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The right to housing is the economic, social and cultural right to adequate housing and shelter. It is recognised in many national constitutions and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Definition[edit]

The right to housing is recognised in a number of international human rights instruments. Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises the right to housing as part of the right to an adequate standard of living.[1] It states that:

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

Article 11(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) also guarantees the right to housing as part of the right to an adequate standard of living.[2]

In international human rights law the right to housing is regarded as a freestanding right. This was clarified in the 1991 General Comment no 4 on Adequate Housing by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.[3] The general comment provides an authoritative interpretation of the right to housing in legal terms under international law.[4]

The Yogyakarta Principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity affirm that "everyone has the right to adequate housing, including protection from eviction, without discrimination and that States shall a) take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to ensure security of tenure and access to affordable, habitable, accessible, culturally appropriate and safe housing, including shelters and other emergency accommodation, without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or material or family status; b) take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to prohibit the execution of evictions that are not in conformity with their international human rights obligations, and ensure that adequate and effective legal or other appropriate remedies are available to any person claiming that a right to protection against forced evictions has been violated or is under threat of violation, including the right to resettlement, which includes the right to alternative land of better or equal quality and to adequate housing, without discrimination."[5]

The right to housing is also enshrined in Article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Article 16 of the European Social Charter (Article 31 of the Revised European Social charter) and in the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.[6] According to UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, aspects of right to housing under ICESCR include: legal security of tenure; availability of services, materials, facilities and infrastructure; affordability; habitability; accessibility; location and cultural adequacy.[7] As a political goal, right to housing was declared in F. D. Roosevelt's 1944 speech on the Second Bill of Rights.

UN Habitat[edit]

The right to adequate housing was a key issue at the 1996 Habitat meeting in Istanbul and a main theme in the Istanbul Agreement and Habitat Agenda. Paragraph 61 of the agenda identifies the steps required by governments to "promote, protect and ensure the full and progressive realisation of the right to adequate housing". The 2001 Habitat meeting, known as Istanbul +5, reaffirmed the 1996 Istanbul Agreement and Habitat Agenda and established the UN Human Settlement Programme to promote the right to housing in cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Known as UN–HABITAT, the programme is the most important international forum for the right to housing. It is tasked with promoting housing rights through awareness campaigns, and to develop benchmarks and monitoring systems.[8]

Implementations[edit]

South Africa[edit]

In South Africa, section 26 of Chapter Two of the Constitution establishes that "everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing". The Department of Human Settlements is tasked with implementing this mandate.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Edgar, Bill; Doherty, Joe & Meert, Henk (2002). Access to housing: homelessness and vulnerability in Europe. The Policy Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-86134-482-3. 
  2. ^ Edgar, Bill; Doherty, Joe & Meert, Henk (2002). Access to housing: homelessness and vulnerability in Europe. The Policy Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-86134-482-3. 
  3. ^ Terminski, Bogumil, "The right to adequate housing in international human rights law: Polish transformation experiences", Revista Latinoamericana de Derechos Humanos, vol. 22, 2011
  4. ^ Edgar, Bill; Doherty, Joe & Meert, Henk (2002). Access to housing: homelessness and vulnerability in Europe. The Policy Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-86134-482-3. 
  5. ^ The Yogyakarta Principles, Principle 15. The Right to Adequate Housing
  6. ^ ACHR decision in case SERAC v. Nigeria - see para. 60 (p. 25)
  7. ^ The right to adequate housing (Art.11 (1)). CESCR General comment 4 - see para. 8
  8. ^ Edgar, Bill; Doherty, Joe & Meert, Henk (2002). Access to housing: homelessness and vulnerability in Europe. The Policy Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-86134-482-3. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_housing — Please support Wikipedia.
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In These Times
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 03:02:33 -0700

... will receive low-income housing tax credits, which place certain requirements on continued affordability, at the end of a developer's RAD contract—typically 15 to 20 years—all bets are off, says Jessica Lewis, an organizer with the Right to ...

Sudan Vision

Sudan Vision
Mon, 14 Jul 2014 08:37:22 -0700

The right to adequate housing is clearly recognized in international human rights law, including in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which provides for “the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for ...

Sudan Vision

Sudan Vision
Sun, 06 Jul 2014 13:25:03 -0700

16 (2005) is particularly important since violations of women's right to housing are often a result of discriminatory laws, policies, customs and traditions in other areas which lead to deeply rooted inequalities between women and men in housing ...
 
Toward Freedom
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 11:56:15 -0700

... out one of the more controversial policies of the British government, that being the now notorious "bedroom tax" as having "an enormous impact on [a citizen's] right to housing and also on other human rights, like the right to food [and] the right ...
 
Jakarta Post
Sat, 19 Jul 2014 15:41:15 -0700

UN special rapporteur on adequate housing Raquel Rolnik expressed her concern last year about the fact that urban land had become scarce and the prices skyrocketed, depriving the poor of their right to housing and putting inner-city kampungs under the ...
 
Milwaukee Courier Weekly Newspaper
Sat, 26 Jul 2014 07:37:30 -0700

... could they live freely, his second bill of rights aimed at granting rights that guaranteed economic security – such as the right to employment with a fair wage, the right to food and clothing, the right to education, the right to housing and the ...

TheStranger.com

TheStranger.com
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:07:18 -0700

What does it mean to have a "right" to housing? Comte says that people have "access" to housing. By that measure, people have a "right to ACCESS to housing" -- to buy or rent it without restriction as to race, color, creed, sexual preference etc etc ...

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Sudan Vision
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 07:48:45 -0700

The Commission also relied on the right to property in finding violations of the right to housing as the Sudan had “failed to show that it refrained from the eviction, or demolition of victims' houses and other property. It did not take steps to ...
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