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APPENDIX A: Glossary of Terms

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Affordability is defined by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation as “housing that costs less than 30 percent of total before-tax household income.”[257]

Co-op Housing is an independently incorporated co-operative association formed for the purpose of providing housing to its members.  Ownership of the housing rests with the co-operative, which leases individual units to its members.  A co-operative is democratically controlled by its members, on a one member / one vote basis. Some co-ops include a specified number of subsidized units.

Core Housing Need describes a household which is “unable to pay the median rent for alternative local housing meeting all standards [i.e. housing conditions] without spending 30% or more of before-tax household income.”[258]

Disability is defined as:

(a) any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,
(b) a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
(c) a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
(d) a mental disorder, or
(e) an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997[259]

Family Status means the status of being in a parent and child relationship.[260]

Harassment means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.[261]

Homelessness is the state of being without housing. The Golden Report has defined “homeless people” as “those who are ‘visible’ on the streets or staying in hostels, the ‘hidden’ homeless who live in illegal or temporary accommodation, and those at imminent risk of becoming homeless.”[262]

Household Income is defined by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation as “all incomes reported by persons 15 years of age and older living in the household.”[263]

Housing Conditions refers to “a set of specific measures summarizing the circumstances in which individual households live. These measures indicate whether housing is in good physical condition (adequate), whether it is spacious enough for its occupants (suitable), and whether it is affordable. In this framework, housing that is acceptable is housing that meets all three criteria, that is, housing that is adequate, suitable and affordable.”[264]

Intersectionality has been defined as “intersectional oppression [that] arises out of the combination of various oppressions which, together, produce something unique and distinct from any one form of discrimination standing alone...”[265]

Islamophobia can be described as stereotypes, bias or acts of hostility towards individual Muslims or followers of Islam in general. In addition to individual acts of intolerance and racial profiling, Islamophobia leads to viewing Muslims as a greater security threat on an institutional, systemic and societal level.

Linguistic Profiling has been defined as the “determin[ation of] characteristics such as socio-economic status from the way a person uses language.”[266]

Marital Status means the status of being married, single, widowed, divorced or separated and includes the status of living with a person in a conjugal relationship outside marriage.[267]

NIMBY or NIMBYism refers to “Not in My Back Yard” opposition to housing projects that are based on stereotypes or prejudices towards the people who will live in them. It can refer to discriminatory attitudes as well as actions, laws or policies that have the effect of creating barriers for people, such as those with low income and disabilities, who seek to move into affordable or supportive housing in a neighbourhood.

Racialization is the process by which societies construct races as real, different and unequal in ways that matter to economic, political and social life. This term is widely preferred over descriptions such as "racial minority", "visible minority" or "person of colour" as it expresses race as a social construct rather than as a description of persons based on perceived characteristics.

Shelter Gap can be defined as the difference between the actual amount of a household’s rent expense and the budgetary allocation for that expense (as determined, for example, by social assistance rates).

Social Housing is housing operated, funded or created, in whole or in part, by government programs.

Supportive Housing is housing that is accompanied by services to assist residents to live independently. More specifically, the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association defines supportive housing as “housing + support” – the support people need to keep their housing. People who may need supportive housing include the chronically homeless and hard-to-house, frail older persons, persons with physical, developmental or mental disabilities, victims of violence, those living with HIV/AIDS, youth or persons who have substance abuse problems.[268] The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care states that supportive housing is designed for people who only need minimal to moderate care, such as homemaking or personal care and support, to live independently. It states that supportive housing buildings are owned and operated by municipal governments or non-profit groups including faith groups, seniors’ organizations, service clubs, and cultural groups.[269]

Universal Design is defined by the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University as “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. The intent of universal design is to simplify life for everyone by making products, communications, and the built environment more usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost. Universal design benefits people of all ages and abilities.”[270]

[257] Engeland, Lewis, Ehrlich & Che, supra note 13 at 35-36.
[258] Ibid. at 36.
[259] Section 10 of the Ontario Human Rights Code.
[260] Ibid.
[261] Ibid.
[262] Report of the Mayor’s Homelessness Action Task Force, supra note 19 at iii.
[263] Engeland, Lewis, Ehrlich & Che, supra note 13 at 35-36.
[264] Ibid. at 7.
[265] M. Eaton, supra note 88 at 229.
[266] See (date accessed: January 3, 2007).
[267] Section 10 of the Ontario Human Rights Code.
[268] See Ontario Non-Profit Housing Website: <>.
[269] See Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Website: <>.
[270] See <>.

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