Federal Housing Advocate, Canadian Human Rights Commission

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Position title:
Federal Housing Advocate
Salary range:
$150,200.00 - $176,600.00/Year
Application Review Date:
December 30, 2020
Opportunity number:

The Canadian Human Rights Commission is an independent body that is responsible for administering the Canadian Human Rights Act, which protects Canadians from discrimination based on any of the thirteen prohibited grounds of discrimination, such as race, sex, gender identity or expression and disability. The Canadian Human Rights Commission receives discrimination complaints, facilitates mediation to resolve complaints, and, where a complaint cannot be settled or it is determined that further examination is warranted, refers the complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. The Canadian Human Rights Commission also has responsibilities and functions for the legislative mandates related to: the Accessible Canada Act, the Pay Equity and the Employment Equity Act.

The Federal Housing Advocate is a full-time Governor in Council appointee, housed at CHRC, with specific responsibilities provided for under the National Housing Strategy Act (the Act). The Federal Housing Advocate’s primary role is to independently monitor the implementation of the federal government’s housing policy and to further the key principles of a human rights-based approach to housing.

  • The Advocate has a mandate to promote and protect housing rights in Canada by conducting research, consulting with individuals with lived experience of housing need and homelessness, and by working closely with vulnerable groups and civil society organizations as well as reviewing and assessing submissions on systemic housing issues.

  • The Federal Housing Advocate also advises the Minister responsible for the National Housing Strategy and has a mandate for monitoring and reporting on: i) progress and outcomes achieved through the implementation of the Act and the National Housing Strategy; ii) outcomes and progress associated with stakeholder consultations in the priority areas of systemic or emerging housing issues, respecting matters over which Parliament has jurisdiction; iii) information, advice and recommendations on how to address the inequities in affordable housing accessibility while applying an intersectional and anti-racism lens, in light of the barriers faced by vulnerable groups and individuals with lived experience of homelessness and housing need; and iv) submissions regarding systemic housing issues that have been received from affected groups.

  • The Advocate identifies issues and assesses submissions for potential reviews and inquiry and is responsible for communicating to individuals and groups whether or not any action will be taken under the Act e.g. refer key systemic issues to the National Housing Council for hearings before a Review Panel. The Advocate also participates as an ex officio member of the National Housing Council and is entitled to make representations during review panels.

Diversity and Official Languages

The Government of Canada will consider bilingual proficiency and diversity in assessing applicants. You are therefore encouraged to include in your online profile your ability to speak and understand your second official language. Preference may be given to applicants who are members of one or more of the following groups: women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of a visible minority group.

To be considered, please ensure that the information provided in your curriculum vitae and cover letter clearly demonstrate how you meet the following requirements:

Education and Experience

  • A degree from a recognized university in a relevant field of study, or an acceptable combination of relevant education, job-related training and/or experience;

  • A graduate degree from a recognized university in social sciences, public administration, urban planning, environmental health or specialization in human rights law would be considered an asset;

  • Significant experience in management or leadership in an organization at the senior level within a government, not-for-profit, academic or business context;

  • Significant experience in the interpretation of public policy, legislative requirements, and jurisdictional mandates and responsibilities, including leading policy and advocacy focused on housing and/or human rights;

  • Experience in working in a high-pressure environment with considerable levels of interest and scrutiny, which could include from media, industry, stakeholders and advocates, Parliament and the general public on matters related to systemic housing issues and challenges;

  • Significant experience in stakeholder management and outreach, including building and maintaining effective relationships with external stakeholders, civil society, communities of interest, members of vulnerable groups and persons with lived experience of housing need, accessibility and homelessness;

  • Experience in promoting respectful and inclusive dialogue with a wide range of equity seeking groups and individuals from different racialized, cultural and Indigenous backgrounds and socio-economic conditions, using trauma-informed listening skills when necessary; and

  • Experience in working in a cross-cultural environment consistent with anti-racist and human rights based principles.

If you move on to the next stage of the selection process, the following criteria will be assessed:

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of the human rights-based approach to housing, the Government of Canada’s housing and homelessness policy, and National Housing Strategy components as described in the National Housing Strategy Act;

  • Knowledge of systemic and emerging housing issues, including barriers faced by vulnerable and equity seeking groups and by individuals with lived experience of homelessness and housing need;

  • Knowledge of broader economic, institutional or industry conditions impacting the housing system and their linkages to, and implications for, housing and homelessness policy and the National Housing Strategy;

  • Knowledge of federal, provincial, and municipal jurisdiction over housing and homelessness;

  • Ability to review and distill volumes of complex information; and

  • Ability to communicate effectively with a wide variety of stakeholders.

Language Requirements

Proficiency in both official languages would be preferred.

If you move on to the next stage of the selection process, we will contact your references to confirm that you meet the above selection criteria and that you possess the following Personal Attributes:

  • Strategic thinking and innovative leadership

  • High ethical standards, integrity and sound judgement

  • Strong commitment and accountability

  • Superior interpersonal and engagement skills

  • Flexible, inclusive and adaptable

Eligibility Factors and Conditions of Employment

  • Appointees must comply with the Ethical and Political Activity Guidelines for Public Office Holders throughout their appointment as a term and condition of employment. The guidelines are available on the Governor in Council Appointments website under the Forms and reference material.

  • All appointees are subject to the Conflicts of Interest Act. Public office holders appointed on a full-time basis must also submit to the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics within 60 days of appointment, a confidential report in which they disclose all of their assets, liabilities and outside activities. For more information, please visit the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's website.

  • Appointees must uphold the highest standards of probity and are expected to demonstrate behaviours in the workplace that afford respect, equality and dignity, to everyone they interact with at work at all times. The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector outlines the values and expected behaviours for public servants, including valuing diversity and creating workplaces free from harassment and discrimination. Governor in Council appointees are expected to uphold and respect these values and principles in a positive and active manner.

  • If you are appointed to this position, you must be willing to travel within Canada and internationally to attend meetings and participate in international forums.

A link to this notice will be placed in the Canada Gazette to assist the Governor in Council in identifying qualified candidates. It is not, however, intended to be the sole means of recruitment.

A list of qualified candidates may be established and may be used for similar opportunities.

How to Apply

Review of applications will begin on December 30, 2020. Candidates should apply online via the Governor in Council Appointments website. Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit their applications by this date. After this date, your application will be retained and may be considered up until an appointment to the position is made. Your cover letter should be addressed to the Deputy Director of Selection Processes, Senior Personnel Secretariat, Privy Council Office, and should be sent only through the online application.

Instructions on how to apply for an appointment opportunity can be found on the Governor in Council Appointments website.

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