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Housing

Use of the term “accommodation” refers to housing. You have the right to equal treatment when buying, selling, renting or being evicted from an apartment, house, condominium or commercial property. This right also covers renting or being evicted from a hotel room. 

The Code applies to terms and conditions in contracts and leases such as the amount of rent, security deposits, the requirement of guarantors, occupants’ rules and regulations, lease termination and eviction. Your right to housing without discrimination also includes suitable access to doors, laundry rooms, swimming pools, other common areas, repairs and other aspects of housing.
 
The Code does not apply if you have a “personality conflict” with the landlord or another tenant that is not linked to a Code ground. Also, the Code does not apply if you share a bathroom or kitchen with the owner or the owner’s family.
 
The Code also applies to municipalities, as both regulators and providers of housing. They must ensure that their bylaws, processes and decisions do not target or disproportionately affect groups relating to a Code ground. 
 
OHRC policies, guides and other publications include:
 
On human rights and rental housing:

For other publications on housing, click “Resource Types” on the left-hand panel.

  1. MMAH Provincial Policy Statement Review on land use planning - OHRC submission

    November 23, 2012 - The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) is proposing amendments to the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) 2005 on land use planning issued under the Planning Act (Act). The Act requires the PPS be reviewed every five years. The Ministry began the review in March 2010. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is pleased to see proposed amendments that address some of the concerns and recommendations from its initial submission made in 2010 as well as other amendments that would further advance protection for human rights. The OHRC especially welcomes proposed additions that would recognize the interests of Aboriginal communities.

  2. OHRC Submission to the MMAH on proposed changes to the Ontario Building Code

    March 1 2013 - The OHRC recognizes that accessibility requirements have been enhanced with each new edition of the Building Code regulation and welcomes the latest proposal for new barrier-free design requirements. The OHRC also has a number of concerns about the proposed changes as well as additional recommendations for barrier-free requirements in the Building Code regulation.

  3. Submission to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on land use planning and appeal system review

    January 2014 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has used a range of its functions to reduce and eliminate discrimination relating to land use planning. However, to meet Ministry goals and be consistent with Ontario’s Human Rights Code, the land use planning and appeal system needs to incorporate a human rights lens and provide human rights-related information, education and resources to those who implement and use the system. Planners and decision-makers throughout the system and in municipalities will benefit from clear guidance from the Province.

  4. Submission of the OHRC to the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing

    Under Canada’s federal system of government, legal jurisdiction over human rights, including housing, divides between different levels of government – federal, ten provincial and three territorial governments. Municipal governments are a creation of provincial/territorial legislation. All three levels of government have responsibility to implement human rights norms and standards, including the right to housing.

  5. Comments: Town of Ajax zoning bylaw review

    December 11, 2015 - Affordable housing is important to many individuals and groups protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code), such as students and other young persons, larger or single-parent families, persons with disabilities, Indigenous or racialized persons, and people who receive public assistance. Opposition to this housing, and to certain services, such as social services or methadone clinics, is often based on negative stereotypes and attitudes about the people who need the housing or service.

  6. Comment of the Ontario Human Rights Commission on the City of Toronto's Proposed Zoning By-law

    September 2009 - The Commission is providing comment on the City's proposed zoning by-law because the by-law has the potential to affect the housing rights of many people across the City, particularly with respect to those living in affordable housing (group homes, seniors' residences, shelters, lodging houses, etc.). The right to be free from discrimination in housing under the Code could extend to the development of affordable housing projects for people and groups identified by the Code. In addition, the Commission believes it is important to highlight the City's progressive vision of housing and human rights through its newly developed Housing Charter.
  7. Submission of the Ontario Human Rights Commission to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing's long-term affordable housing strategy

    December 2009 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “OHRC”), commends the Province of Ontario for identifying the need for a long-term affordable housing strategy. The development of such a strategy was one of the main recommendations coming out of the OHRC’s own housing consultation report, Right at Home. The OHRC is very pleased to contribute to the Province’s development of this strategy. This written submission complements Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall’s verbal input to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s roundtable consultation sessions held on both June 22, 2009 and November 3, 2009.
  8. Human rights in housing: an overview for landlords (brochure)

    2011 - International law says that people in Canada should be able to get good housing that they can afford. To help achieve this in Ontario, tenants and landlords (or housing providers) have rights and responsibilities under the Human Rights Code. Under the Code, everyone has the right to equal treatment in housing without discrimination and harassment. As a landlord, you are responsible for making sure the housing you operate is free from discrimination and harassment.

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