March 1st, 2021

Hassan: Ford government is turning their backs on families who desperately need affordable housing

TORONTO – NDP MPP Faisal Hassan (York South—Weston) says the Ford government has turned their backs on people trying to get their families into safe and affordable homes by voting against his private member’s bill, Bill 252, Housing is a Human Right Act.

“Housing is in a state of crisis in Ontario and the pandemic has only made worse the disparities that exist as Black, Indigenous, racialized, LGBTQ+ and disabled people as well as people surviving in the cycle of poverty face extra roadblocks such as discrimination and systemic barriers that make affordable and safe housing difficult and sometimes impossible,” said Hassan.

“Bill 252 would have established for the first time in Ontario, a real focus on housing through the lens of Housing as a Human Right.”

Ford and his PC MPPs voted to block Bill 252, Housing is a Human Right Act in a vote last week at the Ontario legislature.

The legislation introduced by Hassan, and co-sponsored by NDP MPP Sara Singh (Brampton Centre), was informed by a five-year study undertaken by Social Planning Toronto, Spaces and Places of Exclusion: Mapping Rental Housing Disparities for Toronto’s Racialized and Immigrant Communities. The study gathered data that clearly demonstrated housing disparities in Toronto along racial and socio economic lines. Bill 252 called for the establishment of an Independent Housing Commission along with a Working Group that would study, collect data and make recommendation in regard to addressing the inequities and disparities that exist in housing.

Hassan’s legislation has the support of housing and poverty advocates including ACORN, the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) and the Social Planning Network of Toronto.

“The Liberals had 15 years to address the severe shortage of affordable housing in this province, but failed to take action. Now Doug Ford is more interested in helping his developer friends, than helping families who desperately need safe and affordable homes,” said Hassan.

“By voting against this bill, the Ford Government is clearly not interested using data-based science to inform decisions on how housing inequities and disparities can be addressed in this province.”


Alyssa Brierley, Executive Director and General Counsel, Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)

“This is another missed opportunity for the Ontario government to do its part to support tenants at a time when it is needed most. We hear from thousands of Ontarians who experience violations of their rights every day due to unaffordable, inaccessible and inadequate housing. We need the Ontario government to step up and join the federal government and the City of Toronto in taking concrete action to remedy these issues, through provincial legislation that recognizes housing as a human right. We urge the province to develop and support right-to-housing legislation in the near future.”

Beth Wilson, Senior Researcher, Social Planning Network of Ontario

“We are deeply disappointed that the Ontario government struck down Bill 252. Bill 252 would have built on previous housing commitments to establish a Housing Commissioner and Working Group to advance the human right to housing in Ontario. The Housing Commissioner and Working Group would have provided an important mechanism for holding government to account for its commitment to housing as a human right. These bodies would have exposed violations of the human right to housing, revealed racial and social inequities in housing, and supported a human rights approach to housing in Ontario. Today, the Ontario government voted against accountability.”