Housing as a Human Right

Part one of a four part series on the developing housing rights movement

“In the US, it’s feasible to provide adequate housing for all. You have a lot of money, a lot of dollars available. You have a lot of expertise. This is a perfect setting to really embrace housing as a human right”

— Raquel Rolnik, UN Special Rapporteur

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, Raquel Rolnik, recently ended her official fact-finding mission in the US. During her seven city tour—including Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, and other cities—Rolnik met with public officials, NGO representatives, and people experiencing homelessness in order to understand the current state of housing in the US. Her preliminary findings, while not necessarily surprising, are certainly damning: “millions of people living in the US today are facing serious challenges in accessing affordable and adequate housing.”

As the introductory quote above indicates, a common theme throughout Rolnik’s mission was that adequate housing is a basic human right. In order to explore this theme more thoroughly, Talk to St. Ambrose will be hosting a series of posts dealing with the emerging housing rights movement.


I. Housing as a Human Right: Introduction

II. Why Take a Rights-Based Approach to Housing Issues?

III. Housing as a Human Right: Possibilities for Legal Advocacy

IV. Common Myths about Housing Rights


For more information on the UN Housing Mission, click here.

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1 thought on “Housing as a Human Right”

  1. http://homelessness.change.org/blog/view/why_advocates_should_re-frame_homelessness_as_a_human_rights_violation

    In an attempt to get a conversation started,
    Shannon started this post which has been viewed
    plenty of times but only commented upon by myself.
    I would invite you to bring your posts over to Change
    via cut n paste and link back to St. Ambrose while
    adding any additional commentary you can share.

    It is a process for many people to gain the knowledge
    needed to then begin to understand the Nexus this issue
    or symptom represents . Affordable means a lot of things
    to different people. Housing is as misunderstood a need,
    a natural right, as can be imagined . The framing of the
    definitions mean we can discuss Affordable and Housing
    in the same conversation.

    Reaching common ground discussing Human Rights
    as this applies to Housing is the teleomere of the DNA
    that will replicate the solution or continue to foster
    the problem.

    Presenting the solution in a way that the most number
    of people can understand and get it is the task I wish
    to see happen. Then people can say they wont
    instead of saying they cant if they choose to not help.

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