Housing Relations Specialist - Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health

Jun 13, 2021
Ottawa (Vanier), Ontario


Housing Relations Specialist

(Full time contract until March 31, 2023)



Over 1/3 of homeless people in Ottawa are Indigenous. Wabano has been providing homelessness services to our community for over 20 years. But both “houselessness” and homelessness have negative connotations.  At Wabano, we see our role more as “path finders”. Whether clients need help finding or keeping their home, our team is here to help clients create a safe, cozy place that they can feel pride in calling home.

Wabano is now looking for a Housing Relations Specialist to be part of our “Home Team” working collaboratively within the Indigenous-specific coordinated access system in Ottawa. (See Appendix for more information on this system.)

We are looking for an individual that is inspired by the work of grassroots initiatives and is motivated to find innovative ways to foster rapport and use technology to streamline communication.


The Role

As the Housing Relations Specialist, you will build and preserve trusting relationships with landlords in Ottawa. We’ll rely on you to engage with our housing team and potential landlords regularly, working together to find homes for low-income Indigenous families in Ottawa.

The successful candidate will be responsible for finding available housing in Ottawa for clients of Wabano and Minwaashin Lodge and maintaining efficient communication between team members about availabilities and clients needs, so that clients have quick access to housing.

To meet these responsibilities, the Housing Relations Specialist will:

  • Identify appropriate private rental housing opportunities for low-income Indigenous individuals and families in Ottawa.
  • Maintain ongoing communication with Case Managers of Wabano and Minwaashin Lodge about available housing, creating technology solutions to maximize the channels of communication.
  • Develop a network of contacts consisting of landlords and property managers.
  • Create promotional tools and methods to inspire this network to participate in the housing program.
  • Maintain good relationships with these landlords and property managers.
  • Do initial site visits of available units and create “postings” for distribution to Wabano and Minwaashin Lodge Case Managers that clearly and visually describe the unit.
  • Offer support to teams’ Case Managers by:
    • helping them identify available properties that correspond to clients’ criteria,
    • being the connector to the landlord and property managers, starting the client off on the right path, and
    • being an advocate for clients, enhancing cultural sensitivity and respect.



  • Ability to build, foster, and maintain positive professional relationships.
  • Proficiency with Customer Relation Management technology
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills
  • Keen analytical and research abilities
  • Problem-solving and conflict resolution capabilities
  • Post-secondary completion in relevant field OR equivalent work/lived experience with low-income Indigenous families
  • 2+ years of experience in a customer service role, sales or communications role
  • Ability to work flexible hours including evenings and weekends
  • Successful applicants will be required to submit a clear criminal reference check to work with vulnerable population, and a Valid driver’s license with an exceptional driver’s record


Application Details

Please submit your application to jobs@wabano.com. Application materials include a cover letter and resume. This opportunity will remain open until filled, so tell us your story early!

Wabano is an inclusive and equitable organization, encouraging applications from qualified women and men, including persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities. The position is open to all qualified applicants, although preference will be given to candidates of Indigenous ancestry (please self-identify in your application).

Wabano is committed to providing employment accommodation in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. If contacted for an employment opportunity or interviewing, please advise if you require accommodation.

We thank all those who apply. Only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.




What is a coordinated access system?

From Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy Directives

A coordinated access system is the process by which individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness are directed to community-level access points where trained workers use a common assessment tool to evaluate the individual or family’s depth of need, prioritize them for housing support services and then help to match them to available housing focused interventions.

Quality coordinated access systems share several features, including a centralized database that collects and displays real-time data on clients and available housing and supports; clear access points of entry; common assessment; standardized protocols; and resources (for example, staff) focused on ensuring that people can connect with appropriate housing and housing supports in an efficient manner.


  • Access: the engagement point for the individual or family experiencing a housing crisis. This may include emergency shelters, mobile outreach teams, day centres, other community-based organizations and hotlines.
  • Assessment: the process of gathering information about an individual or family accessing the crisis system.
  • Prioritization: the process of determining the individual’s or family’s priority for housing based on information gathered through the assessment.
  • Matching and referral: the process whereby the individual or family is matched to and offered housing based on project-specific eligibility, needs and preferences


Indigenous Coordinated Access System in Ottawa

There are three Indigenous organizations in Ottawa who are funded to implement coordinated access in Ottawa: Wabano, Minwaashin and TI (Tungasuvvingat Inuit).

Currently, everyone who is homeless initially goes through City. The City then refers any Indigenous clients to Wabano. Wabano is responsible to match the client to the appropriate services/agencies. This includes Indigenous agencies who have been funded for coordinated access (Minwaashin and TI) as well as other housing partners who are part of ACAB.

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