End discrimination against children and their caregivers in condominium and rental housing

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THE PROBLEM

Alberta is the only province in Canada that does not explicitly protect children and their caregivers from discrimination in condominium and rental housing. That puts our province--one that prides itself in being progressive and modern--literally behind nearly every developed jurisdiction when it comes to the children's right to housing. That in a province with escalating housing prices and the youngest average population in Canada currently experiencing a generational baby boom.

Although age is a protected ground in Canada's Charter on Rights and Freedoms, and family status protected under the Alberta's Human Rights Act, Alberta continues to allow landlords and condo boards to discriminate against families and evict pregnant women. The Child Friendly Housing Coalition of Alberta is a growing coalition of concerned parents and advocates who are refusing to stand by while families suffer the impacts of this human rights violation. The coalition is advocating for changes to provincial legislation to respond to the many stories of discrimination against children and their caregivers who struggle to find safe and affordable housing simply because they have children. Read other families stories here: http://bit.ly/2lzcAdL

BACKGROUND

Currently, the Alberta Human Rights Act, RSA 2000, c A-25.5, only protects against age discrimination in the areas of publications and notices (section 3), employment practices and advertisements (sections 7 and 8), and membership in a trade union, employers’ organization or occupational association (section 9). Age is not a protected ground in relation to the provision of goods, services, accommodation or facilities customarily available to the public (section 4), or in relation to tenancies (section 5).

The Alberta government is required to expand the Alberta Human Rights Act to include age as a protected ground under sections 4 and 5, by January 2018. This development was prompted by an application brought in March 2016 by Ruth Maria Adria under section 15 of the Charter, the constitutional equality rights guarantee, to have the omission of age declared unconstitutional and to have age added to these sections.

However, in the Act, ‘age’ is currently defined as 18+ and there is no guarantee that the upcoming amendments will protect minors from continued discrimination. Given that--by the estimates of organizations on both sides of the debate--nearly 50% of multi-unit residential buildings in Alberta do not allow children, it is imperative that the Act include provisions that explicitly provide protection for children and their caregivers in condominium and rental housing.

CALL TO ACTION

We need to hear your voice to ensure children are protected from housing discrimination in Alberta!

To add your voice select the Petition Letter below and choose OK. Thanks for your support of children and their caregivers!

IN THE NEWS

Here is some of the news coverage so far:

Kids and condos still don’t mix in Alberta  http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/kids-and-condos-still-dont-mix-in-alberta-brewing-fight-looms-over-legal-age-discrimination

Time to rethink the rights of landlords to ban children http://edmontonjournal.com/business/commercial-real-estate/paula-simons-time-to-rethink-the-rights-of-landlords-to-ban-children

What about the children http://www.metronews.ca/news/edmonton/2017/04/06/parent-group-calls-for-end-to-adults-only-buildings-.html

Parents call for family-friendly housing in Edmonton’s core https://globalnews.ca/news/3366461/parents-call-for-family-friendly-housing-in-edmontons-core/



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