Housing Rights

posts about the right to adequate housing, including the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

“No Housing, No Olympics:” Young Parisian ‘Peasants’ Brandish Fists

THE Peasant's Revolt is world famous — at least in the English Language world. It occurred in the 14th century and was modestly successful in extracting concessions from the...

New Ways To Question The Very Existence Of Being Homeless

The wait for the US Supreme Court to rule on Grants Pass v Johnson is over. It is not the decision that Gloria Johnson (the Johnson in Grants Pass...

A Useful Handbook About Housing Rights In Canada

Imagine that you’ve been chosen to work with the government to "progressively realize" the human right to adequate housing. You know something about housing, having worked in the field...

How Changes In Investment Rules Can Enhance Housing Rights In Canada

In 2023, Canada's National Housing Council convened a Review Panel to investigate the financialization in purpose-built rental housingFor more about the Review Panel try: The Right To Adequate Housing...

Right To Housing In A Crisis? Massachusetts May Help Jurisdictions Decide

A conservative U.S. Supreme court is currently considering the circumstances, if any, that would permit an individual American to demand housing as a RIGHT. Since such a right is...

The Right To Adequate Housing In Canada: Another Step On That Path

If you have been following the unfolding of Canada's commitment to the right to adequate housing, there's a new report to check out. The subject is evident in the report's...

For Shit’s Sake! Have A Heart, America! (And The UK, Too)

If you really want to understand how an entire nation tolerates being buried in shit, play a little catch-up with United Kingdom's current 'progress'. Buying into the 'neoliberal' political...

Forging The Path To More Public Housing In São Paulo, Brazil

The mayor of São Paulo, Brazil, says the city needs 400,000 additional rental homes. Faced with such a large shortage, residents have taken housing matters into their own hands....

A Cat May Look At A King: How America Lost The Basic Foundation of Human Rights

American Jurisdictions across the nation wait for the U.S. Supreme court to rule on the rights of people who are unhoused to make free with public lands. Arguments have...

Irish & Unhoused? You May Soon Have More Influence Over Your Distress

Unhoused, or in danger of becoming so? What are you at risk of losing? Some things are perfectly obvious: for example, a waterproof roof you can call your own. Not...

A Shared Home Ownership Option For Unrelated Adults In The United States

Two unrelated people buying a house is becoming more common, not only in EuropeTry: Not Married But Need To Share A House? Verantwortungsgemeinschaften! , but also the United States. The...

Pets, People and Poverty: Caring At Cross Purposes That Doesn’t Need To Happen

A disabled pet, a homeless encampment, well-meaning animal rescue workers, an activist intervention, an overwhelmed new pet owner. Result: two deaths to date, one by euthanasia. These events are...

Health Without Housing: An Ever-Increasing Necessity In America And Elsewhere

Some, many, American citizens are sorry they cannot give their fellow citizens a precious gift of housing. The U.S. Constitution, alas, did not sanction such an honour for all...

Small Gift, Big Heart: A Home Community Where The Sneaker Fits

Folklore makes 'sneakers' into American running shoes. It can take considerably more than a few steps in a pair to make an immigrant into an American citizen. Part of that...

What Does Cost-Benefit Analysis Offer Us?

The third in three-post series explores how we as humans come to grips with social issues. The series started in Australia, where cost-benefit analysis has been applied to two...

CMHC Says It’s True – There’s A Mould Issue For People In Core Housing Need

Canada has a standard for adequate housing. It was last revised in 1980! At that time, the focus shifted from whether there was indoor plumbing to structural issues like...

Can Yesterday’s Perfect Laws Protect Our Legal Future?

For better or worse, America's legal protections for its citizens are currently trapped in an 'originalist' time warp. The results are based on the belief that when the American...

Women’s Housing, Land And Property Rights: Is The Developed World Delusionally Self-Important?

For many decades, women from developed countries have provided guidance and support to their counterparts in the developing world. Idealists, young and old, have travelled far and wide to...

Punish The Unhoused? What To Make Of Law Enforcement Support For Their Political Masters?

A U.S. report from National Public Radio explains that new local laws, which criminalize people who are unhoused, are supported by local law enforcement in Northern Nevada. The public...

Grants Pass, Oregon: A Heart Of Darkness? The U.S. Supreme Court Will Decide

The United States Supreme Court will be starting a hearing this week to consider the rights of people who are homeless. The media is absolutely humming in anticipation. To...

