Senior Program Manager – Services and Education

Posting Date:
Jan 12, 2021
Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation
Area of Law:
Human Rights. Housing. Legal.
Position Type:
Full Time
Feb 05, 2021
Current membership in the Law Society of Ontario as a lawyer, and a minimum of 7 years of relevant, post-graduation professional work experience that includes providing legal services to clients, with a focus on housing and/or human rights; etc


Application 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 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 services, public legal education 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 successfully serving clients, developing and delivering public legal education and managing a team, this could be the right role for you.

Reporting to the Operations Manager, the successful candidate will be responsible for CERA’s public legal education efforts and services program, which receives over 1,000 service requests from individuals facing eviction or a human rights violation in their housing annually. The Senior Program Manager will manage the program, supervising other staff and volunteers in meeting deliverables, and will also carry a caseload of their own and contribute to the delivery of public legal education. In the first year of the role, the Senior Program Manager will also be responsible for the development and piloting of a service enhancement that will match eligible clients with pro bono lawyers.

The role requires knowledge of and facility in Ontario housing law and human rights law, experience working with vulnerable communities and strong strategic thinking, project management, communications and cross-team collaboration skills.

About the program

CERA’s Housing Access, Stabilization and Eviction Prevention program helps tenants facing eviction or a human rights violation in their housing. Our eviction prevention and human rights services are currently offered through telephone and online channels and we receive inquiries from one thousand clients annually. The services we currently provide range from guided referrals to navigational supports to providing advocacy support in the form of legal information and coaching, to case management, to targeted advocacy and intervention with housing providers. Our public education programming is provided to a variety of audiences, including tenants, housing providers and service providers and focuses on housing rights, the right to housing and human rights in housing.

As Senior Program Manager, your responsibilities will include:

Serving clients through casework

  • 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 renters.
  • 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.
  • Performing other duties as may be assigned from time to time to support clients and the program.

Developing, delivering and overseeing public education programming

  • Developing public legal education materials and programming to educate individuals and communities about their housing rights and the right to housing including power point presentations, webinars, guides, pamphlets, and other digital materials.
  • Facilitating workshops and conducting presentations and information sessions (currently happening virtually as a result of COVID).
  • Engaging in community outreach, building and maintaining relationships with partners including service providers, housing providers, and other non-profit organizations.
  • Performing other duties as may be assigned to support CERA’s public education efforts.

Program Management

  • Delivering the program in accordance with the funding agreement and leading all aspects of the program including planning, implementation, evaluation, and ensuring all program deadlines and deliverables are met.
  • 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.
  • Managing and directing staff, students and volunteers assigned to the program.
  • Maintaining an up-to-date understanding of the policy and political landscape as it relates to the subject matter of the program.
  • Identifying and leveraging opportunities for coordination / knowledge sharing of the program with key stakeholders and the general public.
  • Maintaining positive relationships with the funder, program partners and other relevant external stakeholders.
  • Assisting in securing ongoing funding for the program, by supporting and/or leading the development of grant proposals, identifying opportunities for funding and developing relationships with current and potential funders.
  • In the first year of the role, developing and piloting a service enhancement that will match eligible clients with pro bono lawyers.

Administration & Organizational Leadership

  • Representing CERA in relevant sector conversations, delivering presentations on behalf of the organization to a variety of audiences and stakeholders.
  • Building a healthy team culture of collaboration, accountability, support, ongoing learning, and effective processes.
  • Supervising, providing direction, performance management, coaching and professional development to direct reports (staff, students and volunteers).
  • Interviewing and selecting staff, orienting and training team members; ensuring Health and Safety protocols are in place for the team.
  • Performing other duties as required to support the organization, Executive Director and Board of Directors. 

Required Qualifications

  • Current membership in the Law Society of Ontario as a lawyer, and a minimum of 7 years of relevant, post-graduation professional work experience that includes providing legal services to clients, with a focus on housing and/or human rights; OR,
  • Post-secondary degree in a related field and a minimum of 10 years of relevant, post-graduation professional work experience that includes providing housing and/or human rights services to clients.
  • Demonstrated facility in public legal education, with experience developing materials and programming and delivering presentations and/or training to a variety of audiences.
  • Project and/or program management experience, including sound knowledge of work planning, budgeting and financial management, monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
  • Experience working effectively with low-income and marginalized populations facing housing precarity and systemic violations of their human rights.
  • Experience with 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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: $65,000 - $80,000 commensurate with experience and qualifications

Anticipated Start Date: February / March 2021

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 (on a part-time basis), 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.

Until 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.

To apply for this job

Applications should include a CV and cover letter in one PDF document and should be submitted by email to  with the subject line: Application - Senior Program Manager Application.

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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