Some knowledge of:

·         Basic principles and trends of affordable housing;

·         Legislative process at local, State and Federal levels;

·         Federal and State housing and community development laws, regulations, programs and procedures;

·         Principles and practices of community development.

Housing Specialist II

Working knowledge of the above plus:

·         County affordable housing policies, procedures and programs;

·         Principles of Federal, State and local funding opportunities including low income housing tax credits and McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Programs;

·         Grant management procedures;

·         Underwriting principles and practices;

·         County administrative procedures;

·         Some assignments require: principles and practices of building industry standards including building codes, construction codes, State and local housing regulations and methods of enforcement; techniques and methods of housing inspection and detecting health and safety hazards; housing rehabilitation and remodeling practices and procedures; construction specifications and cost estimating; general contracting principles; and home improvement financing and escrow procedures.

Some knowledge of:

·         Planning principles and components of land use applications;

·         Methods of determining housing needs ranging from calculation of Regional Housing Need to homeless census;

·         Housing financing tools and conventions, loan documents and regulatory agreements.

Housing Specialist III

Working knowledge of the above, except thorough knowledge of underwriting principles and practices, plus:

Thorough knowledge of:

·         Principles of affordable multi-family housing finance, development and management;

·         Programs for facilitating and subsidizing low and moderate housing including financing and indirect subsidy mechanisms.

Some knowledge of:

·         Housing Element and General Plan.

Ability to:

Housing Specialist I

Housing Specialist II

All of the above, plus:

·         Evaluate proposals, manage project schedules, monitor compliance and progress and evaluate performance;

·         Negotiate and write contracts;

·         Interpret, apply and explain complex regulations and procedures;

·         Identify problems and propose solutions;

·         Compose and disseminate information to the community and general public through various media; 

·         Make presentations to committees, special purpose groups and the general public;

·         Prepare clear and concise administrative reports, Board letters and other communication;

·         Conduct meetings;

·         Train and direct the activities of lower level personnel;

·         Monitor compliance with regulatory agreements for low and moderate income housing.

·         For some assignments: Prepare and interpret construction specifications, architectural drawings and construction contracts.

Housing Specialist III

All of the above, plus:

·         Manage and coordinate complex projects and activities.

Education and Experience:

Any combination of training and experience, which would provide the required knowledge and abilities, is qualifying. A typical way to obtain these knowledge and abilities would be:

Housing Specialist I:  Two years of experience in a public or private community development agency/firm plus completion of 12 semester units of college coursework in community development or a closely related field. 


Possession of a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university with a major in community development, planning, urban studies, natural sciences, architecture or a closely related field.


Housing Specialist II: Three years of experience in construction administration, building inspection, real estate appraisal, community development project coordination, economic development, or loan application preparation and processing.


One year of experience equivalent to a Housing Specialist I at Santa Cruz County


Housing Specialist III: Four years of experience with housing and community development programs that has included responsibility for financing, community development, or economic development projects.



One year of experience equivalent to a Housing Specialist II at Santa Cruz County.


Possession of a valid California Class C Driver License or the ability to provide suitable transportation, which is approved by the appointing authority.

Bargaining Unit: 41

EEOC Job Category: 02

Occupational Grouping: 28

Worker's Comp Code: 0053