In the Media

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Get our take on pressing housing issues covered in the media.

Canada recognizes housing as a human right. Few provinces have followed suit

Our Director of Policy and Law Reform, Dale Whitmore, says provinces could take a simple first step toward recognizing and upholding housing as a human right by adding a clause to their tenancies act saying that eviction is treated as an absolute last resort. He says it is critical for provinces to follow Houle’s directives and enact legislation recognizing and upholding housing as a human right. The rules must do both, he added, noting that while P.E.I.’s tenancy act recognizes the right, it offers nothing to uphold it.

The Canadian Press – April 26, 2024

Missed rent payments could soon damage your credit score — and tenants’ advocates are very concerned

Our Director of Policy and Law Reform, Dale Whitmore, Dale Whitmore, says that while the federal government’s proposal to apply on-time rent payments toward a renter’s credit score is a positive step, the government should be careful in its implementation. “The government must ensure that renters who choose not to include rental payment histories in their credit scores are not penalized. This measure will only be successful if it is implemented in a way that avoids contributing to discrimination against the increasing numbers of people in Canada who are not always able to pay their rent on time.”

Toronto Star – April 24, 2024

Will counting rent for credit score help if home prices stay high? What we know

Our Director of Policy and Law Reform, Dale Whitmore, spoke with Sean Previl about the federal government’s proposal to tie on-time rent payments to credit scores. He says that the government should work with stakeholders, including the provinces and territories, to ensure renters remain protected from the information being used against them. He adds that the government should consult with renters themselves and provide them with the opportunity to express their concerns.

Global News – April 2, 2024

Little recourse for parents denied rentals because of kids, says couple 

CCHR’s Director of Client Services, Lee Webb, spoke with CBC’s Nicola Seguin and Andrew Sampson about discrimination in rental housing and the barriers renters face when seeking to file a human rights complaint. He shares that renters with urgent housing needs don’t have a lot of time to spend starting a legal process and filing a complaint, and they would much rather find another place to live. In Nova Scotia, a human rights complaint can take more than two years to be completed. Other provinces have similar backlogs with an average wait of almost 600 days in Ontario and more than one year in B.C. 

CBC News – March 31, 2024

Ottawa has proposed a renters’ bill of rights. Will it help? 

Our Director of Policy and Law Reform, Dale Whitmore, says the federal government’s proposed renters’ bill of rights is a starting point for more comprehensive protections. However, he underscores the need for robust rent regulations, stressing the importance of national standards to ensure consistent rights for renters across the country. He also highlights the inadequacy of the proposed $15 million legal fund to support tenants, stating it’s merely a “drop in the bucket” in addressing the widespread need for legal services among renters. 

CBC News – March 29, 2024

Annie Hodgins discusses the LEMR Housing Monitor with Todd Veinotte

Our Executive Director, Annie Hodgins, joins Todd Veinotte to discuss the LEMR Housing Monitor. She shares how the new centralized data mapping tool works, why we’re focused on the low-end of the affordable private rental housing market, and how the data we’ve collected can be used by decision-makers to make improvements to the existing affordable rental housing supply. She also discusses how the tool allows us to see key trends impacting the loss of affordable rental housing, which is evident in our case study on Spryfield, Halifax, where the steep loss of deeply affordable housing units coincided with a higher rate of residential standards violations. Annie’s interview begins at 25:15.  

CityNews 95.7: The Todd Veinotte Show – March 20, 2024

New analysis shows significant loss of affordable rentals in low-income Halifax neighbourhood

CCHR’s Data Scientist Dr. Megan Earle spoke with CBC’s Nicola Seguin about the LEMR Housing Monitor — a first of its kind centralized data mapping tool shedding light on the loss of affordable rental housing in six cities across Canada, including the Halifax neighbourhood of Spryfield. She shared that our analysis of Spryfield discovered a 30 per cent loss in the area’s most affordable affordable single-person rental units between 2016 and 2021, adding that when we lose that most affordable end of the market, there’s nowhere else for people to go.

CBC News – March 16, 2024

New data tool helps address data gap around affordable rental housing stock in Halifax

Yvettee D’Entremont breaks down what our Executive Director Annie Hodgins and project partners shared at our LEMR Housing Monitor launch event earlier this month, including why affordable private market rental housing is a critical component of the housing spectrum, the insights we’ve collected so far, and our case study on Spryfield, Halifax.

