OUR MESSAGE

To all our elected representatives

 

  • Housing is a human right. [United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Special Report]

  • The need for accessible affordable housing is a crisis. 

  • More than 22% of Canadians have a disability.  

  • Anyone can have been born with a disability, and we’re all just a fall, accident or illness away from a disability - temporary or permanent.  

  • It is urgent that we change the National and Provincial Building Codes to make universal design mandatory in all new multi-unit residential buildings, both rental and ownership.   

  • Universal design will accommodate anyone of any age or ability, going beyond mere accessibility.  

  • The cost of building an apartment, whether accessible or not, is the same, when planned from the design stage.  It is renovations to existing housing which are extremely expensive.          

  • Accessible housing keeps people out of long term care, saving millions of healthcare dollars.  

  • 45% of Canada’s homeless have a physical or mental disability (CHRC). 

  • There is no Ontario law requiring that housing be accessible.          

  • The AODA does not mention housing.   

  • The Ontario Building Code only requires that 15% of new apartments be “visitable”, not accessible enough to live there.  

  • Both the AODA and the Ontario Building Code are in contravention of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Ontario Human Rights Code, and United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In 2002, the Ontario Human Rights Commission made a submission to the Ontario Minister of Housing pointing out that the Human Rights Code takes precedence over all other laws, including the Building Code.  No Ontario government has taken action to bring the Building Code into harmony with the Human Rights Code. Again in 2020, the Chief Commissioner issued a statement repeating that barrier-free housing is a human right.  

 

Change can begin at the municipal level.  The City of Toronto can make  universal design mandatory in all new housing (rental or ownership)  developed through programs such as Open Doors and Housing Now, and new developments built with any tax dollars or on land made available by the City, or through agreements with developers to waive development fees or taxes.  We are urging that the City take action - and become a model for other municipalities.  

 

Political Party Policies:

 

Green Party of Ontario:  "The Green Party supports complying  with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by making fully accessible design mandatory for all new apartments in multi-unit buildings."

Green Party of Canada: "The Government of Canada will comply with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Canadian Human Rights Act by ensuring all new housing will be fully accessible (universal design)."

 

NDP Ontario:  "We’ll mandate Universal Design building codes, which are standards that reflect the needs of people of all ages, sizes, abilities and disabilities."

 

Accessible Housing Network Submission to the Honourable Rich Donovan: Fourth Independent Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 

 

Benefits of Accessible Housing

 

  • Reduced costs for long-term care facilities. Many people will be able to remain in their accessible homes, freeing up spaces in nursing homes.  

  • Protection of seniors and persons with disabilities from catastrophes like those seen in long-term care homes during the Coronavirus pandemic.   

  • Reduced need for in-home support help;    

  • Improved mental and physical health;    

  • Fewer falls;       

  • Fewer ambulance calls;        

  • Fewer hospitalizations;         

  • Increased employment of people with disabilities.   
     

No tax dollars should ever create accessibility barriers.   

Toronto Raging Grannies say we need accessible housing now

 

Rollin' Universal Design  - 22% of Canadians have a disability.  Why is there no law requiring that any housing be accessible?   Toronto Raging Grannies sing Ontario get Rollin" on Universal Design for accessibility for all! Yah! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rT3Vyzg9dOw

In Ontario, 1.85 million people live with a disability, including 40% of people over 65. The Toronto Raging Grannies sing, "Change the Building Code Now!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjw6U6pa2QY&fbclid=IwAR1bxDeQk1l10FV0s-6bILCtRtk6NK2E3m3ZzUwJV3pzTWNevk0C--KJkvU