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: 


I pledge that, as a Member of my municipal Council, I will: 

1. Create housing that is affordable - combine rent supplements with existing municipal housing initiatives to create homes that are truly affordable for the lowest income earners.

2. Preserve the affordable housing we already have - progressively expand municipal residential acquisitions programs, and help non-profit and co-op organizations purchase small apartment buildings and keep them affordable forever.

3. Ensure housing is habitable - ensure tenants have an active voice in the evaluation of their homes, with enough Bylaw Enforcement Officers.

4. Direct public investment to homes that are accessible to all - champion Universal Design in all new apartment buildings so anyone of any age or ability can move in and stay.

5. Prevent homelessness - expand the municipal eviction prevention programs, rent supports and housing stabilization supports to enable tenants to remain in their homes and challenge bad faith evictions.

6. Make the most of our public infrastructure - build housing close to services; facilitate creation of shared housing, second suites, and other “gentle density”

7. Fulfill our municipality’s commitment to the right to housing - create and fund an Office of the Housing Commissioner, governed by the principles of inclusion, equity and diversity, to advance the right to housing and monitor who has been served and who has been left behind.

PDF of Affordable (and Accessible) Housing Pledge for Municipal Councillors


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

Please help by asking your own MPP to sign. 

"I pledge that as a Member of the Provincial Parliament of Ontario, I will: 

  • Ensure that the Government of Ontario implements fully the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its associated Protocol; 

  • Actively work to change the Ontario Building Code (OBC) to require that 100% of units in every new multi-unit residential building be built according to universal design* principles (UD), so anyone of any age or ability can live there."

MPPs' Pledge - Printable PDF


Find Your Provincial MPP

Tell your MP in Ottawa we need accessible housing now! 

Other ways to help end discrimination in housing:

  • The Accessible Housing Network is calling for the Ontario Human Rights Commission to undertake a systemic 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.

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.

Learn More & Take Action:

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 and Video:

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?


        Canadian Legislative Accessibility History and the Built Environment




“The War on Disabled People” by Ellen Clifford. 

For disabled people, the impacts 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
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
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

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

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                                                      


Seniors for Social Action Ontario (SSAO) requested from the Ontario Human Rights Commission, an inquiry into the mass institutionalization of older adults as a human rights violation. This was denied largely on the grounds that the Ontario Human Rights Commission lacks the resources to conduct such an inquiry. 


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 shawn@communitylivingontario.ca 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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