Mission and History

CERA works to advance housing security and human rights in housing for tenants, and to promote the human right to housing across Ontario. We defend housing rights and human rights by:

  • providing direct services to marginalized Ontarians;
  • educating individuals and communities; and,
  • advancing progressive and inclusive housing law and policy.

To strengthen our impact, we work in partnership with many groups across Ontario and have consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

CERA was established in 1987 by a provincial coalition of low income families who successfully advocated for improved protections under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. As a result of their work, the province of Ontario has come to have the best legal protections against discrimination in housing in Canada. However, having rights ensconced in the law was only one step. When evidence indicated that these protections were not being enforced, CERA was established to ensure that human rights protections in housing exist in practice.