Tag Archives: featured

Community Art Show Raises Awareness of Discrimination Against Sex Workers

On April 7th, over 30 community members joined CERA and mural artists at All Saints Church and Community Centre to view murals created by sex workers at recent housing rights workshops in downtown Toronto. Attendees took part in discussions about housing discrimination issues, received information resources about housing discrimination, and shared a community lunch. We heard:

Making the murals “allowed me and participants to illustrate what a city of inclusion means to them.”

“Knowing your rights in empowering. “

“I will share resources with people in my community.”

Thank you to everyone who attended, to all of the mural makers, to South Riverdale Community Health Centre, Regent Park Community Health Centre, and Maggie’s Sex Workers Action Project. And a big thank you to All Saints Church for hosting us.


Out of respect for the privacy of the mural makers, we are not posting event photos online.

Thank you to the Law Foundation of Ontario for financial support of this initiative.

 

Host Your Very Own Creative Youth Housing Rights Workshop

 Want to host a creative housing rights workshop in your community? Our brand new Facilitator’s Tools are free, easy to download, and provide everything you need to get started. It was created by CERA with the help of 11 youth advisors, who worked with us in 2016-17 to make these tools user and youth-friendly.

Download the Toolkit, Slide Deck and Pocket Guide for FREE!

Youth Housing Rights Facilitator’s Toolkit

Youth Housing Rights Slide Deck, including facilitator’s notes. You can adapt the Powerpoint presentation to suit your group’s needs. *Please note: by downloading and adapting the presentation you agree to not hold CERA accountable for any changes to the content of the presentation.

Know Your Housing Rights Pocket Guide / Know Your Housing Rights Pocket Guide B / Know Your Housing Rights Pocket Guide C / Know Your Housing Rights Pocket Guide D. You can print them yourself or contact us for copies.

Have comments or questions about these resources? We want to hear from you. Email us at cera@equalityrights.org.

Support has been provided by a grant from the Peter and Elizabeth Morgan Fund and the Vital Toronto Fund at the Toronto Foundation.

CERA releases findings from Seniors’ Eviction Prevention Initiative

Between October 2016 and February 2017, CERA gathered input from and held roundtable conversations and a community forum with senior tenants, front-line workers, and other stakeholders across the GTA.

Read our report and recommendations. We hope that our findings will lead to community-led strategies and system-wide improvements that meet the needs of vulnerable senior tenants in the GTA.

Want a hard copy mailed to you or to someone who needs to read this? Email cera@equalityrights.org or call 416-944-0087 to provide your mailing address and request a copy.

 

CERA is grateful for financial support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the government of Ontario.

Know Your Housing Rights Sessions for Sex Workers


Project Update – Thank you to Maggie’s, South Riverdale Community Health Centre and Regent Park Community Health Centre for hosting CERA’s housing rights sessions for sex workers over the past six weeks. Special thank you to all the participants for sharing their housing experiences and learning about their legal rights as tenant.

Whenever possible, CERA uses creative models of legal education to engage with communities in meaningful ways. 100% of participants said the sessions gave them a better understanding of their rights in housing. 74% said the information they learned will significantly benefit their lives.

The collaborative sessions combined legal education about housing rights with mural making, led by community artist Catherine Moeller.

What we heard from participants about the mural making:

  • “Great alternative way to express what I have learned.”
  • “It brought people together and it helped express feeling through art.”
  • “Provided a means of expression for those who are less verbal.”
  • “Yes it allowed me and participants to illustrate what a city of inclusion means to them.”

You’ll be able to check out the murals on display the last week of March, location to be announced shortly!

Thank you to the Law Foundation of Ontario.

 

PROJECT UPDATE! Facilitating Local Responses to Housing Discrimination

After two exciting years of work, we are bringing our Facilitating Local Responses to Housing Discrimination Project to a close. We are very pleased with the success of this initiative and are exited to share the new resources developed with our partners with you. For this initiative, we collaborated with partner organizations in Ottawa, Hamilton, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, London, Windsor and Toronto. Recognizing that local housing priorities are diverse, our work focused on the specific local needs identified by the communities we worked in, including: challenges faced by urban Inuit, Metis and First Nations renters in Ottawa; discrimination against Aboriginal youth in Thunder Bay; discrimination directed at newcomers in Hamilton; failure to accommodate tenants with mental health disabilities in Sudbury; the housing needs of aging residents in London; discriminatory practices affecting lower-income renters in Windsor; and discriminatory barriers facing women in Toronto.

While discriminatory barriers exist in all housing markets, we know that the specific issues that are acute and emerging differ in communities across the province. Through our project work, we have begun to foster local capacity to address housing instability through community work and knowledge sharing with precariously housed tenants and their housing advocates. Specifically, we have been able to:

• Foster partnerships in seven communities, including six communities outside of Toronto;

• Develop and distribute thousands of resources that are responsive to housing related challenges that are community specific benefiting tenants, service providers, and housing providers who need this information;

• Deliver 26 in person public legal education sessions throughout the province;

• Develop and support Human Rights and Housing Ambassadors in communities across the province; and

• Follow through on conversations and ideas that stretch back to 2012, advancing progress on key issues identified in each community.

After many hours of writing and lots of conversations with our wonderful partners across the province, we developed a large number of new resources for tenants, service providers and housing providers across Ontario. Here they are! Please share them with your family, neighbours, and communities to help fight against housing discrimination.

