March 2012 - The OHRC will focus its comments on the issues and barriers identified in the CRSAO’s reports that connect to the OHRC’s current priority initiatives dealing with racism experienced by Aboriginal people and other groups as well as disability, especially mental health discrimination.
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.
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.