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Cities for Adequate Housing

Municipalist Declaration of Local Governments for the Right to Housing and the Right to the City

(15 July 2018)

Building on the milestones of the New Urban Agenda of Habitat III (Quito, 2016) and the momentum of “The Shift”, a global initiative on the right to housing, the signatory cities below take part in this High-Level Political Forum of the United Nations to follow up on Sustainable Development Goal 11, with the support of UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing.

We, the local governments, are the public officials who are most sensitive to the everyday needs of our citizens.

In the contemporary world, lack of national and state funding, market deregulation, growing power of global corporations, and increasing competition for scarce real estate often become a burden on our neighbourhoods, causing serious distortions in their social fabric, and putting the goal of ensuring equitable, inclusive, and just cities at risk.

We, the local governments strongly believe that all people should have actual access to “adequate housing”, understood by the United Nations as the one that has the correct “affordability”, “legal security of tenure”, “habitability”, “availability of services, materials, facilities and infrastructure” “accessibility”, “location” and “cultural adequacy”.

Nevertheless, real estate speculation, high cost housing, inadequate regulation, socio-spatial segregation, insecurity of tenure, substandard housing, homelessness, urban sprawl or informal urban enlargements without requisite facilities or infrastructure, are growing phenomena that threaten the equity and sustainability of our cities.

Given this situation, local governments cannot stay on the sidelines, and need to take a central role. For all these reasons, we call for the following actions:

(i) More powers for local authorities to better regulate the real estate market

(ii) More funds to improve public housing stock

(iii) More tools to co-produce alternative public-private and community-driven housing solutions

(iv) Urban planning that combines adequate housing and quality neighborhoods that are inclusive and sustainable

(v) Municipalist cooperation in residential strategies