The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation, founded in 1986, is a province-wide, non-profit organization that promotes human rights in housing. CERA works to remove the barriers that keep disadvantaged individuals and families from accessing and retaining the housing they need. CERA has become a world leader in using both domestic and international human rights law to address issues of homelessness and poverty. We work collaboratively with non-governmental organizations in Canada and in other countries to promote and enforce economic and social rights.
The general objectives of CERA are to:
- Promote knowledge and enforcement of human rights in housing among disadvantaged groups and individuals;
- Provide educational materials and programs in housing and human rights to groups whose human rights may have been violated, to landlords, to service providers and to the public at large;
- To provide representation to disadvantaged groups and individuals who believe their human rights have been infringed;
- To encourage and facilitate effective public education and enforcement of human rights by provincial, national and international commissions, agencies, organizations and institutions and by governments;
- To engage in research into human rights in housing as they affect disadvantaged groups.
To carry out these objectives, CERA has established several programs and engages in various activities:
- Women’s Housing Rights Program
- Human Rights Casework
- Test Case Litigation
- Early Intervention-Eviction Prevention Program
- Public Education and Outreach
About CENTRE FOR EQUALITY RIGHTS IN ACCOMMODATION IN ONTARIO
CERA is an Ontario-based non-profit organization established to promote human rights in housing. Our staff and volunteers work with low income and other disadvantaged households to challenge discriminatory practices in the rental housing market, and to help these individuals and families access and retain the housing they need. We do this through directly assisting individuals experiencing discrimination, representing human rights claimants at the Ontario Human Rights Commission, public education, research, and test case litigation related to poverty, housing and human rights. CERA is the only organization in Canada that focuses on fighting discrimination in housing and using human rights legislation to challenge housing insecurity and homelessness. All of our services are free. CERA is sustained through project funding and direct fundraising. We receive no core funding.