Newcomers experience 11 times as much discrimination as non-newcomers when searching to secure housing in Toronto 

November 30, 2022

Toronto, ON – November 30, 2022 – A new report released by the Canadian Centre for Housing Rights (CCHR) finds that newcomers and refugees face heightened discrimination when they are searching to secure rental housing in Toronto. CCHR’s latest report measures the extent of discrimination faced by newcomers to Toronto and the impact of race and gender on the degree of differential treatment.  

The audit employed a paired testing method to measure discrimination when newcomers and refugees are in search of rental housing. The research team contacted over 1,300 rental listings in Toronto and found that both men and women face discrimination when disclosing newcomer status to housing providers. Newcomers on average face 11 times as much discrimination as non-newcomers when searching to secure a rental home. The study also found that racialized newcomers experienced more discrimination compared to non-racialized newcomers when calling to inquire about a rental listing: female newcomer callers experienced a 62% increase in discrimination and male newcomer callers experienced a 267% increase in discrimination, when they had accents that presented as racialized.  

“Toronto’s out-of-control rents combined with a limited and diminishing supply of affordable housing is a dreadful rental market for newcomers to navigate and successfully secure housing in,” says Bahar Shadpour, the Director of Policy and Communications at CCHR. “Landlords have become very selective about who they rent to and often have stringent requests and application criteria for newcomers.”  

The audit also found that family status compounded the experience of discrimination. Women who disclosed that they have a child faced a high degree of discrimination. Racialized newcomer women faced a 563% increase in discrimination when they disclosed the presence of a child compared to racialized newcomer women who did not disclose the presence of a child.  

“To prevent discrimination and increase access to housing, governments must enforce our human rights protections and adopt policy solutions that meet the unique housing needs of newcomers and refugees,” says Shadpour.  

Explore the report and key findings:  

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