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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. Letter to City of Oshawa Task Force regarding student housing

    December 11, 2008 - Thank you for speaking with my staff and me on such short notice about the student housing situation in Oshawa. We appreciated the opportunity to share our concerns about the human rights impact of the landlord licensing by-law and to talk about the efforts the City of Oshawa is making in working with constituents to identify housing solutions. We understand that this is an issue of great concern to students, homeowners and landlords alike, and can see that Oshawa, through its UOIT/Durham College Student Housing Task Force, is attempting to tackle all of these perspectives head-on to address the needs of the community.
  2. Letter to Mayor of Kenora re: Indigenous reconciliation

    March 30, 2017 -  Dear Mayor Canfield, thank you for taking the time to meet with us on February 15 in Kenora.  As you know, we met with various members of the local Indigenous community at the Ne-Chee Friendship Centre, visited the Kenora Jail and met with Treaty 3 Grand Chief Francis Kavanaugh.  During these visits we heard about challenges faced by Indigenous people related to education, child welfare, policing, corrections, and housing.  

  3. Letter to the Attorney General regarding Police record checks on potential jurors

    June 4, 2009 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission was concerned to learn this past week about broad police record checks being conducted on some jury pools. While this matter raises important issues around disclosure, impartiality, judicial fairness, privacy, and informed consent, there are also human rights implications for individuals with mental health disabilities under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.
  4. Letter to the Editor, Toronto Star Re: 'Tenant-friendly' buildings get thumbs up (6, Feb. 2010)

    February 9, 2010 - Making sure rental housing is ‘tenant-friendly’ is a great idea whose time has come. Building respect for human rights into the Certified Rental Building Program makes a good program even better. Kudos to the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers; they are setting a standard for quality that will benefit tenants across Ontario – and their new program makes excellent business sense, too.
  5. Policy on human rights and rental housing

    July 2009 - The Policy sets out the OHRC’s position on discrimination in the area of rental housing as it relates to the provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code), and to Canada’s international human rights obligations. It deals primarily with issues that fall within the Code and could be the subject of a human rights claim. At the same time, the Policy interprets the protections of the Code in a broad and purposive manner. This approach is consistent with the principle that the Code’s quasi-constitutional status requires that it be given a liberal interpretation that best ensures its anti-discriminatory goals are reached.
  6. Proposed regulation on inclusionary zoning – concerns and recommendations

    February 1, 2018 - Dear Minister Mauro and Minister Milczyn, I hope this finds you well. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) commends the Government for giving municipalities inclusionary zoning powers as a means to increase the availability of affordable housing. However, I am writing today to raise concerns about the “Proposed regulation under the Planning Act related to inclusionary zoning,” and to urge the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to make changes to its proposed regulation to make sure that it provides the tools and flexibility that municipalities need to meaningfully address the affordable housing crisis.

  7. Re: Bill 140, Strong Communities through Affordable Housing Act, 2011

    April 5, 2011 - On behalf of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, I would like to congratulate you on bringing forward Bill 140. The Bill is receiving general support for taking positive steps on oversight, local planning and flexibility for delivery of affordable housing services, as well as for its requirements on municipal zoning laws permitting second unit apartments. However, concerns remain about very long waiting lists for limited availability of affordable housing in Ontario.

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