Hate-on For Migrant Housing Undermines A Nation’s Future Health

Many countries in Far East are in a tizzy. The cause: their citizens are reluctant to have children. Public health incentives are being deployed everywhereAs one example, try: Waiting...

Unhoused? Why Shiver When Warm Emergency Shelters Await You?

City councils bring their own values and concerns to their decision-making. When it comes to the homeless, do those values, well-meaning or no, tend to mirror the opinions of...

Life In Homeless Encampments In Canada Exposed

April 2020 saw the publication of A National Protocol for Homeless Encampments in Canada (the Protocol). It was timely because it appeared at the beginning of COVID when everyone...

Dipping From The Well of Knowledge About The Right To Adequate Housing

We're Canadian and have published posts about Canadian Leilani Farha during the time she held the position of Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing. As such, we've...

Can’t Legally Attack The Homeless? California Explores Benefits of Illegality

Homeless California residents (a contradiction in terms if there ever was one) may once again be forced to rely upon their 'fairy godmother.' That entity would be the Ninth...

Unhoused Encampments: Will Supreme Court Kick ‘Martin v Boise’ Off The Curbs?

The federal Ninth Judicial Circuit Court (the Ninth Circuit) covers most of the U.S. west coast states from Alaska to California. In consideration of those who are unhoused, the...

Is A Constitution-Protected Right To Housing Fundamentally A Women’s Issue?

The world is full of both sane and crackpot human ideals enshrined in national constitutions. Americans, for example have a constitutional right to arm bears. Or have we got...

Unable To Afford Housing? Easy And Cheap To Brand Them Loonies On The Loose

The year 1984 has come and gone. The novel of the same name lives on as a possible expression of a variety of repugnant futures. Currently, we are looking...

Offering Health Care That Is Safe For People Who Are Homeless

About 1980, this writer attended a presentation by a physician from El Salvador. He talked about practising medicine in a civil war. He spoke about his patient who needed...

Missouri “Too Many Targets” Save The State’s Homeless From Jail

The rest of the world slowly adapts to the idea that homeless people are not all depraved junkies, but mostly people who can't afford homes. Not in Missouri, however,...

Where Canada Needs To Go Next On Its Journey To The Right To Adequate Housing

Last month, we shared the work of FRAPRU, a organization made up of 80+ national, regional and local organizations active in the Province of QuebecFRAPRU aligns with the organization's...

Germany, Famous for Building Better, Builds Better Home Rental Lifestyles

Renting in the United Kingdom? Perhaps you have lived a life summed up by the following: moving through no less than 10 different homes over 15 years, the journey...

Responses To Housing Emergencies That Put Housing Access In Local Hands

This post is about two remarkable women who are reframing how we think about housing emergencies. Yasmeen Lari and Marie McGregor Pitawanakwat are from different parts of the world....

Australian Human Right To Adequate Housing? Been There, Done That

A pressing question for Australia comes from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC): "if housing was considered a human right, would it fix our housing crisis?" One disturbing possible answer may...

BC Gov’t Defined Shelter: To Be Reasonably Available or Unreasonably Unavailable?

A recent post of ours proclaimed: No Shoes, No Shirt, No Home? Still Room For You In West Coast Cities. Our focus was upon the Ninth Judicial Circuit of...

Bulldozer Justice: ‘The Rule BY Law’, Instead of ‘The Rule OF Law’

This post offers a perspective on 'The Right To Adequate Housing' and what it might mean as a legal term when a country accepts it as a right as...

Here Today Gone Tomorrow – Housing Solutions That Don’t Satisfy ‘Adequate’ Right To Housing

There's something useful to be learned about housing in general by considering the health benefits of stable housing for older people. We may not be as adaptable as we'd...

NYC Homeless Shelter in Trouble After 40 Years. The West Coast Wants A More Permanent Fix

Many countries have looked to America as a world leader. Not surprising then that people expect the United States, as the wealthiest country in the world, would be the...

Rights to Housing: Truth-Shaping in India, Rights For Whom and Who By?

The author of the following article, Mukta Naik, describes a basic human rights dilemma this way: "We live in a world where the truth has turned into a chimera. It...

Who Are Homelessness Policies Helping – A Toronto Case Study

In 2019, Canada officially embraced the right to adequate housing, following the language of the United Nations. Homelessness is prima facie (obvious) evidence that the right to adequate housing...

