The Human Right to Housing

Housing and Homelessness Human Rights Issues

The Human Right to HouisngOn December 24, 2011, Maria Foscarinis, Executive Director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty posted an article “The Human Right to Housing” on the Shelterforce website and makes the case for framing housing and homelessness as human rights issues.

We have all seen the recent reports that, across the country, homelessness, including homelessness among families, is on the rise and we know that many others are living doubled up and in tent cities.

So how do we get to ending homelessness? She points to examples from Chicago, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Sacramento and international cities where advocates are educating the public using a human rights framework, promoting housing justice for everyone and gaining traction.

Ms. Foscarinis states:

Just look at the most recent Annual Homelessness Assessment Report from HUD: family homelessness increased by 20 percent between January 2007 and January 2010. In December 2010, the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual survey of cities across the country reported a 9 percent increase in family homelessness in 2010 alone. And in addition to people who are in shelters or on the streets, over 6 million are doubled up due to economic necessity. In many communities tent cities are going up.

We know we suffer from affordable housing and homelessness crises—but how often do we think of them as human rights crises? As it happens, more and more local advocates are using a human rights framework to address issues of homelessness and housing—and they’re gaining ground.

Click here to read the full article.