News / Calgary

Alberta moves to ban adult-only housing

Housing for 55+ will be exempt from Human Rights Act amendments

Landlords will no longer be able to create adult-only apartments if legislation introduced by the Alberta government on Wednesday is approved.

Joerg Sarbach / AP

Landlords will no longer be able to create adult-only apartments if legislation introduced by the Alberta government on Wednesday is approved.

The head of the Calgary Residential Rental Association says the province is trampling tenants' right to peace and quiet in its move to ban adult-only buildings.

Gerry Baxter, the group's executive director, said their best information shows that only about one quarter of rentals in Alberta are adult-only, meaning there is still lots of choice for people with children.

He also said adult-only housing hasn't been an issue in the province, except for the odd case where someone living in an adult-only apartment becomes pregnant.

"They're in violation of the contract they signed – and they get mad about that. But they knew going in what the rules were," said Baxter.

Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley introduced amendments Wednesday to the Alberta Human Rights Act.

If the bill is passed, apartment landlords as of Jan. 1 will no longer be allowed to put in age minimums for tenants. However, there's an exception — renters and condo owners would still be allowed to have seniors-only buildings as long as the minimum age were 55 or older.

Condominiums that have an age minimum under 55 will be allowed a 15-year transition so that investors and buyers have time to adapt without incurring financial loss.

Baxter said the change hurts many more people than it helps.

"If you make age a protected covenant so that you can't have adult only buildings – you're now discriminating against all those people and tenants who choose that lifestyle," said Baxter.

He said many people, including shift workers and students, are looking for a quieter place to live when they choose an adult-only building.

- With files from The Canadian Press

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