Opportunities

 

EMPLOYMENT 

CERA is currently hiring a Human Rights and Housing Caseworker and Project Coordinator:

Application Deadline: Friday, August 30, 2019

The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) is hiring a Human Rights and Housing Caseworker and Project Coordinator.

The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) is a not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to preventing evictions and ending housing discrimination across Ontario. CERA was founded in 1987 as the only organization in Canada with a primary focus on promoting human rights in housing. We use human rights tools to combat housing insecurity and homelessness across Ontario. We work with tenants, housing providers, community partners and the public to build awareness about housing rights, and to build the capacity of Ontarians to recognize and defend their human rights.

Our model for change-making involves the following interventions:

  • Unique Services for Tenants: Our direct service model is primarily phone-based, and serves 1,200-1,500 marginalized renters per year. Our intake services are fast and responsive, and we engage clients as team members in creative problem-solving as we work to prevent homelessness and overcome discrimination.
  • Creative Public Engagement and Education: Our innovative outreach approach responds to real needs across Ontario. CERA knows that partnerships make us stronger, and we work closely with groups across the province to reach those in need of our unique services.
  • Legal Initiatives that Challenge the Housing Status Quo: In addition to on-the-ground supports for individuals and communities, CERA engages in litigation to improve housing policy and set legal precedents that advance housing rights and the right to housing.

About the role:

This role can be either a part-time position as a Human Rights and Housing Case Worker, or a full-time a dual role combining the Case Worker position with a Project Coordinator role.

The Human Rights and Housing Caseworker will support CERA’s Housing Access, Stabilization and Eviction Prevention (HASEP) program by providing direct services to clients and facilitating public education workshops. The HASEP program provides assistance to tenants facing eviction or discrimination in housing through our telephone and email-based eviction prevention and human rights intake program and provides the following services:

  • Educating renters about their rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act and the Human Rights Code.
  • Providing information to renters who are facing imminent eviction from their homes.
  • Assisting renters who are experiencing discrimination when attempting to access or maintain housing.
  • Assisting renters who are experiencing discriminatory harassment.
  • Assisting renters to make accommodation requests to their landlord under the Code through advocating with housing providers.
  • Referring renters to income support services, housing help, counseling services, legal services and other supports they need.
  • Delivering 50 public education workshops across Toronto each year.

The Human Rights and Housing Coordinator is responsible for the overall delivery, management and implementation of projects in accordance with funding agreements and CERA operating procedures. They are responsible for establishing collaborative and effective working relationships with partner organizations to ensure that project activities are planned and implemented effectively and will represent CERA with donors, partners, and other stakeholders.

Primary Responsibilities of the Human Rights and Housing Caseworker:

  • Providing legal information related to the eviction process, eviction prevention and human rights in housing over the phone and via email.
  • Identifying issues and providing guided referrals to other services that can help service users.
  • 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.
  • Assisting with community outreach, facilitating workshops and conducting presentations and information sessions across the GTA when necessary.
  • Supervising and mentoring student volunteer caseworkers with the Program Manager.
  • Managing and monitoring the program caseload ensuring timely processing of files and appropriate distribution of labour among caseworker team.
  • Performing other duties as may be assigned from time to time.

Primary Responsibilities of the Human Rights and Housing Project Coordinator:

Project dependant, the Project Coordinator will either be solely responsible for, or will support the Project Manager in:

  • Delivering projects in accordance with the project agreement
  • Managing and administering the project budget
  • Monitoring and adjusting the project timelines
  • Preparing reports on financials and outcomes for the donor as needed
  • Managing and directing staff assigned to the project
  • Maintaining an up-to-date understanding of the policy and political landscape as it relates to the subject matter of the project
  • Preparing communications and documentation about the project for funders and relevant external audiences;
  • Identifying and leveraging opportunities for coordination / knowledge sharing with key stakeholders.
  • Actively monitoring and implementing measures to prevent and mitigate reputational and other risks

Qualifications of the Human Rights and Housing Caseworker and Project Manager Coordinator:

  • University degree or College diploma in a related field.
  • A minimum of two years of relevant work experience that includes providing assistance to or working with marginalized groups and/or providing housing and/or human rights services.
  • Experience facilitating workshops and presentations.
  • Demonstrated ability to problem solve, facilitate resolutions and mediate conflict.
  • Knowledge of barriers facing equity-seeking groups in housing, including but not limited to marginalized women, youth and persons with disabilities.
  • 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.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, with an ability to communicate directly with diverse service users, the general public, and prepare narrative and financial reports for project donors;
  • Political acumen, diplomacy, discretion, good judgement, cultural sensitivity.
  • Ability to work well and cooperatively in a small interdisciplinary team.
  • Knowledge of the housing and social sector is required; knowledge of community resources related to housing is an asset.
  • Working proficiency in languages other than English is an asset.

Hours and Compensation:

  • The hiring range for this position is $40,000 – $45,000 per annum. This is a term contract ending March 31, 2020 with the possibility of extension, contingent upon ongoing funding of the program.
  • This position is being made available in either of the following two configurations:
    • Part-time (24.5 hours / week) Human Rights and Housing Case Worker (annual salary adjusted accordingly)
    • Full-time (35 hours / week) Human Rights and Housing Case Worker and Project Co-ordinator. Full-time employees are entitled to health benefits following a three-month probationary period.

To apply for this job:

Please submit a resume and cover letter as one PDF document, quoting the position title in the subject line to:

Hiring Committee

Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation

427-192 Spadina Avenue Toronto ON M5T 2C2

Email: cera@equalityrights.org

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.

 

VOLUNTEER 

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation!

Please send all volunteer inquiries to cera@equalityrights.org. Applicants should be aware that these positions are strictly volunteer opportunities for which CERA does not offer compensation of any kind. However, in some cases volunteers have been able to secure sponsorship of their work for CERA through law school fellowships, or other externally funded sources, or have been able to obtain course credit through law school internships.

Summer law student opportunities

CERA has a number of summer volunteer opportunities available for law students and law graduates. Summer positions are typically full-time for the duration of the summer (12 – 16 weeks).

Fall/Winter law student opportunities

CERA currently has a partnership with Pro Bono Students of Canada at both Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Toronto Law School. We are also currently working with a number of law schools to develop externship and clinical education opportunities. Hours devoted to CERA’s work will depend on individual program requirements.

Social work student opportunities

CERA has a number of volunteer opportunities for social work students to complete their placement hours. Students will primarily spend their time developing skills engaging in front-line service to equity-seeking groups.

Other student opportunities – policy, advocacy and public education

CERA has a number of other student volunteer opportunities available for students in other academic programs to contribute to the research, policy, advocacy and public education work of the organization.

General volunteer opportunities

To volunteer with CERA, please email cera@equalityrights.org and indicate which areas interest you (i.e. administration, research, multimedia, presentations, attending events, etc.).