December 2009 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “OHRC”), commends the Province of Ontario for identifying the need for a long-term affordable housing strategy. The development of such a strategy was one of the main recommendations coming out of the OHRC’s own housing consultation report, Right at Home. The OHRC is very pleased to contribute to the Province’s development of this strategy. This written submission complements Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall’s verbal input to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s roundtable consultation sessions held on both June 22, 2009 and November 3, 2009.
3. Types of racial discrimination
It is not possible to slot people’s experiences of racial discrimination into clear categories. Manifestations of discrimination blur together and overlap to a large degree. However, for the purposes of this policy, it is necessary to describe the different ways in which racial discrimination can take place. Therefore, what follows is a discussion of the main ways in which racial discrimination can occur that are helpful in understanding and addressing the experience of racial discrimination.
The Code protects against discrimination in rental housing on the following grounds:
1. Defining discrimination
The Code provides that every person has the right to be treated equally in the area of housing without discrimination because of any of the grounds set out in the Code. The purpose of anti-discrimination laws is to prevent the violation of human dignity and freedom through the imposition of disadvantage, stereotyping, or political or social prejudice.
This section discusses the most significant rental housing issues affecting individual tenants and housing providers. Many of the experiences of discrimination and harassment, tenant screening and accommodation are intrinsically linked to the systemic elements discussed in section 5. For example, the individual barriers to housing experienced by tenants in receipt of social assistance are, in many cases, linked to the broader societal issues of inadequate income levels and poverty.