Community Jobs » Manager of Policy, Communications and Engagement

Manager of Policy, Communications and Engagement

Manager of Policy, Communications and Engagement

Deadline: Friday, February 5, 2021 at 1:00 pm

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

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

are seeking a motivated and committed individual with a commitment to human
rights and strong skills in public
policy, communications, government and stakeholder relations, advocacy,
outreach and community engagement, and project and program management to join
our small but mighty CERA team and help us in our 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 managing projects and programs, successfully
navigating policy processes and multi-stakeholder environments, and
communicating complex messages to various audiences in service of advancing policy
change, this may be the role for you.

As Manager
of Policy, Communications and Engagement, your responsibilities will include:

Policy Research, Analysis and

Maintaining an up-to-date understanding of the
policy and political landscape as it relates to CERA’s work, policy strategy
and strategic plan.

Reviewing, analyzing, and advising management on
existing and proposed public policy as it relates to CERA’s work.

Developing and writing reports, factsheets,
briefing notes, and other policy relevant documents.

Leading and supporting policy advocacy to advance
the right to housing with a range of government, public, and community agencies.

Managing, directing and supporting staff,
students and volunteers assigned to policy roles in leading CERA’s ongoing
policy work and in developing and executing comprehensive policy and advocacy
strategies to support CERA’s new strategic plan.

Communications & Media

Developing engaging
communications content including press releases, statements, articles, op-eds, project
case studies, website and social media content, newsletters and other
promotional materials, reports for donors and speaking notes.

Building relationships with
key media contacts and identifying opportunities to proactively pitch stories
through media outlets as appropriate.

Managing, directing and supporting staff,
students and volunteers assigned to communications roles in leading CERA’s ongoing
communications work, including content development, digital engagement and
media relations, and in developing and executing strategic communications

Community outreach & engagement

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, including policy
makers and government.

Liaising with directly impacted communities and
CERA staff to translate community information and direction into concrete
strategies and policy recommendations.

Managing, directing and supporting staff,
students and volunteers assigned to outreach and advocacy roles in leading
CERA’s ongoing outreach and advocacy work, and developing and executing
engagement plans.


Developing and maintaining
relationships with key policymakers at the municipal, provincial and federal
level in order to advance CERA’s policy reform efforts.

Representing CERA at meetings with stakeholders, government agencies, policymakers and officials.

Project Oversight and Management

Overseeing and supporting a new three-year
initiative beginning in April 2021, focused on building cross-sectoral capacity
and commitment across Ontario to advance the right to housing.

Managing and directing staff, students and
volunteers assigned to the project.

Preparing reports on financials and outcomes for
management and the funder as needed, and communications materials to promote
the program to relevant external audiences including donors, other stakeholders
and the public.

developing, and supporting other initiatives that respond to identified
community engagement and policy needs.

Administration &
Organizational Leadership

Coordinating and ensuring alignment between
CERA’s policy, advocacy and community engagement efforts, and ensuring they
align with CERA’s new strategic plan.

strategic thought leadership on policy issues related to housing.

CERA in relevant sector conversations and to a variety of audiences and

Building a healthy team culture of
collaboration, accountability, support, ongoing learning, and effective

Supervising, providing direction,
performance management, coaching and professional development to direct reports
(staff, students and volunteers).

Performing other duties as required to
support the organization, Executive Director and Board of Directors.

Required Qualifications

  • Post-secondary
    degree in a related field (e.g. public policy, communications, law) and a
    minimum of 10 years of relevant, post-graduation professional work experience
    in policy, advocacy, strategic communications, government or stakeholder
  • Experience
    working effectively with low-income and marginalized populations facing housing
    precarity and systemic violations of their human rights.
  • Knowledge of the right to housing,
    human rights and housing law, and the housing and social services sector
    in Toronto and Ontario.
  • Experience
    working, volunteering or collaborating with community organizations and
    networks, or the broader non-profit sector.
  • Demonstrated
    track record of engaging with senior government officials (elected and
    civil servants) to successfully achieve policy change.
  • Thorough knowledge and demonstrated
    ability in strategic communications including content development, media
    relations, public affairs, external engagement and outreach.

of public policy processes, understanding of and experience in developing,
implementing and/or evaluating policy, drafting briefing notes and/or position

  • Project
    or program management experience, including sound knowledge of work
    planning, budgeting and financial management, monitoring, evaluation and
  • Experience
    supervising, mentoring, and supporting staff, interns, and volunteers.
  • 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.

proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).

proficiency in an additional language, particularly French, is an asset.

Skills and

organizational, analytical and problem-solving skills.

to multi-task, thrive in a fast-paced environment, and adapt quickly to change.

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.

to work accurately under pressure with attention to detail and deadlines, and with
minimal supervision.

and entrepreneurial spirit to accommodate high levels of responsibility and
multiple and sometimes shifting priorities.

political acumen, diplomacy, discretion, tact and good judgement.

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.

Salary Range: $75,000 – $88,000 commensurate with experience
and qualifications

Start Date: February / March 2021

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

public health guidance related to COVID-19 changes, CERA staff are encouraged
and supported to work from their home offices on a full-time basis and are
provided with appropriate equipment to ensure a safe work environment. Staff
have the option of working at CERA’s office if they prefer, subject to
availability, and so long as public health and building protocols are followed.

apply for this job

should include a CV and cover letter in one PDF document and should be
submitted by email to
with the subject line: Application – Manager of Policy, Communications and

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.

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

We thank all applicants for their interest.

Only candidates selected for an interview will be

No telephone enquiries please.

  • Contract Type: Full-time
  • Location: Toronto
  • Submitted by: Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation - CERA