Job Board > Social Planner II - Homelessness Services & Affordable Housing Programs - City of Vancouver

Social Planner II - Homelessness Services & Affordable Housing Programs - City of Vancouver

Province: Vancouver, British Columbia
Position: Social Planner II - Homelessness Services & Affordable Housing Programs
Deadline: April 4, 2021
Posted: March 26, 2021

Job Description / Duties

Main Purpose and Function
This position of Social Planner II in Homelessness Services & Affordable Housing Programs is responsible for working with a broad range of stakeholders including community partners, funders, investors, private rental owners, the non-profit/co-op sectors, federal and provincial governments, to support the delivery of low-income social and supportive housing. The position supports low-income and marginalized renters, by creating and protecting low-income housing and addressing homelessness. It will require a range of professional and technical competencies.

The incumbent plays an important role in delivering new low-income (shelter rate) social, supportive housing, and SRO replacement housing by coordinating, planning and implementing a variety of programs, policies and project specific work. The position engages with City processes including but not limited to: supporting housing applications through Rezonings, Development Permit/Building Permits, participating in public consultation and engagement, application of the SRA Bylaw, administering capital & operating grants, and legal agreements to protect, secure and improve low-income (shelter rate) housing. This position may also support very low-income renters and oversee tenant relocation plans.

This position will bring expertise to a range of complex issues, including evidence collection, policy development and research, and experience in Project Management activities to support senior leaders and ultimately elected officials to make critical decisions on projects, plans, and strategies. The work requires significant collaboration and cooperation and relationship building across City departments, with non-profit partners, advocacy groups and other external stakeholders. Incumbents need a strong understanding of the structural drivers of homelessness and housing instability, broad awareness of social policy and practice issues relating to poverty, mental health and the criminalization of the poor.

Key Contacts and Reporting Relationships
This position reports to the Managing Director of Homelessness Services and Affordable Housing Programs, in Arts, Culture and Community Services, and receives performance coaching, project direction and support from a Senior Planner. The position will work as part of a staff team focused on decreasing homelessness and improving housing options and stability for marginalized, low-income residents.

Specific Duties/Responsibilities
Implement housing strategies and projects aimed at building new, renewing, and improving the low-income (shelter rate), supportive and SRO housing stock in Vancouver through various City processes and legal tools.
Provide coordination, planning, research and analysis related to the expansion of the supply of low-income (shelter rate), supportive and SRO housing
Liaise with key external stakeholders, including BC Housing, Vancouver Coastal Health, and the non-profit/co-op sectors to deliver projects and influence system and policy changes that improve the lives of Vancouver’s most marginalized citizens
Monitor and protect low-income (shelter rate), SRO and supportive housing and provide support to renters through oversight of tenant relocation plans and advocacy
Provide oversight on non-profit operator selection for City-owned social/supportive housing projects, including leading negotiations with proponents on lease and operating agreements
Provide input to PDS prior to land-use approvals, and support delivery of new supportive/shelter-rate homes following approvals, that may result from City-wide inclusionary housing policies, such as the Sustainable Large Development Rezoning Policy and community/neighbourhood plans (e.g. West End, Marpole, and the Downtown Eastside)
Collaborate with a wide range of internal departments (e.g. VAHA, Planning, Development Sustainability, Real Estate & Facilities Management, Law, Finance, Development, Building and Licencing)
Coordinate with a wide range external stakeholders, such as community organizations, advocacy groups, low-income residents, residents experiencing homelessness, businesses, residents, property owners, non-profit & co-op housing groups, senior government representatives, and developers
Prepare and manage work programs, including supervising other professional and technical staff and external consultants including reviews of economic and financial performance analysis
Report writing, including complex Council reports; presenting complex material to staff, senior management, the public and City Council
Develop and lead collaborative and robust approaches to engagement and communication with internal and external partners and the public that includes designing, attending and facilitating public processes in a sometimes contentious environment
Develop and lead collaborative and robust approaches to engagement and communication with internal and external partners and the public that includes designing, attending and facilitating public processes in a sometimes contentious environment
Commit to advance equity and inclusion in all areas of Municipal public service. Commit to advancing reconciliation and exploring decolonization in projects, programs and policies.
Employ a continuous improvement approach to the delivery of evidence collection & analysis, utilizing a range of quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques - including survey development, economic analysis, review of housing and land-use policies – to enable effective implementation of housing projects and provide robust assessments of options and outcomes
Other duties/responsibilities as assigned

