JOB POSTING: Caseworker and Housing Rights Educator
Application Deadline: July 19, 2021 at 5:00 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).
About the Role
We are seeking a motivated and committed human rights professional 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 Manager of Services & Education, the successful candidate will serve clients and develop and deliver 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 clients 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 clients.
- 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.
- Ensuring you are up to date on topics related to CERA’s services and public education work.
- 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
- Representing CERA in relevant sector conversations, delivering presentations on behalf of the organization and the network to a variety of audiences and stakeholders.
- 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.
- Legal qualifications (lawyer or paralegal) and a minimum of 3 years of relevant, post-graduation professional experience that includes providing legal services to clients, ideally with a focus on housing and/or human rights; OR,
- Post-secondary degree in a related field and a minimum of 5 years of relevant, post-graduation professional experience that includes providing housing and/or human rights services to clients.
- Experience working effectively with low-income and marginalized populations facing housing precarity and systemic violations of their human rights in housing.
- Strong understanding of the housing and social sectors in Toronto and Ontario, domestic and international human rights law, housing law and the barriers facing equity-seeking groups in housing.
- Demonstrated facility in public education, with experience developing materials and programming and delivering presentations and/or training to a variety of audiences.
- Demonstrated ability to problem solve, facilitate resolutions and mediate conflict.
- 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, and adapt quickly to change.
- Ability to 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 good 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: $52,000 – $65,000 commensurate with experience and qualifications
Funding is confirmed for the first 12 months of this role and CERA will continue to work to secure funding beyond the end of the funded period.
Anticipated Start Date: As soon as possible
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 resume and cover letter in one PDF document and should be submitted by email to email@example.com with the subject line: Application – Caseworker and Housing Rights Educator.
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.