I moved to Edmonton, Alberta less than a year ago from Montreal, Quebec. I am a single mom of a twenty month old girl with no support from her father.
Moving to Edmonton meant that I would be closer to my parents and that my daughter would be closer to her grandparents. Needless to say, my long term plan was not to move into my parents’ house, where my daughter and I would have to share a room. I came to Alberta to provide a better life for my daughter, so I started to search for a place to call home. After a few months of searching I found a two bedroom condo in Stony Plain that was affordable and in a quiet neighborhood.
However, as I was about to move in I was advised that I was unable to do so because I have a small child and the building was for adults only–no children allowed. Needless to say, I was shocked and devastated. I had spent all of my savings for a down payment on this home for myself and my daughter, and I was unable to move in–we are currently stuck living in one small room in my parents modest house.
As a result I started to research and read about housing and tenant regulations, as well as people’s stories in regard to adult only buildings. The more I read the more I upset I became. While doing my research I have realized that my story is not the first and probably not the last in which Canadian families are being refused a place to live just because they have children. In this day and age how can we ask women to move out of their dwellings because they decide to have a child? Having children is a basic human right, and our children need access to basic necessities like a roof over their heads.
It’s sad to see that in a country like Canada (one of the countries with the highest standards of living), families are being discriminated against because they have young children. Alberta is a young province and Edmonton is one of the youngest cities in the province–our city will grow and prosper thanks to our youngest citizens. We should be making it easier to have and raise children, not more difficult! As mentioned above, I had a chance to live in another Canadian province where all ages are welcomed and no one is being discriminated based on their age.
I support the Child Friendly Housing Coalition of Alberta’s campaign to eliminate discrimination against children and their caregivers in multi-family housing, allowing all Canadians their basic human right to choose where they live and be treated equally no matter their age.
Asiya is a young woman who owns a condo in Stony Plain and lives with her parents in Edmonton. She looks forward to the day when she and her daughter can move into the home she purchased but is not allowed to live in because she has a child.