Housing Rights in Non-Official Language Communities

Project Name

NewHome: Realizing Housing Rights in Non-Official Language Communities

Project Partners

Lead Agency: Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)
Partners: Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) and COSTI-North York Housing Help Centre

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Legal Topics for Training

Human Rights and Landlord and Tenant Law

Target Audience

Settlement workers and other front line service providers who provide services to members of non-official language speaking communities and new immigrants to Canada (i.e. staff of settlement agencies, housing help centres and community agency staff)

Key Activities

Three webinars for settlement workers and other settlement staff across Ontario. Webinars included:

  • Before Renting: understanding the human rights code
  • After Renting: understanding the residential Tenancies Act
  • Cultural Competence: working effectively in diverse communities

Activities also included three full day housing rights training sessions in Toronto, Hamilton, London, Windsor and Ottawa for front line community workers who serve immigrant communities.

Need for Training

Members of linguistic minority communities, particularly those that are new to Canada, face significant barriers accessing and retaining suitable, affordable housing. Low incomes, high housing costs and discriminatory barriers play a major role, but so too does inadequate access to legal information about housing rights and the legal resources available in the community. NewHome will help ensure that front line workers develop the capacity to effectively connect their clients with critical information on legal rights.

Innovative Approach

While there are existing public legal education initiatives addressing tenant rights, this is the only project we are aware of that is province-wide and combines online and in-person training to deliver housing rights education to service providers working with Ontario’s non-English and non-French speaking communities.