Housing group says racial, social discrimination rampant among landlords

A housing rights group claims that social and racial discrimination against certain types of tenants is rampant in Montreal.

The Regroupement des comites de logement et associations de locataires du Quebec (RCLALQ did a survey of websites like Kijiji that carry ads by landlords looking for tenants.

It found many ads that specify that their desired tenants should not have children, or be on welfare.

Other times, they say, it’s only when tenants call or visit with a potential landlord that they find out they’re excluded.

“Once the landlord realizes that that person, let’s say, has that country of origin or the colour of their skin or that that person is on welfare, they’re going to just say, ‘Unfortunately it’s not available at the moment’ or ‘Unfortunately, I found someone and I’m really sorry,’ so a lot of the discrimination that we see it’s a bit sneaky like that,” said Philippe Girouard of RCLALQ.

The group is calling on Quebec’s families minister to reform the rental board to give it more powers to deal with complaints and streamline the process, adding that at least the obviously discriminatory ads could be eliminated that way