The Halifax Examiner – March 15, 2024

Rebuilding Manitoba’s social housing system

CCHR’s Senior Policy and Outreach Advisor discusses Manitoba’s housing and homelessness crisis, and the need to rebuild the province’s social housing system. He shares that addressing housing-related hardship and preventing homelessness in Manitoba requires increasing the supply of housing where rents are set according to a tenant’s income and by strengthening tenant protections, including the rent regulation

The Winnipeg Free Press – March 12, 2024

Vers un règlement sur les rénovictions dans la plus grande ville au pays?

Selon des données obtenues par le Centre canadien du droit au logement à l’aide d’une demande d’accès à l’information, le nombre de formulaires L2 déposés à la CLI et utilisant un formulaire N13 en tant que pièce justificative a augmenté de près de 500 % entre 2013 et 2021. Le dépôt de formulaires L2 a toutefois chuté de manière importante en 2022, un phénomène que le Centre n’a pu expliquer.

Radio Canada – 28 février 2024

Opinion: Protecting renters is key to tackling Alberta’s housing crisis

CCHR’s Manager of Policy, Sara Beyer, shares why Alberta’s Bill 205 is a critical opportunity to address the province’s housing affordability crisis through preserving affordability and ensuring that renters’ housing security, human rights and wellbeing are prioritized over excessive landlord profits, by placing a limit on rent increases. 

The Edmonton Journal – February 27, 2024

Saskatoon Morning interview on hidden homelessness in Saskatoon

CCHR’s Advocacy and Outreach Advisor, Francisco Urrutia, spoke with CBC’s Candice Lipski about our ongoing project to understand and estimate hidden homelessness in Saskatoon. He shares the project’s progress to date, as well as insight from interviews with individuals who have lived experience of hidden homelessness and how this knowledge can help inform the development of solutions. 

CBC Radio: Saskatoon Morning with Candice Lipski – February 5, 2024

On the Way Home: Secure Homes for Renters

CCHR’s Executive Director, Annie Hodgins, spoke with Michael Braithwaite on the On the Way Home podcast about the importance of having strong rent regulations across the country, to ensure that Canada’s renters have a secure place to call home.

On the Way Home podcast – January 18, 2024

Renting in Toronto this winter? Here are seven things you should know

CCHR’s Manager of Education, Jessica Long, spoke with Andy Takagi about winter maintenance issues and rental housing in Toronto. She helps break down what renters in the city need to know, including what the responsibilities of the landlord are and how renters can assert their rights.

Toronto Star – January 12, 2024

On the Way Home: New Funding to Scale Housing Innovations

CCHR’s Manager of Education, Jessica Long, joined the On the Way Home podcast to discuss CCHR’s innovative rights-based training program with supportive housing providers, and how they have helped renters to stabilize their tenancies and stay housed. 

On the Way Home podcast – December 14, 2023

Will Ottawa put an end to ‘ghost hotels?’

In advance of the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, CCHR’s Executive Director, Annie Hodgins, discusses the federal government’s housing plans and what still needs to be done to address the ongoing housing crisis. In her interview with CTV News, she says that in addition to increased funding for affordable rental housing and more targeted funding for social and non-profit housing, the definition of affordability needs to be assessed. In regards to short-term rentals, she says that CCHR is pleased to see the federal government address this issue, and that measures to return housing to the long-term rental market are welcome.

CTV News – November 21, 2023

Canadians want denser housing, but not next door, poll finds

A new poll shows that 60 percent of Canadians support increasing housing density, but only 20 percent support it on their own street. CCHR’s Executive Director, Annie Hodgins, says that while people in general support solutions to the housing crisis, they are not necessarily connecting it to their own communities. She says that those who support density but oppose it on their own streets may change their minds after witnessing the benefits of housing density and diversity across Canada.

Toronto Star – October 31, 2023

Rent control in Ontario: One Toronto landlord raised the rent $7K a month. Here’s what experts say needs to change 

CCHR’s Executive Director, Annie Hodgins, says that rent regulations in Ontario must be strengthened to prevent the types of rent gouging that some tenants are experiencing, for example by addressing vacancy decontrol and exemptions from the province’s rent increase guidelines. She highlights that all levels of government need to work together to create housing options that people can afford – including deeply affordable housing. 

