A young woman was denied an apartment because she was under the age of 18, something that is illegal under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario found Havcare Investments and Ms. Carolyn Goodman had violated the Code, fabricated evidence and attempted to get a witness to lie on the stand.
Recognizing the young woman’s particular vulnerability the Tribunal anonymized her name, noting that she “had been a Crown ward since she was 13 years old, was homeless, and was still in high school. Furthermore, she was dealing with significant personal issues, including a pregnancy.”
The Tribunal awarded the young woman $10,000 in damages for the discrimination and ordered the landlord to hire an expert to develop a human rights policy and train staff.
“This is a significant decision,” said Megan Evans Maxwell, AB’s lawyer who acted for the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) and is now counsel at the Human Rights Legal Support Centre. “This young woman had support and was determined to make a difference to other peoples’ lives so she stuck with it,” continued Evans Maxwell.
The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario found that Ms. Goodman (also known as Ms. Linton and/or Krebs) had “attempted to influence a witness, Ms. St. John, to deny that the applicant had been denied the unit on the basis of her age.” The Tribunal also concluded that the landlord’s insistence the unit had been rented to another tenant was “fabricated evidence regarding the purported tenant.”
“Housing decisions from the Tribunal are rare,” said Theresa Thornton, Executive Director of CERA. “Most people walk away from the discrimination, desperate to secure a place to live,” continued Thornton.
CERA is the only organization in Canada dedicated to promoting human rights in housing and ending housing discrimination.
The Human Rights Legal Support Centre offers free legal services to individuals throughout Ontario who have experienced discrimination contrary to Ontario’s Human Rights Code.
For more information or to arrange interviews:
Theresa Thornton, Executive Director, CERA 416-944-0087 ext.2
Jennifer Ramsay, Human Rights Legal Support Centre 416-597-4958 or 416-522-5931 (mobile)
Download this press release: here.