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Adding rental housing to the online learning mix

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On December 10, 2010, to mark International Human Rights Day, the OHRC launched its second e-learning module, at an event hosted by the York Centre for Human Rights. This module provides online learning and training for everyone who needs information on human rights issues that come up in rental housing.

People cannot be refused an apartment, harassed by a housing provider or other tenants, or otherwise treated unfairly because of one or more of the protected grounds under the Code such as race, age, family status or sexual orientation. The module also covers the responsibilities of landlords to make sure that their rental properties are free from discrimination and harassment.

The Rental Housing module gives examples of the barriers people can face in housing, such as:

  • Ads that read “adults only”, which effectively screen out tenants with children
  • Practices that stream new immigrants and single mothers into older buildings or ignore repairs to units because it is assumed some tenants are less responsible than others
  • Agreeing to rent over the phone, and then reneging when the landlord sees that the renter is someone from a certain racial background, or has a disability.

For landlords, the module includes practical advice on how to prevent and address human rights issues, such as:

  • What information they can and cannot ask for when choosing tenants
  • How they can remove barriers for older tenants or people with disabilities
  • How to avoid developing rental ads that exclude certain groups of people.


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