Human rights and housing resources for environmental sensitivities released

Project supported by a grant from Law Foundation of Ontario

Human rights and housing resources for environmental sensitivities released
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Non-profit Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation developed a toolkit to help community workers support clients with environmental sensitivities in rental housing.

The project was funded through a Connecting Communities grant from the Law Foundation of Ontario, the foundation said in an announcement on Sept. 3.

According to the law foundation, people with environmental sensitivities, also known as multiple chemical sensitivity, become can become severely ill or disabled despite contaminants being at levels low enough to have no visible effect on most people. The foundation cited Ontario’s Human Rights Code, which states that landlords and housing providers have a legal obligation to respond to the needs of tenants with disabilities, such as environmental sensitivities.

Common triggers of environmental sensitivities in apartments are perfumes, air fresheners, cleaning products, paint, fumes, and laundry detergent, the new toolkit said.

The toolkit was developed by CERA, working together with people with environmental sensitivities and Dr. Lynn Marshall of the Environmental Health Clinic. It contains various resources such as webinars and videos that seek to educate community workers and help answer questions regarding environmental sensitivities and how housing providers can accommodate renters with this condition.

“This resource is especially unique because it brings the community, the law and the medical profession together to address the housing, legal and health needs of renters living with an environmental sensitivity disability,” the foundation said in its statement.

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