On December 10, 2010, to mark International Human Rights Day, the OHRC launched its second e-learning module, at an event hosted by the York Centre for Human Rights. This module provides online learning and training for everyone who needs information on human rights issues that come up in rental 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.
- Policy on human rights and rental housing
- Human rights for tenants (brochure)
- Human rights in housing: an overview for landlords (brochure)
- Writing a fair rental housing ad (fact sheet)
- Guidelines on developing human rights policies and procedures
- Discrimination based on disability and the duty to accommodate: Information for housing providers
On municipal responsibilities in planning and licensing housing:
For other publications on housing, click “Resource Types” on the left-hand panel.
Access to Affordable Rental Housing
It seems clear that one of the central causes of the difficulty that many individuals in Ontario have in accessing living accommodations is the lack of adequate, affordable rental housing.
Section 2 of the Code prohibits discrimination in housing based on family status. This right applies to renting, being evicted, building rules and regulations, repairs, harassment, and use of services and facilities.
The ground of family status was added to the Code in 1982. Until 1986, the Code contained an exception permitting residential buildings or parts of residential buildings to be designated as adult only. Unlike in the areas of employment and services, there has been significant litigation regarding family status issues in the area of housing, particularly in the Ontario context.
Section 2 of the Code protects older persons against discrimination in housing. This right applies to renting, being evicted, building rules and regulations, repairs and use of services and facilities. Housing includes a range of accommodation options including rental accommodation, condominiums, retirement homes and care facilities. There can be some overlap between housing and services, for example seniors’ residences in which services such as housekeeping, meals or medical assistance are provided.
“Government does not recognize housing as a human right.”
(Older Women’s Network)
Throughout the consultation process, the Commission heard concerns about the need for more accessible and affordable housing and for special needs housing for seniors including those who are homeless. Submissions also highlighted that the principle of “aging in place” is central to any discussion, policy or program efforts concerning housing for older persons.
Speaking notes by Barbara Hall
Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission
Check against delivery
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.
January 12, 2012 - I am writing to express concern about the proposed plan to sell the TCHC’s scattered housing units. This plan has the potential to negatively impact individuals and groups protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code).