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Receipt of public assistance

In housing, the Code protects tenants against discrimination based on receipt of public assistance. “Public assistance” – more commonly referred to as social assistance – includes Ontario Works, OSAP, ODSP, Old Age Security, Employment Insurance, etc.

Some housing providers have negative attitudes towards people who are poor. They may take several steps that could contravene the Code, such as:

  • screen out prospective tenants based on stereotypes about poverty and poor people
  • impose illegal rental criteria (such as security deposits)
  • provide substandard housing-related services
  • harass tenants
  • be more quick to try to evict.

Relevant policy:

  1. Human rights commissions and economic and social rights

    2001 - This paper is one of several initiatives by the Ontario Human Rights Commission to explore ways in which human rights commissions can become more involved in protecting and promoting economic and social rights and in implementing international treaties to which Canada is a party. The challenge for human rights commissions is to find ways to maximize the potential of their mandates to promote international standards, including those contained in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.