Toronto Star – September 13, 2023

Can pets be banned on a rental lease in Ontario? 

Listen to CCHR Lawyer Ademofe Oye-Adeniran respond to some of the most frequently asked questions that come up for both tenants and landlords about the rules laid out in Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act regarding pets, outdoor maintenance responsibilities, and painting a rental unit.  

CityNews – September 4, 2023

Rent-hike guidelines meaningless, tenants say

CCHR’s Senior Policy and Outreach Advisor and Right to Housing Coalition member, Yutaka Dirks, spoke with the Winnipeg Free Press about the extreme above-guideline rent increases happening in Manitoba. Dirks says that not all provinces follow the same protocol, and that Manitoba law allows landlords to amortize expenses over a shorter period. This leads to pushing rents up more quickly, and keeping them up even after costs are recouped.

Winnipeg Free Press – July 31, 2023

How rent control can help tenants — or not

Tenants across Canada are pushing for more rent regulation. Our Director of Policy, Bahar Shadpour, adds that vacancy control must also be expanded to disincentivize rent gouging, and any incentives for developers should prioritize housing that renters can actually afford.

CBC Radio – July 19, 2023

Will Canada’s premiers tackle rental crisis next month? Advocates, tenants want action

Our Director of Policy and Communications, Bahar Shadpour, spoke with Sean Previl with Global News about the need for all levels of government to work collaboratively to address the affordable housing crisis and develop basic minimum protections for renters. The Council of the Federation meeting happening next month is an opportune moment for premiers to take action. 

Global News – June 6, 2023

Trudeau says new housing-based long-term infrastructure plan coming this fall

Our Director of Policy and Communications, Bahar Shadpour, spoke with CBC about the new long-term infrastructure plan to boost affordable housing stock across the country. Shadpour says this is a good step but warns that strict regulations are needed to ensure these investments do not convert existing affordable housing into high-end housing.

CBC News – May 26, 2023

Renters on the brink

Reporter Sakeina Syed takes an in-depth look at the shocking state of the rental crisis in Toronto. CCHR’s Director of Policy and Communications, Bahar Shadpour, highlights the need for strong intergovernmental solutions that are long-lasting and created in collaboration with communities.

West End Phoenix – May 17, 2023

Rent caps can be controversial. How does Nova Scotia’s measure up?

CBC Nova Scotia interviews CCHR’s Director of Policy and Communications, Bahar Shadpour, about Nova Scotia’s temporary 5% rent cap, which was recently extended to the end of 2025. The interview includes a brief overview of some of the differences in rent control measures across Canada, in particular between Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia.

CBC News – April 21, 2023

The Realities of Renting While Black

An article by Ashley Okwuosa on the systemic discrimination faced by Black renters in Toronto’s housing market. CCHR Director of Policy and Communications, Bahar Shadpour, highlights how race compounds experiences of discrimination and discusses the subtle ways in which some housing providers are able to deny housing to racialized housing seekers. This includes giving renters excessive and unfair requirements in order to rent a home.

The Local – April 4, 2023

Immigrants face discrimination, unaffordable prices in rental market: Study

CCHR’s 2022 report, Sorry it’s rented, is referenced in this article discussing unaffordability and discrimination among newcomers applying for rental housing in Ontario. Director of Policy and Communications, Bahar Shadpour, is quoted about the stringent criteria many newcomers face in the application process and how discrimination in rental housing can often be subtle and difficult to prove.

New Canadian Media – January 19, 2023

Newcomers Face “High Degree of Discrimination” in Toronto’s Rental Market

Bahar Shadpour, CCHR’s Director of Policy and Communications, comments on our discrimination audit report, and how governments can mitigate discrimination facing newcomers and increase their access to housing.

Storeys – December 7, 2022

Irreplaceable: Housing Researchers Warns of Bill 23 Impacts on Toronto’s Existing Affordable Rental Inventory

In this edition of Novae Res Urbis, Bahar Shadpour, CCHR’s Director of Policy and Communications, comments on how scrapping rental replacement by-laws in Ontario’s Bill 23 will increase barriers for racialized newcomers, who also face more discrimination in their search for an affordable home.  

Posted with permission of the publisher of NRU Publishing Inc. Original article first appeared in Novae Res Urbis Toronto, Vol. 26, No. 47, Friday, December 2 2022.

