Chapter 3. Hiring and Training Service Coordinators

Module 3.1: Recommended Minimum Qualifications for Service Coordinators

The minimum requirements to be hired as a HUD multifamily service coordinator, as specified in Chapter 8 of the Management Agent Handbook, are:

  • Bachelor’s degree or appropriate work experience
  • Knowledge of and training in elderly and disability services
  • Knowledge of referral processes
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of local services for the elderly and people with disabilities
  • 2-3 years of social service delivery experience. It is preferable for service coordinators to have direct experience working with elderly people or people with disabilities.

While not required by HUD, the following skills are also assets for many service coordination positions:

  • Training in cultural competency
  • Bilingual skills
  • Degree in social work, or social work certification. Licensed social workers must renew their licenses regularly. This requires ongoing training and learning to enable service coordinators to stay up to date on issues facing their residents. Check your state’s social worker licensing bodies for licensing and renewal requirements.

Watch the video for one practitioner’s thoughts on the qualities and qualifications of an effective service coordinator.

Engaging Service Coordination Support Staff and Volunteers

Some service coordination programs may choose to engage support staff or volunteers to assist service coordinators in carrying out their functions. Different structures are possible, and may include:

  • Aides: These staff should have appropriate education or experience working with elderly people and/or persons with disabilities.
  • Interns: College students pursuing a degree in social work or a health-related field may look to gain hands-on experience, and may be able to receive academic credit for an internship or work-study program.
  • Volunteers: Volunteers may have more time to coordinate events, find service providers, or complete other tasks to enhance service coordination. In some cases, you may find it helpful to use residents as volunteers. However, residents should never be given access to program files or used to perform the service coordinator’s job when working in a volunteer capacity.

Anyone supporting the service coordinator—whether as an aide, intern, or volunteer—should not be given sensitive information without resident consent. In addition, service coordinators are encouraged to review their employer’s policy on the use of volunteers.  Criminal history background checks may be advisable.


The number of residents that a service coordinator can effectively serve will depend on the needs of residents. In general, a ratio of one full-time service coordinator to 50 to 100 residents is a reasonable ratio to use as an initial benchmark.  In properties with large numbers of residents with mental health conditions or other high needs, a smaller ratio may be appropriate.


Please complete this quiz before you proceed to the next module. To take the quiz, use the arrow keys or click the correct answer choice. If you answer incorrectly, you will be able to try again until you select the correct response. Scores will not be recorded.

1. TRUE or FALSE: Because of the sensitive nature of the service coordinator program, service coordinators may not use the services of volunteers.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development © 2018

HUD Service Coordinators in Multifamily Housing Program