News / Edmonton

Alberta moves to ban age discrimination in apartments, condominiums

Changes to the Alberta Human Rights Act were introduced Wednesday

Alberta is proposing an end to adult-only condos and apartments.

Bill 23, introduced Wednesday by Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley, would change laws to ban apartment landlords from putting in age minimums for adult-only buildings.

The same would apply to condominiums, except there would be a 15-year transition period.

Chelsey Jersak, co-founder of the Child Friendly Housing Coalition of Alberta, a group that rallied for the changes, said she was “very pleased” by the announcement overall.

“Children have a right to housing just as any other demographic group has a right to housing,” Jersak said.

“We also believe that equal housing opportunity will result in stronger communities, more vibrant schools in our mature neighbourhoods and more options for first-time homebuyers – as well as reduced dependence on cars, increased urban sustainability.”

Jersak added the coalition is disappointed by the 15-year wait for condos, however, saying another generation of young families will continue to be discriminated against in housing.

Landlords and condo owners would still be allowed to have seniors-only buildings under the proposed change, as long as the minimum age was set at 55 or older.

The bill also says programs that provide benefits to seniors and minors, such as discounted movie tickets, will still be allowed.

If passed, it would amend the Alberta Human Rights Act to add “age” as a prohibited ground of discrimination under Sections 4 and 5, which include tenancy, goods, services and accommodation or facilities.

“Our government supports the rights of all Albertans,” Ganley said in a press release. “We want to thank organizations and Albertans who provided feedback on this topic. This is a complicated issue and, if passed, Bill 23 would strike a balance between competing interests.”

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