UK: Empty Land, Empty Houses, Empty Right To Adequate Housing

There is a major impediment to the United Nations Right to Adequate Housing. It is a common occurrence everywhere, and a familiar sight to a more mobile segment of...

Too Grown Up To Be Granted A Right To Education?

Does a Human Right to Adequate Housing include education? COVID-19 offered a meaningful perspective on this question when the pandemic schooling shifted away from the traditional 'school-house' approach. Thanks...

Foundations To The Right To Adequate Housing – How Countries Sign On

Everyone should have the right to housing. The statement is fine as far as it goes, but it doesn't really tell us much about what it means on the...

Dealing With Major Housing Disasters: The United Nations Has A Recipe

The 'first world' consists of all those countries which, while pleading poor (don't they all?) consider themselves arrived in the land of advanced civilization. Their self-importance is often iron-clad....

McKinney-Vento Meets The Right To Adequate Housing

An article in The Conversation about the McKinney-Vento Act set off a lengthy discussion at the editorial table of affordablehousingaction.org: does McKinney-Vento connect with the right to adequate housing...

Massachusetts Temporary Shelters Overflow: Is It A Shelter Crisis Or A Housing Crisis?

A right to temporary housing? Sorry, Massachusetts is all full up with its existing responsibilities to locals in distress. There's no room for incomers. The issue at hand in the...

Foundations To The Right To Adequate Housing – Monitoring And Reporting

Everyone should have the right to housing. The statement is fine as far as it goes, but it doesn't really tell us much about what it means on the...

Portugues Ocupas: Haven’t Got Squat? Squat Is What You Get

Portugal is undergoing an exercise familiar to Americans who followed recent events by West Coast activists: illegal(?) squatting in unoccupied housing. That story focused on the actions of moms...

Complexities In Data Collection – Small Choices With Big Effects

The National Alliance to End Homelessness (The Alliance) is thinking about the data it collects about homelessness in the United States. The Alliance's data feeds into annual reports to...

UK Homeless Teens: Right To Adequate Housing? The Devil Is In The Details

It's easier to pay lip service to 'adequate housing' if you can drag the costs down. The issue arises for a government tasked with arranging a young person's care....

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Home? Still Room For You In West Coast Cities

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit continues to influence U.S. West Coast communities with growing populations of people who are homeless. Unlike other judicial circuits,...

How Long Before Persistent, Growing Homelessness Demands A Final Solution?

When your country needs housing, it is both conventional as well as common to build houses for people who need them. A substantial number of the world's countries are...

Potable Water: A Pillar In The Right To Adequate Housing, Also Essential To Life

This is the final post in a series that looks at housing and homelessness in South Africa and Canada. It might be a source of inspiration/direction for housing efforts...

Housing, Land And Property Rights In South Africa And Canada

This is part of a series that looks at housing and homelessness in South Africa and Canada. It might be a source of inspiration/direction for housing efforts in either...

Canada Embraces Refugees With The Homeless Opportunites Of Full Citizens

In Canada, there is a certain smug satisfaction that we are handling refugees the 'right way.' By and large (but not entirely) there today remain more than just the...

Emergency Responses Miss Opportunities To Build Up Communities

This is part of a series that looks at housing and homelessness in South Africa and Canada. It might be a source of inspiration/direction for housing efforts in either...

South Africa: Women’s Experience Of Post-Apartheid Development

This is part of a series that looks at housing and homelessness in South Africa and Canada. It might be a source of inspiration/direction for housing efforts in either...

South Africa: Lessons For The World From A Deadly Fire

This post starts a series about housing and homelessness in South Africa and Canada. South Africa and Canada share a long history. Here are a few sample events: ...

Success Of Affordable Housing Initiatives Must Be Tackled At Least 3 Ways At Once

In this day and age, there are three important 'flavours' of affordable housing, all of which need to be considered and addressed in order to tackle national housing crises: ...

Roma: Indigenous Peoples Needing Specialized Human Rights?

Roma are often linked in the English language to wanderers in the British Isles and Ireland, described as 'gypsies', 'travellers', or 'tinkers.' Are they Europe's indigenous people? It's a...

Speaking Up About How Housing Systems Are Failing Us

Living in Canada's arctic territories is not easy. Housing is scarce, in poor condition and often very crowded. Housing advocates have been speaking to the government, the media and...