RESOURCES 

Fact Sheets

Fact Sheet Hamilton

Fact Sheet London

Fact Sheet Ottawa

Fact Sheet Sudbury

Fact Sheet ThunderBay

 Fact Sheet Toronto

 Fact Sheet Windsor

Myth Cards

Myth Cards Hamilton 1

Myth Cards Hamilton 2

Myth Cards London 1

Myth Cards London 2

Myth Cards London 3

Myth Cards Ottawa 1

Myth Cards Ottawa 2

Myth Cards Sudbury 1

Myth Cards Sudbury 2

Myth Cards Thunder Bay 1

Myth Cards Thunder Bay 2

Myth Cards Toronto 1

Myth Cards Toronto 2

Myth Cards Windsor 1

Myth Cards Windsor 2

Self Advocacy Toolkit 

Self Advocacy Toolkit English

Self Advocacy Toolkit French

Self Advocacy Toolkit Inuktitut

 Self Advocacy Toolkit Spanish

Self Advocacy Toolkit Arabic

Tips for Tenants 

Tips for Aging Tenants, London

Tips for Indigenous Tenants, Ottawa

Tips for Indigenous Youth, Thunder Bay

Tips for Newcomers, Hamilton

 Tips for Tenants, Windsor

Tips for Women, Toronto

Tips for Tenants with Mental Health Disabilities and Addictions, Sudbury

We want to sincerely thank all of the partners who helped to make this work a success including: Age Friendly London Network, CMHA Sudbury Manitoulin, Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, Housing Help Hamilton, Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic, Odawa Native Friendship Centre’s Drop In, Sistering, Voices Against Poverty and numerous shelters, drop-ins and community organizations in Toronto.

We also wish to thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario, for their support of this initiative.


 www.otf.ca

While we are bringing this project to an end, we are looking forward to new opportunities to continue this exciting work in these communities throughout 2017!

We are hiring! CERA is seeking an Executive Director

Application Deadline: February 17, 2017

The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) is seeking an Executive Director to lead the organization.

CERA was founded in 1987 as a province-wide, not-for-profit   organization dedicated to promoting human rights in housing. Our work is founded on a belief in the inherent dignity and worth of all people. It is in this spirit that we carry out all of our initiatives, which share the common goal of intervening in cycles of discrimination that disproportionately affect low-income and marginalized individuals in the housing market. Through public education, advocacy, and law reform CERA works to address barriers preventing individuals from accessing and maintaining housing. We are a leader in our field, using both domestic and international human rights law to address homelessness and poverty.

Duties and Responsibilities

Operations Management

  • Manage the planning, implementation and delivery of the organization’s projects and services
  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization
  • Oversee the Human Rights & Housing Hotline, which provides free legal information and tenant advocacy

Financial Management

  • Oversee the financial health of the organization
  • Prepare budgets and regular financial reports for the Board of Directors
  • Administer the funds of the organization according to the approved budget

Board Engagement

  • Communicate regularly with the Board of Directors about the operation of the organization
  • Serve as an advisor to the Board of Directors on all aspects of the organization’s activities including the direction of the organization, its programs and services, and the financial health of the organization

Human Resources

  • Supervise and train staff, students and volunteers
  • Respond to employee grievances
  • Maintain a workplace environment free from harassment and discrimination

Policy Reform & Community Development

  • Lead policy reform efforts to improve housing regulation and policy, including participation in international, federal, provincial, and municipal processes
  • Engage in outreach and build community partnerships
  • Strengthen the organization’s presence in the community

Fundraising

  •  Oversee and engage in fund development strategies to raise revenue for the organization
  • Complete funding applications to secure ongoing funding for the organization

Qualifications and Experience

  • You understand human rights law and landlord and tenant law and have a thorough knowledge of housing and homelessness issues. It is a valuable asset if you are a lawyer in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada.
  • You have experience developing and implementing creative funding strategies, managing projects, and forging and maintaining strong relationships with funding and partner organizations.
  • You have experience managing staff and volunteers and managing budgets.
  • You have excellent writing and communication skills.
  • As a leader, you understand how to juggle multiple priorities and expand on the talents of a small group of dedicated and diverse staff, students, and volunteers.
  • You maintain an open, positive, respectful and exciting work environment where staff, students and volunteers are valued.
  • You care about people facing discrimination and eviction in housing and believe it is important to help them.
  • Experience working with a volunteer Board of Directors is an asset.

Terms of position

This is a permanent full-time position that offers a competitive benefits package. Salary is commensurate with experience.

How to apply

All applicants are asked to submit the following:

1. A cover letter;
2. An up-to-date curriculum vitae; and 3. A professional writing sample.

Please submit your application by February 17, 2017 to:

Renee Griffin
Executive Director
Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation 164 – 215 Spadina Avenue Toronto ON M5T 2C7 Email: renee@equalityrights.org

Applications submitted via email must be sent as a single PDF document with the subject line “Application for Executive Director”.

We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

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.

Upcoming Community Forum – Strategizing to Prevent Seniors Evictions

CERA has been working with senior tenants and their service providers to understand the needs of older adults during evictions.

Join us for a candid and critical conversation about our findings, provide input on our preliminary recommendations, and support our public awareness campaign that puts the needs of older tenants on the radar.

Space is limited, please RSVP by February 19th

Details:

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 from 9:30am-1:00pm
192 Spadina Ave, Bigger Bolder Room, lower level
Light breakfast and refreshments will be provided.


If you have RSVP’d, thank you for reviewing our our discussion paper in advance of the forum on February 21st, as we will refer to its findings and recommendations throughout the day. This discussion paper is meant only for conversational purposes at this time – please hold off on sharing it with your networks until the final version is made public in March.

Download your copy here: Discussion Paper – CERA – Eviction Prevention for Seniors