When consultation becomes discrimination
Imagine your elected representative telling you “there are too many of your kind in this neighbourhood.”
Imagine your future neighbours asking to examine your personal history before allowing you to move next door.
Imagine people who insist they have only your best interests at heart slandering you on-line, at public meetings, and to your face.
If you live in Ontario, you would probably say your rights have been violated. Yet the people who live in shelters, supportive housing or affordable housing have encountered every one of these violations, and more.
Upholding the rights of everyone who faces Not-In-My-Backyard discrimination.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) names “discriminatory NIMBY” as a human rights violation.
According to the OHRC’s Policy on Human Rights and Rental Housing, discriminatory NIMBY refers to neighbourhood opposition “based on stereotypes or prejudice” towards the people who live in rooming houses, group homes, social and supportive housing, boarding houses, institutional care homes and shelters.
It is the OHRC’s position that people or groups identified in the Human Rights Code should not have to ask permission from prospective neighbours before moving into a neighbourhood. Municipalities violate the Code when they:
- Require housing providers to adopt restrictions or design compromises not applied to other housing in the area
- Require additional public meetings, or change the planning process, because the prospective residents belong to Code-identified groups
- Restrict housing that serves people identified by Code grounds in certain areas, while allowing other establishments of a similar scale
- Create zoning by-laws that define dwellings based on the characteristics of the users, or distinguish between people who are related and unrelated
- Set minimum separation distances, caps or quotas without a rational planning basis
- Permit discriminatory comments or conduct at public meetings, or displayed in notices, signs, flyers, pamphlets or posters.