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N.B. sees increase in alleged rental housing discrimination

By Brad Perry Apr 23, 2024 | 11:23 AM

New Brunswick landlords are being reminded about their duty to respect the human rights of all individuals.

The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission said it has seen rising allegations of discriminatory practices in rental housing

Chair Phylomène Zangio said there has been a “concerning” number of alleged incidents against people because of their family status, particularly situations involving individuals or families with children.

“Advertising ‘adults only’ buildings or placing conditions that exclude families with children from renting or fully availing of facilities in a residence is against human rights law,” Zangio said in a statement.

The commission said it also continues to receive complaints from people alleging that they have been denied the right to rent because they have a service animal.

Zangio said if a tenant requires a service animal due to a disability, their housing rights cannot be denied because of a landlord’s ‘no pets’ policy.

“Housing is a protected area under the act, and housing rights are human rights,” Zangio added.

Housing discrimination based on any one of the 16 protected grounds under the Human Rights Act is prohibited, said the commission.

Those grounds include family status, physical disability, mental disability, race, colour, national origin, ancestry, and social condition.

Zangio said housing-related complaints escalated from four per cent to 13 per cent of total complaints received in 2022-23, which she described as a “worrisome indicator” of the state of housing rights.

“The commission urges landlords and housing providers to have full awareness of their human rights responsibilities and obligations so that everyone is treated with equality, dignity and inclusion in housing transactions in our province,” said Zangio.