Housing Equity VISTA Opportunity at TND

VAD_Housing Equity VISTA – FINAL

VISTA Assignment Description

VAD Title: 2022-23 TND Community Building Housing Equity VISTA
Sponsoring Organization: Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation
Project Name: NeighborWorks VISTA Program
Project Number: 15VSNOH001
Project Period: Sept 12, 2021 – Sept 10, 2022
Site Name: The Neighborhood Developers (TND)
Focus Area(s)
Primary: Economic Opportunity
Secondary: optional
If your VAD is not accepted, the reason(s) why will appear here.

VISTA Assignment Objectives and Member Activities
Goal of the Overall VISTA Project: (750 characters max)
In the face of the worsening housing crisis in Chelsea and Revere, residents came together in
August 2020 to launch the Housing Equity Committee (HEC). With technical assistance and
training provided by TND, committee members are learning about housing issues, and taking
action. The VISTA will help develop tools and sustainable systems that enable the HEC’s
resident participants to confidently contribute to community decision-making in support of an
expanded supply of affordable housing. By increasing the power and effectiveness of
community members most affected by the shortage of adequate housing in these two low-
income, predominantly immigrant cities, more residents will retain the poverty-alleviating
benefit of a stable home.

1. Objective of the Assignment (1000 characters max)
By December 2022, expand and refine the Housing Equity Committee Handbook
initiated by the previous VISTA.
Member Activities: (Each activity below requires a start and end date in eGrants – mm/dd/yyyy)
1. Update information on legislative efforts already undertaken by the committee.
2. Expand upon research into state and national policies addressing housing equity
issues that were identified by previous VISTA.
a. Include information in enhanced HEC Handbook so that committee can help
educate the community on how they can get involved in the fight against
3. Improve the committee’s methods of communication within the HEC.
a. Interview committee members to determine what internal communication
methods are working well and what are not.
b. Update current internal communication plan.
4. Document all ‘lessons learned’ in refined HEC Handbook.

2. Objective of the Assignment (1000 characters max)
By January 2023, expand previous VISTA’s research into evidence-based
approaches to tackling displacement.

Member Activities: (Each activity below requires a start and end date in eGrants – mm/dd/yyyy)
1. Investigate additional practices and policies that help residents remain stably
a. In addition to programs like RAFT (Rental Assistance for Families in Transition),
this might include legal clinics, local housing lotteries, etc.
b. Prepare a tip sheet for HEC members and TND staffers to use when conversing
with housing insecure individuals to efficiently connect these residents with
valuable resources.
2. Interview residents and community stakeholders about their experiences with
a. Document these observations.
b. Use these findings to help the HEC determine which housing efforts best meet
the needs of TND’s communities.
3. Incorporate all findings in the enhanced HEC Handbook.

3. Objective of the Assignment (1000 characters max)
By April 2023, develop effective methods for recruiting new HEC members and
reaching external audiences.
Member Activities: (Each activity below requires a start and end date in eGrants – mm/dd/yyyy)
1. Research best practices and analyze which modes (I.e., social media, flyers, etc.)
are most likely to reach potential new committee members.
a. Work with HEC members on outreach to residents to boost committee
membership, such as tabling at community events or phone banking.
2. Work with TND staff to develop systems to follow up with those who have sought
rental assistance through the CONNECT Hotline.
a. Support HEC members as they reach out to these local families to see if they
want to become civically engaged through the HEC.
3. Support committee members in strategically promoting HEC activities with external
a. Help to design, organize and implement community activities and events that
promote housing equity.
b. Help staff design and implement interactive activities that gauge interest in
housing justice.
4. Document all outreach-related lessons learned in the HEC Handbook.

4. Objective of the Assignment (1000 characters max)
Throughout the year, support HEC meetings and efforts and help foster leadership
and social cohesion among group members.
Member Activities: (Each activity below requires a start and end date in eGrants – mm/dd/yyyy)
1. Train and assist HEC members in planning, facilitating and scheduling monthly
resident-led, TND-supported HEC meetings.
a. Support HEC members as they follow up on next steps identified at meetings.
2. Connect HEC members to one leadership training per quarter that educates
members about housing inequity.
a. Trainings will equip members with the tools to address housing equity issues in
their community.

3. Over the course of the year, plan and execute three opportunities for HEC members
to connect with each other outside of committee meetings and to strengthen their
group identity.
4. Document all lessons learned about HEC meeting facilitation and leadership
development in the revised HEC Handbook.