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Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation
About this Member 

CERA – The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation was formed in 1987 by a provincial coalition of low income families which successfully advocated for improved protections under Ontario’s Human Rights Code for low income families with children, young people and other disadvantaged groups. As a result, the province of Ontario came to have the best protections against discrimination in housing in Canada. However, evidence indicated that these protections were not being enforced.

CERA was established to ensure that human rights protections in housing would be effective for low income households and to address systemic barriers to accessing affordable accommodation. Over the past twenty years, it has assisted hundreds of human rights claimants every year and negotiated with landlords to convince them to change discriminatory tenant selection practices. Where necessary, it has filed human rights complaints and represented complainants through all stages of the human rights process. CERA has also conducted extensive public education and advocacy for the removal of systemic barriers facing disadvantaged groups in housing and taken forward legal test cases addressing discrimination in housing. It is the only organization in Canada mandated to use human rights legislation to challenge discrimination in housing and address housing insecurity and homelessness.

In an effort to address low-income women’s experiences of inequality and discrimination in housing in Canada, CERA established a Women’s Program. Domestic and international in its scope, the Women’s Program focuses on advocacy, litigation support, networking and research aimed at investigating and addressing the economic and social conditions that contribute to women’s inequality in housing.

Since 1999, CERA has been operating a groundbreaking eviction prevention program, providing timely assistance to tenants across Toronto. Through the Early Intervention program, CERA has partnered with the Landlord and Tenant Board (formerly the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal) which has included its name and contact information on information packages distributed to all tenants in Toronto threatened with eviction. As a result of this outreach, CERA staff and volunteers work with over 200 tenant households every month, providing them with information on their rights and obligations, and linking them with resources to help them keep their housing. In addition, CERA staff work closely with housing providers across the City to distribute information on emergency income supports for tenants struggling to pay the rent.

CERA also works to promote interpretations of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that protect the rights of poor people and are consistent with international human rights such as the right to adequate food, clothing and housing. In recent years, it has co-ordinated the participation of Canadian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the review procedures of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and appeared before the Committee on a number of occasions.

CERA receives funding from a number of sources, including Status of Women Canada, the Atkinson Charitable Foundation, the City of Toronto, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Canadian Heritage, the United Way of Greater Toronto, and the Law Foundation of Ontario.

CERA is a not-for-profit charitable organization.

À propos de ce membre 

La description de ce membre est seulement disponible en anglais.