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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 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.  

  2. 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.

  3. Recommendations to strengthen the National Housing Strategy

    May 18, 2018 - Dear Minister Duclos and President Siddall: I trust this letter finds you well. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is committed to bringing a human rights perspective to government and community strategies aimed at addressing poverty, homelessness and hunger. I am writing today to commend the Government for introducing Canada’s first National Housing Strategy, and to make recommendations to ensure that it is meaningful, effective, and meets Canada’s obligation to progressively realize the fundamental human right to housing.

  4. Paying the price: The human cost of racial profiling

    October 2003 - The Report begins with a brief explanation and definition of racial profiling. In addition, the Report explains the human cost of racial profiling on the individuals, families and communities that experience it. It details the detrimental impact that profiling is having on societal institutions such as the education system, law enforcement agencies, service providers and so forth. It also outlines the business case against profiling – in essence the economic loss sustained as a result of racial profiling.
  5. Consultation paper: Human rights and rental housing in Ontario

    March 2007 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (the Commission) is soliciting your views on a range of human rights issues in rental housing. The Background Paper contains a detailed discussion of these issues and provides social and legal context. It also provides some information about the matters that are of greatest concern to the Commission. This Consultation Paper focuses on the major areas on which input is being sought.
  6. Right at home: Summary report on the consultation on human rights and rental housing in Ontario

    2008 - This summary report is a short version of a longer, more comprehensive report. Both of these reports have been prepared based on a province-wide consultation on rental housing and human rights by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the Commission). A key goal of these reports is to help people and organizations across Ontario better understand human rights in rental housing.
  7. Right at home: Report on the consultation on human rights and rental housing in Ontario

    May 2008 - This report is the end result of a province-wide consultation on rental housing and human rights by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the Commission). It documents what the Commission heard and aims to increase our collective understanding of human rights in rental housing. Individuals and organizations responsible for implementing and advancing housing rights protections need to feel “right at home” in understanding what obligations exist and how to fulfill them. Tenants also need to feel “right at home” in being able to access and live in rental housing that is free from discrimination.
  8. 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.
  9. Human Rights and rental housing in Ontario: Background paper

    March 2007 - While the Code protects against discrimination in a broad range of situations relating to housing, this Paper will focus on residential tenancies, or rental housing arrangements. Housing studies indicate that those who live in rental housing are persons, typically, who have lower incomes and who are disproportionately vulnerable to discrimination and therefore identified by the Code. This Paper is intended to provide an overview of the social and legal context for understanding the human rights issues in the area of rental housing. The Commission sees this Paper as the background for a broad exploration of human rights issues in the area of rental housing.

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