Newcomers face ‘alarming’ discrimination in finding housing, says report

Bahar Shadpour, CCHR’s Director of Policy and Communications, speaks to the Toronto Star about our new discrimination audit report, “Sorry it’s rented!

Toronto Star – December 1, 2022

Crise du logement : les aînés sont encore plus à risque que les autres

« Déjà avant la pandémie, les gens attendaient plus de cinq ans pour un logement subventionné. On n’en a pas construit davantage. On a besoin que notre gouvernement provincial développe des logements abordables. Il faut subventionner des groupes à but non lucratif », estime Bahar Shadpour, directrice des politiques et communications au Centre Canadien du droit au logement.

Radio Canada – 24 novembre de 2022

Housing crisis continues as Canadians struggle to find an affordable place to live

“The number of people who are renting their homes is growing rapidly, and the challenges they’re facing are growing too. Average rents are highest in Metro Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area. For example, the City of Vancouver has an average asking rent of just over $2,500 for a one-bedroom.” says Bahar Shadpour, Director of Policy and Communications at CCHR.

CHCH News – November 22, 2022

‘They can’t afford food… they can’t afford rent’

Yutaka Dirks, one of CCHR’s Outreach and Advocacy Advisors, is interviewed on the topic of above guideline rent increases and how this means of skirting rent control has compounded the housing affordability crisis in Manitoba. 

Winnipeg Free Press – November 11, 2022

Bill 23: We need to build housing better, not faster

In this article discussing Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act, CCHR’s policy analysis on the controversial bill is referenced.

The Record – November 9, 2022

N.S. records 86 renoviction applications; advocates fear many others uncounted

Bahar Shadpour, CCHR’s Director of Policy and Communications, speaks to the rise of renovictions and how this major issue is pushing moderate-to-low-income families to the margins of their cities — away from their communities and where employment opportunities are.

CBC – October 21, 2022

‘Discrimination in action’: People surviving on social assistance shut out in Toronto’s red-hot rental market

Bahar Shadpour, CCHR’s Director of Policy and Communications, discusses how unaffordable rent and the hypercompetitive market are pushing those on the margins even further behind, but the long wait-lists for affordable or subsidized housing aren’t appealing alternatives.

Toronto Star – September 16, 2022

More than 1,700 Toronto households turned to the city’s rent bank in 2021 — nearly double the number in 2019 and climbing

Bahar Shapour, CCHR’s Director of Policy and Communications, speaks to the surge in Toronto’s rent bank use.

Toronto Star – September 7, 2022

Disability rights in accommodation

Lee Webb, CCHR’s Director of Client Services, discusses the housing rights of persons with disabilities in Ontario.

Kelly and Company Podcast, Episode 1386 – August 22, 2022

Housing as a Human Right

Bahar Shadpour, CCHR’s Director of Policy and Communications, speaks to the current state of housing in York Region and what happens when housing is treated as a commodity rather than a social good and a human right.

Hidden Stories of York Region Podcast, Episode 4 – July 26, 2022

Affordable housing has virtually disappeared in Ontario. Here’s what the parties say they can do about it

All major Ontario provincial parties have affordable housing as an issue during the 2022 Ontario election. Bahar Shadpour, CCHR’s Director of Policy and Communications, says that the parties should prioritize the housing needs of those who are in most need and that the lack of affordable housing options must be urgently addressed.

Toronto Star – May 7, 2022

Logement abordable : quel bilan en Ontario?

Depuis les années 80 en Ontario « les logements sociaux du type coopératives, logement public, n’ont pas augmenté et aujourd’hui beaucoup d’entre eux sont en état de délabrement » dit Bahar Shadpour de CCHR.

Radio Canada – le 12 décembre 2021

No kids allowed? In Toronto’s competitive rental market, some families question why rejections keep piling up

“Especially when it comes to single-parent households — oftentimes they’re mothers with children — the discrimination can be overt,” said CCHR’s Manager of Policy and Communications, Bahar Shadpour.

The Toronto Star – November 15, 2021

How two women founded a female-centered real estate startup after struggling to find a safe place to rent

“In a housing market like Toronto, where there is a low vacancy rate, renters are all competing with one another for adequate rental homes. So those facing discrimination have an even harder time finding safe and suitable places to live,” said Bahar Shadpour, CCHR’s Manager of Policy and Communications.

