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Provided below are 2016-17 VISTA Placement Opportunities at IHCDA.
For more information and questions about these positions please contact: Joe Palus, Research and Innovation Director, (317) 233-1813 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for more information about the Americorp VISTA program.
1.) Continuum of Care Board of Directors capacity building: Working with an emerging board of directors, help Indiana to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring.
Working with the Indiana Balance of State Continuum of Care Board to help the organization transition from an informal coalition to a formal public charity and assessing the work of the Board since inception for the purpose of developing recommendations to build performance metrics and systems to improve performance against those metrics. In addition, this position would evaluate the Indiana Permanent Supportive Housing Initiative: For the last five years, the Indiana Permanent Supportive Housing Initiative has worked with homeless service providers as well as for-profit and non-profit developers to build capacity to develop permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals and families, in line with best practice and the vast majority of the literature on optimal approaches to making homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring. Last year was the final year of the initiative, which has met its primary goals of building sufficient capacity to generate at least 1,400 units of supportive housing, which at the time was the amount needed to end chronic homelessness in Indiana. This is the perfect time to examine reconfiguration of the institute, particularly as our efforts shift from projects focusing 100% on chronic homelessness to projects that integrate units for chronically homeless households into a community setting (such that no more than ten percent of the units in a development are set aside for this population). A VISTA member could help us to develop a plan for and implement this reconfiguration while also soliciting stakeholder feedback on the effectiveness of both 100% and integrated supportive housing. In particular, the VISTA member could help us determine optimal approaches to addressing the needs of frequent users of emergency systems.
2.) Placemaking: Create great places, where Hoosiers in poverty have the best opportunities to live, work, play, and raise their families.
working with our partners in Stellar Communities (a comprehensive investment initiative), Indiana Lifelong Coalition (an effort to promote livable communities), develop and implement plans to maximize the utility of our significant investment in these communities through resident-driven planning. In addition, several of our partners in placemaking, particularly in the Stellar Communities program, have developed community space from historic but abandoned structures as part of their comprehensive investment plan, including theaters and community centers--each of these facilities has the potential to be an engine for job growth and tourism in their communities, but not one has a plan for using the facility as a tool for job creation, through tourism, event hosting or retail. For this portion of their VAD, the proposed position would talk to community residents and businesses as well as communities in which such facilities have been particularly successful to develop operations plans that will provide optimal benefit to low-income individuals through job creation or other mechanisms.
3.) Housing Choice: Help families receiving rental assistance to exercise their full range of choice to raise their families in neighborhoods of opportunity.
Working with our Housing Choice Operations Department, identify and develop a plan to address the barriers to full housing choice for housing choice voucher holders, including but not limited to: availability of quality stock, rent levels, proximity to job opportunities and landlord perception. Also, work to complete an assessment of and craft a plan to build capacity for Local Subcontracting Agencies, which actually administer IHCDA's HCV program at the local level. Rebecca’s currently doing Citizen Engagement project and Intern will be developing self-sufficiency/financial literacy/family development-type stuff into programming across IHCDA’s portfolio. Our ultimate goal is to improve our SEMAP score, which will bring more resources to the state to allow Indiana to serve a larger number of persons in poverty. Both of these efforts will address a specific item in SEMAP that will also increase housing choice for persons in poverty.
4.) Economic Development: Help Hoosiers in poverty to exercise their voice as Indiana works to build strong community-based economic development efforts.
Working with the Research & Innovation Department as well as the Real Estate Department, develop and implement a plan to improve mechanisms to solicit and respond to community feedback on economic and community development efforts, including but not limited to the development of Community Advisory Committees, solicitation of beneficiary and borrower/grantee feedback, and determination of level of support for particular strategies and projects within local communities, with a particular emphasis on assisting persons in poverty to exercise their voice. Also assist with developing a system to assess the impact of IHCDA economic development investments on persons and communities in poverty, including regular surveys of economic development project managers to determine jobs created/retained and income level of individuals hired prior to employment.
5.) Help anti-poverty agencies to draft, secure resources for and implement strategies to end intergenerational poverty.
Assisting anti-poverty organizations (including but not necessarily limited to Community Action Agencies and the Indiana Balance of State Continuum of Care) to build systems to attract monetary and volunteer support from the communities in which they work, which will both increase their capacity to address community needs AND demonstrate the legitimacy of their efforts. In addition, examine the specific drivers of intergenerational poverty in Indiana, particularly within the rural communities of the state. Based on that analysis and outside research, develop and implement a plan to engage the right partners in promising approaches to addressing intergenerational poverty.
6.) Assess the impact of efforts to build stronger communities through the development of rental housing.
We have a significant amount of information on the implementation of several policy initiatives through the QAP intended to improve the lives of persons in poverty, including green building incentives, local government consultation efforts, and cost control mechanisms. We have a wealth of data with regard to the projects that elected to implement these efforts (and gain the associated points), but we have no systematic mechanisms to assess the effectiveness with which they were implemented. The proposed position would develop mechanisms to assess whether specific scoring criteria had the desired effect on the developments and their residents (a majority of whom are at or below the poverty line) as well as whether best practices are consistently adopted by developers. Based on this assessment, the proposed position will then work with the Real Estate Department to craft and implement recommendations for improvement to the Qualified Allocation Plan for the two year period beginning in 2017.
7.) Build local and state capacity to make data-driven decisions to end homelessness in Indiana.
Under the governance of the Indiana Balance of State Continuum of Care, IHCDA collects a wealth of data through the Homeless Management Information System, a comprehensive data management system that helps IHCDA and its partners determine whether our efforts to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring are actually generating the desired outcomes for recipients of assistance. The proposed position would assist with establishing optimal methods to improve the collection and management of this data to assist all participants in the Balance of State Continuum to make data-driven decisions. This will include assessment and recommendations of optimal training systems for HMIS users to be implemented by IHCDA staff as well as efforts to align IHCDA’s internal data systems to better serve individuals and families that receive assistance through multiple IHCDA programs including our homeless assistance programs.
8.) Help Hoosiers in poverty and the organizations that serve them to gain self-sufficiency by implementing best practices in asset development and impact assessment
IHCDA manages the state’s Individual Development Account program as well as its charitable contribution tax credit (called the Neighborhood Assistance Program). At the core of both programs is a commitment to leverage the time of paid staff with a cadre of qualified volunteers that provide services for individual recipients and nonprofit organizations seeking to implement effective IDA and charitable contribution programs. The proposed position would thus build a system to effectively recruit and manage volunteers across all IDA administrator sites, while also creating systems to assess the immediate, intermediate and long-term impact of NAP and IDA participation (including financial education) more generally and working with our partners to increase the number of qualified applicants for NAP credits and IDAs while researching and pursue additional funding for asset development programs across the state. In addition, this position would work to standardize financial education curriculum and outcome evaluation measures across all IDA administrators and work with Public Housing Authorities and other partners managing Housing Choice Vouchers to fully deploy the IDA state tax credit to leverage Family Self Sufficiency program resources. Family Self-Sufficiency participants are voucher holders who develop and implement a plan to increase their income through education, training or entrepreneurship—the increment between their initial tenant contribution (based on their pre-increase income) and the new higher tenant contribution is escrowed for their use to further their education, job training, or entrepreneurial efforts. IDAs are a natural fit for the Family Self Sufficiency Program but to date we have not been successful in integrating the two.