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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. Human rights and mental health (fact sheet)

    The Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) provides for equal rights and opportunities, and freedom from discrimination. The Code recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in Ontario and applies to the areas of employment, housing, goods, facilities and services, contracts, and membership in unions, trade or professional associations. In Ontario, the law protects you from discrimination and harassment in these areas because of mental health disabilities and addictions. This includes past, present and perceived conditions.

  2. Re: Draft new Zoning By-Law

    May 18, 2010 - In September 2009, we raised concerns about the human rights impacts of placing restrictions on housing types which could lead to discrimination against some groups. Many of these concerns have not been resolved by the current draft of the zoning by-law. We strongly encourage the City of Toronto to look again at our September 2009 submission (a copy of which is attached) and our recommendations to resolve the human rights issues.
  3. Submission of the Ontario Human Rights Commission to the Standing Committee on Social Policy on an Act to regulate retirement homes

    May 2010 - Through its various consultations on age, disability, housing, and mental health, the OHRC has heard about the human rights concerns that have arisen with respect to retirement homes. For example, it has heard about retirement home providers not accommodating older residents' disabilities. It has heard about issues of heterosexism and homophobia, where gay, lesbian or bisexual people's lives were not recognized and their partners not acknowledged, or they were subjected to homophobic treatment by facility staff. Several groups expressed concern regarding the cultural, linguistic, and religious needs of older persons living in care facilities.
  4. Re: Submission of the Ontario Human Rights Commission on Bill 21, an Act to regulate retirement homes

    May 14, 2010 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) supports the regulation of retirement homes across the province. However, we ask the Committee to consider specific recommendations to amend the Bill to enhance the ability of retirement homes providers to meet their obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code)
  5. Comment of the Ontario Human Rights Commission on the City of Oshawa's student accommodation strategy

    March 2010 - The OHRC has made a commitment to educating and addressing human rights concerns regarding opposition to affordable housing, which has the potential to discriminate against groups protected by the Code. Oshawa has been attempting to address the student housing issue since it has been dealing with community tensions raised due to post-secondary off-campus student accommodation. Oshawa's strategy may have an impact on land use planning in communities across Ontario responding to similar tensions.
  6. Letter to the Editor, Toronto Star Re: 'Tenant-friendly' buildings get thumbs up (6, Feb. 2010)

    February 9, 2010 - Making sure rental housing is ‘tenant-friendly’ is a great idea whose time has come. Building respect for human rights into the Certified Rental Building Program makes a good program even better. Kudos to the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers; they are setting a standard for quality that will benefit tenants across Ontario – and their new program makes excellent business sense, too.
  7. Comment of the Ontario Human Rights Commission on the Provincial Policy Statement - 2005

    2010 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (the OHRC) thanks the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) for the opportunity to comment on the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005 (PPS). The Province of Ontario (the Province) is requesting submissions as part of the five-year review of the PPS. The OHRC will focus its comments on sections that may have human rights implications, and in particular on elements that have implications for including or excluding people from Ontario Human Rights Code-protected groups.
  8. Submission of the Ontario Human Rights Commission to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing's long-term affordable housing strategy

    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.
  9. Ontario Human Rights Commission Submission regarding Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Legislative Review

    The Ontario Human Rights Commission (the OHRC) welcomes the opportunity to provide input into the independent mandatory review of the Accessibility for Ontarian’s with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). The OHRC has a long history of engaging its broad mandate promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, including providing advice to government dating back to 1998 on the development of successive pieces accessibility legislation as well as more recent submissions on standards being developed under the AODA.
  10. Comment of the Ontario Human Rights Commission on the City of Toronto's Proposed Zoning By-law

    September 2009 - The Commission is providing comment on the City's proposed zoning by-law because the by-law has the potential to affect the housing rights of many people across the City, particularly with respect to those living in affordable housing (group homes, seniors' residences, shelters, lodging houses, etc.). The right to be free from discrimination in housing under the Code could extend to the development of affordable housing projects for people and groups identified by the Code. In addition, the Commission believes it is important to highlight the City's progressive vision of housing and human rights through its newly developed Housing Charter.

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