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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. Building on a 50-year legacy: human rights and housing

    From: Annual Report 2010-2011: Looking back, moving forward

    Housing in the news

    When discussing a bill to prohibit discrimination in housing, Liberal leader John Wintermeyer said the bill didn’t go far enough, because it only applied to rental housing with more than six units.

    “We are in no way interfering with the rights of individuals to choose their own friends and operate their own homes as they see fit,” said Premier Leslie Frost.

    Reginal Gisborn (CCF) hoped that this was only the beginning in promoting equal opportunity in housing accommodation.

  2. City of Waterloo Council Meeting - May 9, 2011 - Proposed rental housing licensing By-law (Speaking notes by Barbara Hall)

    Speaking notes by Barbara Hall
    Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission
    Check against delivery

    Introduction

    Mayor and Members of Council, over the past few months, staff of the City of Waterloo have worked closely with us at the Ontario Human Rights Commission – the OHRC – to create a rental housing licensing by-law that respects and advances the human rights of tenants while meeting, as much as possible, the City's operational needs.

  3. Close to home: housing highlights

    From: Annual Report 2011-2012 - Human rights: the next generation

    Zoning in on zoning

    Every day, people across Ontario face barriers to finding or keeping rental housing because of disability, age, race, creed, sexual orientation, disability, receipt of social assistance, family status, and other grounds of the Human Rights Code. These barriers often arise because landlords make assumptions about people based on characteristics that usually have nothing to do with their ability to be good tenants.

  4. Comment of the Ontario Human Rights Commission on Every Door is the Right Door: Towards a 10-Year Mental Health and Addictions Strategy - Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

    August 2009 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission, (the “Commission”) commends the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (“Ministry”) for its work on an improved strategy to meet the needs of Ontarians with mental illnesses and addictions. The Commission is pleased to provide its input on this discussion paper, particularly with respect to the sections on Stigma and Healthy Communities.
  5. Comment of the Ontario Human Rights Commission on the City of Oshawa's student accommodation strategy

    March 2010 - The OHRC has made a commitment to educating and addressing human rights concerns regarding opposition to affordable housing, which has the potential to discriminate against groups protected by the Code. Oshawa has been attempting to address the student housing issue since it has been dealing with community tensions raised due to post-secondary off-campus student accommodation. Oshawa's strategy may have an impact on land use planning in communities across Ontario responding to similar tensions.
  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. Comment of the Ontario Human Rights Commission on the Provincial Policy Statement - 2005

    2010 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (the OHRC) thanks the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) for the opportunity to comment on the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005 (PPS). The Province of Ontario (the Province) is requesting submissions as part of the five-year review of the PPS. The OHRC will focus its comments on sections that may have human rights implications, and in particular on elements that have implications for including or excluding people from Ontario Human Rights Code-protected groups.

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