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.
The Commission heard that the eligibility criteria for some of these programs make them inaccessible to people on disability pensions or social assistance. MMAH noted that some service managers allow or disallow social assistance recipients and social housing tenants from accessing rent bank assistance because they already benefit from other programs.