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OWN and AHN reps with Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam 1:18.jpg

Representatives of Older Women's Network and Accessible Housing Network meet with Kristyn Wong-Tam, former Toronto City Councillor and now Ontario MPP, representing Toronto Centre.





Click here to sign our petition calling for accessible housing in Canada's national building code.

Tell your MP in Ottawa that we need accessible housing now!

And tell the federal government to require that every unit built under the "Catalogue" program be Universal Design.  Send your e-mail here: 






We call on every provincial MPP to sign the Accessible Housing Pledge.

Please help by asking your own MPP to sign.

MPPs' Pledge - Printable PDF 


Find Your Provincial MPP









Because cities issue building permits, they have a role to play in the creation of accessible housing.


Urge your municipal councillor to sign the Affordable (and Accessible) Housing Pledge: PDF






   Other ways to help end discrimination in housing:

  • The Accessible Housing Network is calling for the Ontario Human Rights Commission to undertake a systematic investigation of housing discrimination against people with disabilities. To initiate this investigation, we have been asked to bring a test case to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. Have you experienced discrimination in housing due to a disability? Please contact us to discuss how we can support each other to end discrimination.

  • The Accessible Housing Network is collecting stories of those seeking accessible housing. Sharing a personal story about one's struggle to find or create accessible housing can be a powerful tool to raise public awareness and spur change. We are compiling a book of such stories, and we'd like to include yours, or that of anyone known to your organization. The story need not be long. All are subject to editing for clarity. Perhaps you've given a speech or interview regarding the lack of accessible housing. We could use the text. And while there's nothing funny about trying to find accessible housing, there can be humorous aspects, such as the sheer ridiculousness that this problem still exists in this day and age. Stories will appear on this website, and may be shared with the Federal Housing Advocate's staff, to influence the federal government to change the situation. Submit stories to Videos are also welcome.

Learn More & Take Action:
Submission to Infrastructure Canada re: Universal Design in the national housing design catalogue. 

Click here for the French version.


Submission re Ontario Budget 2024 - Pre-budget Hearing

by Kate Chung

The Need for a Universal Design Standard in Canada's Building Code - Sal Amenta  

People of all ages need barrier-free homes

One family's story.

See our 2-page tool kit with key messages for use by AHN members and others who are advocating for universal design housing. Click here.

Housing: "No Vacancy for You!"

The international community marks the value of people with disabilities each year on December 3. Canada has signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). One of the rights is the right to housing.

Film, TV, and Video:

The video Aging in Place examines the challenges seniors face and the path they follow to live comfortably and happily in their own homes. It features AHN supporter, Accessibility Specialist Roger Gervais. 

CITY TV report: Calls for mayoral candidates to address accessibility

Accessible Housing Podcasts


Tracy Odell is a longtime disability rights advocate and a hero for being willing to speak out and tell her story, confirming the harm caused by institutionalization. She is calling for accessible housing as a necessity for people of all ages who have disabilities. "If I never had accessible housing, I would be long dead."

Accessible Housing Network past co-chair Kate Chung explains the need for universal design in new apartments and condo units. "Ontarians must demand accessible housing now."

Minette's Story. "Accessible housing is more than ramps and wide doorways."


Brain & Life Podcast: Adaptive Living Spaces and How They Improve Lives

Report on the documentary film CRIP CAMP

How a ragtag group of disabled kids went away for the summer and came home ready to organize a revolution.

Presentations by accessibility specialist Thea Kurdi:    


A concise 4-minute call for accessible housing.  

Thea Kurdi speaks as a witness for the federal Housing Accelerator Fund (part of the National Housing Strategy) parliamentary  committee hearing.  June 13, 2022.   


Webinar: The Crisis in Accessible Housing. What is Adaptable, Visitable, and Universal Design Housing?

Top insider secrets to what's stopping full inclusion in design & how you can help fix them 

Text of accessibility expert Thea Kurdi’s TEDx talk


Canadian Legislative Accessibility History and the Built Environment




“The War on Disabled People” by Ellen Clifford

For disabled people, the effects of austerity will be utter catastrophe. 

E-book - Essays on Aging in Place:

A Guide for Developing Good Policy and Practices, Especially for People Who Have an Intellectual/Developmental Disability 


Reports and Articles
Accessibility is the housing crisis no one is talking about
Rachel Kwok, Financial Post, March 14, 2024
Women-Centred Housing Design Toolkit
A project of the BC Society of Transition Houses, March 2023
See page 6 about Universal Design. Unit accessibility is described on page 37. An accessible unit floor plan is on page 59. 
When talking about affordable housing, don't forget accessibility
Op-ed column by Carol Damioli, in Beach Metro Community News
The Right To Housing Is About Accessibility, Not Just Affordability
by Sal Amenta
Canada’s top real estate development and accessibility leaders form coalition to create a more accessible Canada
“Do our lives count for less?”
by Katherine Scott, CCPA Monitor, Jan/Feb 2021, page 22
People with disabilities were an afterthought in Canada’s COVID-19 response. Their lives and well-being should be integral to public health renewal.
Thousands of people with disabilities are waiting for an accessible home in B.C.  
Long waits are forcing many to live in homes without accessible bathrooms or kitchens, advocate says

Nova Scotia Court of Appeal Releases Ground-breaking Decision Regarding the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Awards Largest Human Rights General Damages Award in Canadian History

York students apply critical race theory to the need for accessible housing

Seven-in-ten Canadians say universal accessibility should be the goal for newly constructed buildings

(Angus Reid Report)

A Quarter of Ontarians Have a Disability: How is This (Not) Changing Housing?

Edmonton: Making Our Houses Lifelong Homes

New report raises critical issues around disability rights in Alberta                                                      

CMHC: Cost of Adaptability and Accessibility Features – Existing Modest House

“…including adaptability features in new homes significantly reduces the potential cost of making the homes accessible, compared to making similar renovations to existing homes.”

CMHC: Cost of Accessibility Features in Newly-Constructed Modest Houses 

The majority of seniors express a preference for “aging in place”. Adaptable housing could delay or eliminate the need for older residents to relocate.  Building a new apartment requires the same space (and thus, cost) whether accessible or not.


Lived experience and social, health and economic effects of inaccessible housing
Report submitted to the Australian Building Codes Board 

Long-Term Care Is Not a Solution for Younger Adults with Disabilities 

Community Living Ontario has a brief on the longstanding practice in Ontario of using long-term care as a substitute for supporting an overburdened and waitlisted disability support system. 

Contact Shawn Pegg at to get involved. 

Leave No One Behind: The Need for an Inclusive Approach to COVID-19 Recovery in Long Term Care

From the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Toronto Accessibility Design Guidelines (2021)

Websites and Blogs:
Changing the National Building Code for an Inclusive Canada, July 17, 2018 by Lene Andersen 

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