The Globe and Mail – September 5, 2021

Housing: A Boom for Investors, Inaccessible Bust for Newcomers

“Housing is no longer affordable for average people, and governments have gotten out of the business of providing it for those who can’t provide it for themselves,” says Alyssa Brierley, Executive Director of CCHR

New Canadian Media – June 8, 2021

Is it time to talk about rent forgiveness?

CCHR’s Executive Director, Alyssa Brierley, joined the Lynda Steele Show to talk about why renters who have suffered pandemic-related income loss and are in arrears need government support to prevent eviction and homelessness.

Lynda Steele Show – April 14, 2021

‘That cannot be tolerated’: Local woman said she faced discrimination in rental housing market

CCHR’s 2009 study “Sorry, it’s rented” found that anti-Black discrimination in the housing market was very high. CCHR’s Operations Manager, Annie Hodgins, says that has likely only worsened in recent years as landlords have more power in a highly competitive market.

CTV News – April 13, 2021

Know Your Rights, Episode 5: Housing

In this episode on housing, host Jacob Charendoff delves into the barriers people with sight loss often face when accessing rental housing. CCHR’s Executive Director Alyssa Brierley joins the other guests, Dr. Nicole Yantzi, Professor at Laurentian University, and Margaret French, Independent Community Researcher.

CNIB’s Know Your Rights Podcast – March 20, 2021

Vacancy tax is a win-win for York Region

As residents face the growing threats of housing instability, displacement and homelessness, passing a vacancy tax can be one of the immediate solutions to this crisis. The tax could free up empty homes as affordable rentals, writes Alyssa Brierley and Jessa McLean. – March 11, 2021

There aren’t enough protections for Black renters facing discrimination, real estate agents say

“In Canada, housing experts say it’s fairly rare for governments and universities to conduct studies examining landlord bias. A rare outlier was a 2009 study by CCHR which found that, in Toronto, Black single parents, as well as South Asian households, have a one-in-four chance of facing moderate to severe discrimination when looking for rental properties.”

CTVNews – March 7, 2021

Advocates explain why encampments have become the shelter of choice for many during the pandemic

As shelters cope with increased demand amid the pandemic, many people experiencing homelessness are turning to encampments for community and shelter.

“Sleeping in a tent is currently the least bad option. If this is the best option people have, what does that say about our system?”, says CCHR Executive Director Alyssa Brierley

TRNTO – January 15, 2021

The Landlord and Tenant Board is in crisis

While it was by no means a perfect system before moving online, the LTB could at least be relied on to follow its general principles of fairness.

NOW Magazine – December 15, 2020

Financialization: When housing is a commodity vs. a human right

What happens when capital markets and individual landlords control access to a fundamental human right? A house or condo has changed from being a place to live, and a shelter for families, into a profit-making business – something to help us retire earlier.

CCHR’s Executive Director, Alyssa Brierley, explains the reasons for the global housing crisis, shares real-life stories of tenant eviction and discrimination, and challenges us to put people before profit.

Changing Lenses Podcast – November 26, 2020

Advocates say new Ontario bill gives an unfair advantage to landlords over tenants

Critics say bill could allow landlords to evict without a hearing

The Canadian Press – CBC – July 3, 2020

Tenants detail encountering discrimination in rental market

Dozens of people have reached out to CityNews to share their experiences of racism while navigating the rental market.

CityNews – June 9, 2020

Toque Tuesday tackles homelessness in Toronto

$8 million has been raised since the campaign started more than 20 years ago.

CBC News – February 4, 2020

Out of the Blue

Housing is a Human Right but what does that mean exactly?

Alyssa Brierley, Executive Director of CCHR, joined the Out of the Blue Podcast for a discussion around the work we are doing to promote human rights and housing stability in Canada.

Out of the Blue Podcast – January 16, 2020

Should an alleged criminal act get you banned from social housing?

Entire households can now be banned for up to five years if one member has previously been evicted for an alleged illegal act. The province says this will improve safety — but critics warn it will hurt the vulnerable.

TVO – January 13, 2020

Ontario Loud!

Alyssa Brierley, Executive Director of CCHR, joined Alexi and Chris from Ontario Loud! to talk about all things affordable housing. Listen to their discussion about why governments should be starting their housing policy from the premise of “Housing as a Human Right”.

Ontario Loud! Podcast – December 3, 2019

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