How Efforts To Crush A Tent City Produced An Enduring Record Of Their Value

People who experience homelessness have a lot to contend with. Where will they go to eat, sleep, get clean, do laundry? With these basics up in the air, it's...

Trouble In Paradise: How Far Does NY Commitment To Shelter Actually Stretch

All right, we are exaggerating slightly, calling New York 'paradise.' But when it comes to that state's legal commitment to a human right to adequate shelter, there are some...

NYC Mayor’s Message To The Unhoused: Don’t Come Here, We’re Full up.

A combination of events makes New York City an excellent example of why every mayor and council of every town and city in every world democracy should think seriously...

An Action Plan To Achieve The Right To Adequate Housing

Mariana Mazzucato and Leilani Farha have collaborated on a roadmap to achieve the right to adequate housing. The roadmap starts with a mission. Mazzucato and Farha argue that having a...

Housing Rights Of People With Disabilities – Overlooked And Understudied

Jewelles Smith is based in British Columbia. She has deep knowledge of parenting with a disability, through personal experience, disability advocacy and research. In her doctoral research, Smith compares human...

Should Housing Be A Wealth Creation Tool Or A Social Benefit? An Aussie Medical Perspective

In case you hadn't noticed that your own national housing emergency looks a lot like Australia's, an InSight article by Caitlin Wright describes some conditions that you will probably...

Canada Cares Enough To Allow The Homeless to Commit Suicide Without Being Fined

Other countries take note: Canada would seem to be extraordinarily compassionate by allowing 'assisted euthanasia' for any strongly-felt reason. When applying that compassion to a national homelessness crisis, it...

Homelessness, Housing First And Living In A State Of Lack

The article linked to this post is about what it's like to experience homeless in two cities in Ontario. It's also about what people experience when they leave homelessness...

Perspectives On Housing Rights In Canada – Experts Weigh In

Today's post is about housing rights in Canada, where the United Nations' right to adequate housing was affirmed in law in 2019Going forward, this means that Canada's definition of...

Homeless Or Not, Your Belongings Frame Who You Are. Losing Them Can Be Devastating

Not all that long ago, it was against the law to be homeless in Canada. That changed in 1972, when vagrancy laws were repealed. So, imagine a currently homeless...

A Human Right To Adequate Housing: Thunder Bay Wrestles With Homelessness In This Light

Like virtually all North American cities, Thunder Bay, Ontario faces the reality of persistent homelessness. Like a smaller number of cities, indigenous people make up a portion of Thunder...

UK Youth In Care + Private Care Homes = Toxic Combo: The Dregs of Failed Neolibralism

What is it about the attraction of governments to the almost guaranteed predation caused by funding private-enterprise care homes? The title above reflects a United Kingdom report on dreadfully...

Years Pass Before A Death Discovered: A Public Housing Association Too Business-y To Notice?

How can a nonprofit or a charity become significantly profitable? Answer: it can't. But non-profits can create a comfortable living for a group of employees. Some of them, with...

Been Homeless? No? A Property Guardian Maybe — Not Quite Homeless, But Usefully Close

Late in life, I'm pleased to learn a little about property guardianship. Seems I was a property guardian and never knew it. So was my daughter, at least in...

Homeless With Mental Problems/Drug Abuse Issues: Human Rights Bang Heads With Compassion

With roughly one in three people who are homeless having mental health or drug abuse issues, the growing numbers of people on the streets without shelter is creating antagonism...

A Survey In Search of A Human Right To Shelter: Tiny Temporary Homes

While news of yet another collection of 'tiny homes' is becoming more commonplace in North America, they are by no means a standard method of community commitment to housing...

Slum Clearances – An Unlikely Source Of Housing Inspiration?

With all of the reports about tent clearances across North America, it is encouraging to learn that there are some places where the rights of people living in encampments...

Pitching In For Better Housing In Louisville, Kentucky

When you think about tenant organizing in Kentucky, you might visualize Black tenants calling out their housing authority for poor conditions. The article linked to this post tells a...

Any Teeth To ‘Adequate’ In Human Right To Housing? Australian High Court Will Decide

Here's an update about the government of Australia's Northern Territory and the housing it provides to its tenants. Last year, tenants brought a court case over the definition of adequate...

A Crime To Ask For Help? Such Statutes Declared Unconstitutional At Last!

The lifeguard is no more than a couple of strokes away from the drowning person when... "Stay Back" shouts an officer in the police boat that speeds between the...

