Senior Legal and Policy Advisor
Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation WORK FROM HOME (Telecommute)
closed 3 days ago (Fri, 9 Apr) full time
JOB POSTING: Senior Legal and Policy Advisor
Application Deadline: Friday, April 9, 2021 at 1:00 pm
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 rights-based housing policy: CERA advances rights-based 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 Network (R2HTO).
We are seeking a motivated senior policy and legal professional. You will be part of a small but mighty team with an ambitious goal of advancing the right to housing for all. In this role, your ability to juggle multiple responsibilities under tight timelines is essential. If you are a self-starter with demonstrated experience in policy development, human rights advocacy, government relations, strategic litigation and law reform, this could be the role for you.
Reporting jointly to the Manager of Policy, Communications & Engagement and General Counsel, the successful candidate will support CERA’s comprehensive approach to advancing the right to housing through policy research and public advocacy, government relations, legal advocacy and public legal education. In particular, you will provide sound policy advice, engage in written advocacy and draft reports and submissions, support CERA’s litigation efforts and engage with various communities and stakeholders.
Your responsibilities will include:
Policy Analysis and Advocacy
Monitoring policy developments at the municipal, provincial, federal and international level related to advancing the right to housing and other aspects of CERA’s mandate.
In collaboration with other members of the policy team, leading CERA’s policy research, development and analysis efforts, including the development of policy positions and recommendations to government and other stakeholders.
Researching and producing written reports, briefing notes and submissions on legal and policy issues related to the right to housing for diverse audiences.
Providing sound and strategic advice to management on a wide range of policy matters related to CERA’s mandate, as well as relevant initiatives at the municipal, provincial and federal government level.
Representing CERA at meetings with stakeholders and policymakers, consultations, deputations and other opportunities to interact with government officials to advance CERA’s policy agenda.
Developing and maintaining relationships with existing and potential partner organizations and other organizational stakeholders.
Maintaining a current understanding of academic and policy research relevant to the right to housing and CERA’s mandate.
Community and Public Engagement
Supporting CERA’s public engagement efforts in order to build capacity and commitment to advancing the right to housing across Canada.
Cultivating respectful and collaborative relationships with individuals, communities, networks and organizations who have or are working with those who have experienced housing precarity, homelessness or human rights violations in their housing.
Acting as a knowledge translator between directly impacted communities, clients, and members of the public, and policy makers and government.
Liaising with directly impacted communities and CERA to translate community-sourced information and direction into concrete strategies and policy recommendations.
Conceiving, developing, and supporting other initiatives that respond to identified community engagement and policy needs.
Facilitating workshops and conducting presentations and information sessions (currently happening virtually as a result of COVID).
Overseeing, developing, and supporting participatory action research and other community-based consultation methodologies.
Performing other duties as may be assigned to support CERA’s community engagement efforts.
Strategic Litigation, Law Reform and Public Legal Education
Supporting CERA’s strategic litigation efforts by identifying, developing and coordinating cases selected for litigation, conducting legal and policy research, drafting submissions and funding applications to support this work.
Delivering public legal education sessions and developing public outreach materials.
Administration & Organizational Leadership
Providing strategic thought leadership on policy issues related to housing.
Representing CERA in relevant sector conversations and to a variety of audiences and stakeholders.
Contributing to a healthy team culture of collaboration, accountability, support, ongoing learning, and effective processes.
Supervising and providing direction to students and volunteers.
Performing other duties as required to support the organization, Executive Director and Board of Directors.
An LLB/JD and ideally a graduate degree in law or a field related to housing and/or human rights, and a current license to practice law in a Canadian jurisdiction.
Minimum of 8 years of relevant post-secondary professional experience at a legal, research, policy or advocacy organization.
Knowledge of the right to housing, human rights and housing law, and the housing and social services sector in Toronto and Ontario.
Knowledge of public policy processes, understanding of and experience in developing, implementing and/or evaluating policy, drafting briefing notes and/or position papers.
Demonstrated track record of engaging with senior government officials (elected and civil servants) to successfully achieve policy change.
Proven ability to synthesize and analyse complex information from a variety of sources to identify trends, issues, implications and opportunities for systemic change, and to develop recommendations for decision-making purposes.
Experience working, volunteering or collaborating with community organizations and networks, or the broader non-profit sector.
Experience working effectively with low-income and marginalized populations facing housing precarity and systemic violations of their human rights.
Outstanding written and oral communication skills in English and an ability to communicate directly with diverse audiences and the general public, producing clear written work on complex issues.
Experience supervising, mentoring, and supporting staff, interns, and/or volunteers.
Advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
Experience in litigation, managing clients and complex legal files is an asset.
Working proficiency in an additional language, particularly French, is an asset.
Skills and Attributes
Outstanding organizational, analytical and problem-solving skills.
Ability to multi-task, thrive in a fast-paced environment, and adapt quickly to change.
Ability to build relationships with stakeholders and work in close co-operation with volunteers, community members, legal experts, service providers, academia and/or researchers, and in a multi-disciplinary team.
Ability to work accurately under pressure with attention to detail and deadlines, and with minimal supervision.
Flexibility and entrepreneurial spirit to accommodate high levels of responsibility and multiple and sometimes shifting priorities.
Strong political acumen, diplomacy, discretion, tact and excellent judgement.
Cultural sensitivity and a commitment to principles of equity.
We recognize and value the unique perspective that people with lived experience of poverty and/or precarious housing bring in addition to the skills and qualifications listed above.
Starting Salary Range: $68,000 - $80,000 commensurate with experience and qualifications
Location: Remote within Canada
Anticipated Start Date: May 2021
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 our direction as we continue on our growth trajectory.
A generous benefits package will be made available following the end of the three-month probationary period, which includes health and dental benefits, AD&D, long-term disability and life insurance. All staff are provided with 10 paid sick days annually.
Four weeks of paid vacation are provided and CERA’s offices typically close over the winter holidays, providing a handful of additional paid days off for staff.
CERA offers flexible hours, the opportunity to work remotely, and with a diverse group of talented staff who are committed to advancing the right to housing.
Our office is located at the Centre for Social Innovation (Spadina location), an exciting shared workspace that houses 250 non-profits and social innovators across multiple locations in downtown Toronto. It is accessible by transit, gender inclusive, and offers substantial opportunities to network with like-minded people and participate in a mission-driven, innovative community through various events.
To apply for this job
Applications should include a CV and cover letter in one PDF document and should be submitted by email to with the subject line: Application –Senior Legal and Policy Advisor.
At CERA, we believe that a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve strengthens our ability to achieve our mission. We strongly encourage applicants of all genders, racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, abilities, and with a range of life experiences to apply.
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 and 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.
How to Apply
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