In Toronto, the Federation of Metropolitan Toronto Tenants Association has contributed to the vitality of local associations since 1974, notably through the organization of workshops for tenants. Among other services, it responds to requests for help from tenants. However, most of these requests come from tenants or groups that are not representative of the city’s diversity. To remedy the situation, the Federation wants to intervene proactively to reach more tenants of non-profit housing who are from communities of colour or who suffer from discrimination.
With a grant of $75,000 from the Centre, the Toronto Equity Tenant Initiative project will allow the Federation to hire a community organizer whose mission will be to work with populations struggling with systemic discrimination (such as seniors, racialized tenants or those with disabilities). This worker will hit the streets to visit these groups, which until now have made little use of Federation services.
The goal of the project is to inform these tenants about discrimination based on grounds protected by human rights laws (a landlord cannot, for example, exclude a tenant based on his ethnic origins, disability, religious beliefs, gender or sexual orientation). The project will also aim to improve the capacity of these tenants to solve problems collectively, which will allow them to both break their isolation and allow them to have greater control over their lives.