In Praise of Once-Canvas Slums. Consider Modern Ripstop, Health And Safety Incl.

Around the world, tent encampments have been a sensible, practical alternative to more permanent housing when none other is available. Search Wikimedia Commons for 'tents' to reveal some of...

One Shape of The Human Rights of Children In A World Of Homelessness

Those countries that advertise themselves (or at least believe in themselves) as 'lands of opportunity' are living the lie when they can build battleships but not housing for the...

Nevada’s Toothless Tiger? New Laws Granting Human Rights For the Homeless.

Well, the State spirit appears willing, but the local flesh seems to be weak. As far as the facts are concerned, even state legislators in Nevada would appear to...

Absolute Freedom For The Housing Free Market: A New Way To Protect Renters

Those of you who follow Scottish politics will have noted the departure of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon from the political stage. The reason for her departure is largely due...

How Australia’s Housing Became ‘A Closed Shop’ Favouring ‘Already-Owners’

Currently around the world, country after country allows and/or actively encourages a gambler's haven — the use of housing ownership, not (or only incidentally) as shelter, but as chips...

Public Housing Thwarts, Not Supports, The Human Right To Housing After Incarceration

Encouraging as it might superficially seem, America's Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) actually stood up in 2022 to allow Americans with criminal convictions to have access to...

Spain’s Right To Housing Law: Freedom From Housing Price Extortion. Or. . .Not!

Spain has just passed a Right to Housing law. The law allows rent controls in any and all housing markets that are deemed by local governments to be 'stressed.' This...

Prying Open The Doors To Housing For Gender-Diverse People

The Women's National Housing and Homelessness Network (WNHHN) is drawing attention to the issue of how gender-diverse peopleThe research discussed in this post uses the term “gender-diverse” as a...

Notes From The Heat Pump Battlefront Lines

Forgetful as always, it's time to quiz our readers on what we've been reporting. We need all the help we can get. Heat pumps? Yes, we know we've been there,...

Toronto Needs More Supportive Housing – A Hospital Speaks Up

Here is a brief story about social medicine in the city of Toronto. It is an interview with Dr. Andrew Boozary, who heads the social medicine program at the...

Chronic Homeless Incarceration: Who, What, Where Why, When, How?

A magical mystery tour is currently being considered by a few American jurisdictions. What percentage of the people experiencing chronic homelessnessChronic homelessness means homelessness lasting for a long time...

Canadian Tent Encampments Win Precedent-Setting Legal Reprise

Across North America a strange kind of post-COVID vindictiveness towards homeless people seems to have set in. Jurisdictions everywhere have been passing laws to ban all kinds of activities...

U.S. East & West Coasts Flirt With Incarceration Programs For Chronic Homeless

Recently, considerable fuss has been generated in New York City concerning the involuntary incarceration of chronically homeless citizens, presumably in some unofficial and deniable category of 'tremendous nuisance,' and/or...

A Once-Homeless Socialist Who Wants More Upscale Housing Built?

No, this isn't about an influential person who experienced homelessness, saw the light, and embarked on a fight for the Human Right To Adequate Housing via the power of...

The Serendipity Of Canada’s Commitment To Allow Suicide Of The Homeless

Well now, here's a convenience that nobody considered when Canada decided to allow mercy killing of those whose lives had become an unbearable torment. Physical pain was the torment...

New U.S. Federal ‘Renter Bill of Rights.’ Housing Help Or Hot Air Balloon?

The strains of the COVID-19 pandemic have laid bare the increasing crisis faced by America's renters that is now reaching into the middle classes. The U.S. Biden administration plans...

Mental Heath Compulsory Tuneup Program For NY Homeless: Still Waiting

Recently we reported (alongside a good chunk of the world's press) when New York City's Mayor Eric Adams announced his plan to remove homeless people from the streets and...

Affordable-> Unaffordable. Temporary-> Permanent. UK Plays Name Change Game

The United Kingdom National charity, Shelter, laments something affordablehousingaction.org has moaned about for a long time: Canada's federal government, like the UK national government, has conspired with builders. They...

Uprooting The Homeless: Meet Them and Cheat Them Today, Lose Their Trust Tomorrow

"When you ain't got nothin', you got nothin' to lose," sang the Bob Dylan in his famous song "Like a Rolling Stone." Dylan is renowned for his great lyrics. But...
Howdy,