Civil Service

EXAMINATION HOUSING SPECIALIST Open-Competitive Examination #61-212






APPLICATION CLOSING DATE: APRIL 12, 2017 at 3:00pm –no exceptions

SALARY:                                      $50,074.68 – $69,522.92

There is one vacancy in the Mount Vernon Department of Planning & Community Development.

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: Candidates must be a resident of the City of Mt. Vernon for not less than one year immediately preceding the date of the written examination.


Graduation from high school or possession of an equivalency diploma issued by the New York State Education Department; PLUS 1 year of experience working in a housing program, performing duties related to affordable housing.                                                                                                                                                          

NOTE: For appointment from the resulting eligible list, applicants with a foreign high school diploma must submit a course by course evaluation of their educational credentials. You must pay the required evaluation fee. Evaluations will be accepted from services such as: WORLD EDUCATION SERVICES, INC., P.O. BOX 5087, NEW YORK, NY 10274 – 212-966-6311, GLOBE LANGUAGE SERVICES, INC. 319 BROADWAY #200, NEW YORK, NY 10027, 212-227-1994, OR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION RESEARCH FOUNDATION, INC. P.O. BOX 3665, CULVER CITY, CA. 90231.

DUTIES: This is a professional position with the responsibility for assisting with problems relating to housing issues. The incumbent counsels and interviews community residents and implements and coordinates the City’s Housing Programs. While the ability to exercise independent judgment and make independent decisions is required, direct supervision is received from the Commissioner or his/her designee. Does related work as required.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES: Must have a good knowledge of housing programs and housing subsidies; good knowledge of the principles, practices, procedures and legislation of housing laws; good knowledge of current issues, developments and resolutions relating to housing discrimination; good knowledge of investigative and interviewing principles, practices and techniques; ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing; good knowledge of the English language; ability to establish effective working relationships; ability to plan and organize; ability to deal with persons of diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds; initiative; tact and courtesy; ability to effectively use computer applications; reliability; good judgment; ability to make decisions; neatness of appearance and physical condition commensurate with the demands of the position.

SUBJECTS OF EXAMINATION: The written test will cover knowledge, skills and/or abilities in the following areas:

              1) INTERVIEWING;                          

              2) PREPARING WRITTEN MATERIAL;       






 INTERVIEWING – These questions test for knowledge of the principles and practices employed in obtaining information from individuals through structured conversations. These questions require you to apply the principles, practices, and techniques of effective interviewing to hypothetical interviewing situations.       Included are questions that present a problem arising from an interviewing situation, and you must choose the most appropriate course of action to take.


  1. PREPARING WRITTEN MATERIAL – These questions test for the ability to present information clearly and accurately, and to organize paragraphs logically and comprehensibly. For some questions, you will be given information in two or three sentences followed by four restatements of the information. You must then choose the best version. For other questions, you will be given paragraphs with their sentences out of order. You must then choose, from four suggestions, the best order for the sentences.


  1. UNDERSTANDING AND INTERPRETING NUMERICAL DATA RELATED TO COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING – These questions test for the ability to understand and interpret numerical data related to community development and housing.       The data will be presented in formats such as tables and charts. All the information needed to answer the questions will be provided in the data presented. You may be required to perform basic mathematical functions such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and to calculate averages and percents. You should bring with you a hand-held battery or solar-powered calculator for use on t his test. You will not be permitted to use the calculator function of your cell phone or other electronic devices.


  1. UNDERSTANDING, INTERPRETING AND APPLYING HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT LAWS, RULES AND REGULATIONS – These questions test for the ability to understand, interpret, and apply a variety of federal and State housing and community development laws, rules and regulations. You will be provided with a brief reading selection based on or extracted from a passage of legal text. You must read the selection and then answer one or more questions based on that selection. All the information needed to answer the questions will be provided in the reading selection.

The New York State Department of Civil Service has not prepared a test guide for this examination. However, candidates may find information in the publication “How to take a written test” helpful in preparing for this test. This publication is available on line at:

Candidates are required to attain a final average rating of 70 in order to be eligible to have their name placed on the eligible list established as a result of this examination. Life on the list will be stated at the time the list is established.

APPLICATION FEE: A $15.00 NON-REFUNDABLE FILING FEE IS REQUIRED FOR THIS EXAMINATION. The applicable fee is required and must accompany your application. If your application is received without the required fee, it will be considered incomplete and you will not be admitted to the examination. If a fee waiver is being requested, proof of documentation qualifying you for the waiver must accompany the application. Only MONEY ORDERS will be accepted for the applications fee. The money order should be made payable to the City of Mount Vernon and be sure to write the examination number on the money order. CASH OR CHECKS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Because NO REFUND will be made, you are urged to compare your qualifications carefully with the requirements for admission.

FEE WAIVER INFORMATION: A waiver of the application fee will be allowed if you are unemployed and are primarily responsible for the support of a household. In addition, a waiver of the application fee will be allowed if you are determined eligible for Medicaid, receiving Supplemental Security Income payment, or Public Assistance. All claims for an application fee waiver are subject to verification and proof of documentations qualifying you for the waiver must accompany the application. If you can verify eligibility for the application fee waiver, you must complete a “Request for Application Fee Waiver” form. This form is available in the Civil Service Office. You must submit the completed fee waiver form with your completed application along with proof of documentations qualifying you for the waiver.

Applications are available in the Mount Vernon Municipal Civil Service Commission Office Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM or send a self-addressed, legal-sized envelope to the Civil Service Commission, Room 103 – City Hall, One Roosevelt Square, Mount Vernon, NY 10550. Applicants may also obtain applications from the City of Mount Vernon’s website at  ALL APPLICATIONS MUST BE RETURNED TO THE CIVIL SERVICE OFFICE WITH YOUR FILING FEE. Applications received via mail will not be accepted if postmarked after the closing date deadline of APRIL 12, 2017.

RELIGIOUS OBSERVERS AND DISABLED PERSONS: If special arrangements for testing are required, please indicate this on your application and submit on a separate sheet of paper and attach it to your application at time of submission. You will be notified of the alternate test date which will take place in City Hall.%3