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Cities for Housing: A global movement of local governments for the Right to Housing and against housing financialization

Housing is an essential condition for any citizen to access all human rights in the city and enjoy a full right to the city. At present, however, many cities still face a scarcity of adequate housing, struggle to regulate real estate market or find themselves confronted with a rise of homelessness or slums. Faced to a global crisis pervading the full realization of the right to housing, local governments of our Committee have come together to defend the social function of housing and fight against financialization.

In line with its discussions on urban rights and the right to the city, our Committee has provided a meeting point for local governments to advance an international, political agenda for the right to housingIn the framework of our Committee and UCLG, local governments from across the world have led a vocal defense of the right to housing, adopting pioneer agendas such as the Declaration “Cities for Adequate Housing” (2018). Our Committee has also facilitated local government involvement in the global campaign “The Shift, launched by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing with a view to defend the right to housing and fight against financialization.

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Promoting collective action on the Right to Housing

The adoption in 2018 of “Cities for Adequate Housing” marked the culmination of a two-years process. In an unprecedented event held at New York’s United Nations seat, Mayors from across the world came together to launch the Cities for Housing Declaration as a global call for action for the Right to Housing; An appeal to tackle housing commodification, upgrade slums and promote the social function of housing. Our Committee and UCLG now work together to welcome new signatory local governments to the Declaration, and to consolidate its policy outcomes through a UCLG Community of Practice on Housing.

Strengthening local government synergies with the United Nations, academia and civil society

Launched by the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing in the framework of the Habitat III Conference (2016), “The Shift” has provided an important opportunity for worldwide organizations and governments to support the right to housing. Throughout the last years, local governments have become an important support for “The Shift”. In 2018, the “Cities for Adequate Housing” Declaration was adopted as a local government contribution to “The Shift”.