Senior Policy Advisor

Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)

Job Posting: Senior Policy Advisor
Contract Type: Full-time (position funded through March 2023. Work is ongoing to secure funding beyond that period)
Start Date: March / April 2022
Location: Remote within Canada
Closing Date: February 4, 2022 at 5:00 pm EST
Hours of work: Flexible
Salary: $65,000 – $75,000, commensurate with experience and qualifications
Benefits: 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. Group and individual professional development opportunities are also provided to staff.
Paid time off: Four weeks (20 days) of paid vacation are provided and CERA typically closes between Christmas and New Year���s Day, providing a handful of additional paid days off for staff to rest and recharge. Full-time staff are provided with 10 paid personal emergency days annually.
Application Method: Cover letter + resume. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to complete an assignment and to participate in an interview. Please see instructions below.
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 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).
Working at CERA
CERA is a small but growing collaborative and cross-functional team of motivated professionals committed to advancing the right to housing. We are entering the second year of our strategic plan, which prioritizes organizational growth, working nationally, developing innovative ways to engage communities and individuals to support their right to housing and building new, dedicated teams in the areas of policy advocacy, research and strategic litigation. CERA���s four functional teams (Services and Education; Policy, Communications & Engagement; Research; and, Strategic Litigation) work collaboratively together to support each other���s work in identifying and executing innovative ways to advance the right to housing.
CERA���s head 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 and offers substantial opportunities to network with like-minded people and participate in a mission-driven, innovative community through various events. CERA���s head office has several workstations which are available to staff who would like to work from the office on a part-time or occasional basis.
About the Role
We are seeking a motivated and committed senior policy professional with strong analytical and strategic thinking skills to join our team and help us in our ambitious goal of advancing the right to housing for all. In this role, your ability to juggle multiple responsibilities under tight timelines is essential.
Reporting to the Manager of Policy, Communications and Engagement, the successful candidate will support CERA���s comprehensive approach to advancing the right to housing through policy research and advocacy, government relations, communications and public legal education. If you are a policy professional with expertise in housing policy, an understanding of the right to adequate housing, demonstrated experience analyzing housing policy and providing sound policy advice, this may be the role for you.
As Senior Policy Advisor, your responsibilities will include:
Monitoring, identifying, researching and analyzing current and emerging housing policy issues and initiatives to identify policy implications and relevance to CERA���s policy priorities and advocacy strategy. Leading, coordinating and preparing policy proposals in collaboration with team members and external partners and stakeholders. Maintaining an up-to-date understanding of the policy and political landscape as it relates to CERA���s policy agenda and activities. Providing advice to management to support CERA���s policy strategy and advance the right to housing. Cultivating respectful and collaborative relationships and partnerships with individuals, communities, networks, organizations and other stakeholders who have an interest in CERA���s policy agenda. 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. Creating and co-creating communications products including reports, factsheets, briefing notes and communications content (articles, op-eds, digital content, newsletters and other promotional materials and speaking notes). Supporting participatory action research and other community-based consultation methodologies to engage stakeholders and interested parties. Collaborating with policy staff and students/interns assigned to CERA���s policy activities and providing supervision and direction where appropriate to students, interns and volunteers. Undertaking and supporting research projects, research goals, scoping of project deliverables and timelines. Supporting and, at times, leading the development of funding applications to support CERA���s policy advocacy work. Preparing reports for management and funders as required. Performing other duties as may be assigned to support CERA���s policy efforts, the organization, Executive Director and Board of Directors.
Required Qualifications
Post-secondary degree and ideally an advanced degree in a related field (e.g. public policy, law, political science, planning). At least 5 years of relevant, post-graduation professional work experience in policy and/or law, ideally in government, academia, a think tank or other similar public policy environment with a focus on housing. Sound knowledge of public policy and government decision-making processes at the federal, provincial and municipal level. Understanding of federal-provincial-municipal landscape and associated fiscal arrangements. Strong understanding of Canadian housing policy, the right to housing, domestic and international human rights law and the barriers facing equity-seeking groups in housing. Demonstrated understanding of policy research and analysis methods, including, but not limited to, literature reviews, jurisdictional scans, and data analysis. Understanding of and experience in developing, implementing and/or evaluating policy, drafting briefing notes, position papers, and submissions, appearing and deputing before committees and delivering presentations. Experience working, volunteering or collaborating with community organizations, networks and/or the non-profit sector. Demonstrated experience building collaborative and respectful partnerships with a variety of stakeholders and working in close co-operation with a multi-disciplinary team that includes volunteers, community members, legal experts, service providers, academia and/or other researchers. Experience supervising, mentoring, and supporting students 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. Advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Working proficiency in an additional language is an asset, particularly French.
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 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 strategic thinking skills, political acumen, diplomacy, discretion, tact and good judgement.
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.
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 protected]��� with the subject line: Application ��� Senior 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.

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