Job Posting 65289

Caseworker and Housing Rights Educator
Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation
Toronto Metro area, Toronto
closed 2 days ago (Fri, 23 Oct)
full time  •  $48,000 - $52,000

Application Deadline:  October 23, 2020 at 5:00pm

About CERA

CERA is one of Canada’s oldest charities working to advance the right to adequate housing. Founded in 1987, CERA has worked tirelessly for over thirty years at the intersection of human rights and housing and is one of Canada’s leading NGOs working in the area of social and economic rights. CERA works to advance the right to adequate housing by:

  • Serving clients to help them stay housed: CERA provides free services to tenants facing eviction and human rights violations in their housing, and we are experts in these fields. Each year we provide services to over a thousand tenants and we are highly effective in ensuring that some of the most vulnerable Ontario renters remain in their homes.
  • Providing education and training about housing rights: CERA provides public education and training on housing rights and human rights in housing to diverse groups across Ontario, reaching approximately 1,000 people annually. We work with community partners to train individuals and communities about their housing rights and how to assert them, and we engage with landlords to educate them about their obligations as housing providers.
  • Advancing progressive housing policy: CERA advances progressive housing policy through research, policy development, advocacy and litigation. Notable achievements include setting a legal precedent preventing landlords from discriminating against renters who receive social assistance, launching a constitutional challenge against the federal government for failing to take action against homelessness, and coordinating the Right to Housing Toronto Campaign (R2HTO).

The Opportunity

We are seeking a motivated and committed human rights advocate with strong skills in client service and public education. You will be part of the small but mighty CERA team with an ambitious goal of advancing the right to housing. In this role, your ability to juggle multiple responsibilities under tight timelines is essential. If you are a self-starter with demonstrated experience serving clients, delivering public education and a passion for housing, this could be the right role for you.

Reporting to the Operations Manager, the successful candidate will split their time between serving clients and developing and delivering educational programming. The role requires knowledge of human rights and housing law, cross-team collaboration, a strong customer service orientation and exceptional communications and time management skills.

 

Your responsibilities will include

Serving clients through casework

CERA’s Housing Access, Stabilization and Eviction Prevention program provides assistance to tenants facing eviction or discrimination in housing through telephone and web-based eviction prevention services. You will support the program in the following ways:

  • Providing legal information related to the eviction process, eviction prevention and human rights in housing over the phone and via online channels.
  • Providing ongoing assistance and case management services to clients facing discrimination and requiring human rights-related accommodations.
  • Advocating (both orally and in writing) with housing providers or their representatives on behalf of renters.
  • Keeping accurate, up-to-date case notes, including statistical data, and entering data into relevant data management systems.
  • Identifying issues and providing guided referrals to other services that can help clients.
  • Performing other duties as may be assigned from time to time to support clients and the program.

Public education and capacity-building on housing rights

  • Engaging in community outreach, building and maintaining relationships with community partners including but not limited to other service providers, housing providers, and non-profit organizations.
  • Developing public education materials and programming to educate individuals and communities about their housing rights and the right to housing.
  • Facilitating workshops and conducting presentations and information sessions across the GTA (and virtually during COVID).
  • Performing other duties as may be assigned to support CERA’s public education efforts.

Administration & Organizational Leadership

  • Participating in relevant sector conversations (e.g. social media and webinars) to represent CERA as a leader in the sector.
  • Supervising and providing direction to placement students and volunteers as needed.
  • Performing other duties as required to support the organization, Executive Director and Board of Directors.

Required Qualifications

  • Post-secondary degree in a related field and a minimum of 5 years of relevant, post-secondary professional experience that includes providing housing and/or human rights services to clients; OR,
  • Legal qualifications (lawyer or paralegal) and a minimum of 3 years of relevant, post-secondary professional experience that includes providing legal services to clients, ideally with a focus on housing and/or human rights.
  • Experience designing and delivering human rights and legal education through workshops and/or presentations.
  • Demonstrated ability to problem solve, facilitate resolutions and mediate conflict.
  • Ability to work effectively with groups experiencing housing precarity and systemic discrimination.
  • Strong understanding of the housing and social sectors, domestic and international human rights law, housing law and the barriers facing equity-seeking groups in housing.
  • Ability to keep accurate, up-to-date records, enter data into a data management system and manage multiple timelines.
  • Strong time management and project management skills, including sound knowledge of work planning, budgeting and financial management, monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English, with an ability to communicate directly with diverse service users, the general public, and prepare narrative and financial reports for project donors.
  • Advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Knowledge of public policy processes, understanding of and experience in developing, implementing and/or evaluating policy, drafting briefing notes and/or position papers is an asset.
  • Working proficiency in languages other than English is an asset.

Skills and attributes

  • Outstanding organizational, analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to multi-task, thrive in a fast-paced environment, meet deadlines and adapt quickly to change.
  • Ability to foster and maintain relationships with stakeholders and partners and work cooperatively within a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Strong political acumen, diplomacy, discretion, tact and good judgement.
  • Demonstrated experience working in close co-operation with volunteers, community members, legal experts, service providers and researchers.
  • Superior written and oral language skills with a demonstrated proficiency in writing and speaking in clear, accessible, and compelling language with a high degree of professionalism.
  • Ability to work under pressure with attention to accuracy and detail with minimum supervision.
  • Flexibility and entrepreneurial spirit to accommodate high levels of responsibility and multiple and sometimes shifting priorities.
  • Cultural sensitivity and a commitment to principles of equity.

What we offer

An opportunity to work with an innovative, mission-driven, entrepreneurial non-profit organization working to advance the right to housing, and the opportunity to contribute to shaping the direction of the organization as we continue on our growth trajectory.

Salary range for this position is $48,000 - $52,000. A generous benefits package will be made available following the end of the three-month probationary period.

CERA offers flexible hours, the opportunity to work remotely (on a part-time basis), and with a diverse group of talented staff who are committed to advancing the right to housing in Ontario.

Our office is located at the Centre for Social Innovation (Spadina location), an exciting shared workspace with 250 other non-profits and social innovators across three locations in downtown Toronto. It is accessible by transit and offers substantial opportunities to network with like-minded people and participate in a mission-driven, innovative community through various events.

For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, CERA’s operations have moved offsite and we are working remotely in our home offices until such time as it is safe to return to our offices.

CERA welcomes applications from diverse individuals who self-identify on the basis of any of the protected grounds under the Human Rights Code. We are committed to full compliance with the Human Rights Code, the Accessibility For Ontarians With Disabilities Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and all other applicable legislation. We will provide accommodation during the hiring process upon request. Information received relating to accommodation measures will be addressed confidentially.

 

We thank all applicants for their interest.

Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

No telephone enquiries please.

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