Qualifications / Required Skills

Minimum Qualification Requirements
Education and Experience:
A University degree in Planning or related field with progressive experience at a professional level (minimum 5 years), or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.
Considerable experience in and commitment to developing new affordable housing, supporting renters and addressing homelessness.
Knowledge of the ways in which the City of Vancouver, other levels of government and other partners, deliver new social/co-op and supportive housing
Relevant lived experience combined with working knowledge of people with barriers, including social inequity, racism, colonialism and marginalization related barriers, combined with a broad perspective lens on equity, is an asset

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Strong project management skills
Strong knowledge of supportive, SRO and low-income (shelter rate) housing delivery and policy context
Up to date knowledge of social, economic, political, technological, demographic and environmental trends, factors and issues related to housing needs of different groups in Vancouver and Metro area
An in-depth knowledge of the factors affecting housing supply and demand, including land use planning, land and development economics, social safety net policies, income distribution
A deep knowledge of the effects of social inequity, racism, colonialism and marginalization (e.g. poverty, homelessness, physical disabilities, mental illness, alcohol/drug dependencies, gender, family status, ethnicity, etc.) on housing access and stability.
Direct experience working with homeless & low-income residents, and with communities on homelessness and affordable housing issues, is an asset
Ability to develop affordable housing projects, policies and initiatives
Ability to adjust to a complex organizational structure with shifting priorities on highly politicized issues
Considerable knowledge of project management philosophies and practices, including project scope, budgeting, scheduling, and coordination of team activities
Strong communication skills (oral and written), including the ability to clearly articulate complex planning information to a variety of internal and external stakeholders
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with other staff, professionals, non-profit organizations, advocacy groups and the public
Ability to supervise staff assigned to various projects and direct the work of consultants engaged on supportive & social/co-op projects
Ability to assess housing options and feasibility through financial and social-economic and policy analysis
Able to work independently and as part of a team in a dynamic work environment
Strong interpersonal and conflict management skills
Ability to deal with sensitive issues with diplomacy and tact
Considerable experience with spreadsheets, presentation and database software
Ability to meet transportation needs

Additional Information

Business Unit/Department: Arts, Culture and Community Services (1200)
Affiliation: CUPE 15
Employment Type: Regular Full Time
Position Start Date: May, 2021
Salary Information: Pay Grade GR-31: $48.78 to $57.70 per hour

Application Close: April 4, 2021
At the City of Vancouver, we are committed to recruiting a diverse workforce that represents the community we so proudly serve. Indigenous applicants, people of colour, all genders, LGBT2Q+ and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Accommodations will be provided upon request during the selection process. If you would like to be considered for this exciting and impactful career opportunity, please apply through our careers site.

We thank all applicants for their interest. However, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Learn more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Salary: Pay Grade GR-31: $48.78 to $57.70 per hour

Contact Information

Please apply via the City of Vancouver website:

Employer Profile

Located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver has a commitment to becoming a City of Reconciliation. Vancouver consistently ranks as one of the world’s most liveable cities and is working towards being the greenest city in the world. Named among Canada's Top 100 Employers, BC's Top Employers, and Canada's Greenest Employers, the City of Vancouver seeks colleagues who can help shape and embody our core commitments to sustainability, decolonization, equity and outstanding quality of life for all residents.

Consider joining our committed team of staff and being part of an innovative, inclusive and rewarding workplace.