Right to Housing: joining the voices of local governments (Special session 15th July)

Our Committee is co-organizing a special session on the Right to Housing on the occasion of the first Forum of Local and Regional Authorities held in the framework of the HLPF

The Right to Housing is a fundamental human right and a growing concern at a global scale. On the occasion of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on the monitoring of SDG 11, and the first Forum of local and regional authorities organized by UCLG on behalf of the Global Taskforce in the framework of this paramount UN event, several members of our Committee expressed their willingness to share their points of view in regards to the housing agenda.

Real estate speculation, increasing slums, lack of social housing, urban segregation… all these phenomena reveal large persisting tensions and barriers, preventing many urban dwellers from their universal access to adequate, safe, sustainable and affordable housing.

#MaketheShift. Cities for the Right to Adequate Housing: Declaration of local governments for the Right to Housing and the Right to the City

A Special Session on the Right to Housing will take place after the preparatory meeting of the Global Taskforce, on the 15th July. This session counts with the support of the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Leilani Farha, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

This meeting will take place next Sunday 15 July at 17h30 at New York’s One UN Millennium Hotel.

The UN Special Rapporteur Farha will update the audience on the latest developments of “The Shift” campaign. Afterwards, Barcelona will present, altogether with Madrid, Montevideo and Plaine Commune, a proposal for a joint Declaration on “Cities for the Adequate Housing”.

The 15 July meeting will be key to prepare the next steps of the wave of action on housing in the UCLG agenda, and to consider the outcomes of the “The Shift” campaign to go further in the global realization of the right to housing and the right to the city.

It is articulated around five areas and scope of action to advance on the implementation of the Right to Housing: (1) More powers to better regulate the real estate market; (2) More funds to improve public housing stock; (3) More tools to co-produce habitat and alternative housing; (4) Develop urban planning that combines adequate housing with quality, inclusive and sustainable neighbourhoods (5) Promote a municipalist cooperation in residential strategies.

This declaration was presented by the city of Barcelona on the occasion of the UCLG’s Policy Council on the Right to the City held in Strasbourg last May 24. It represents a global call led by and addressed to local governments wishing to engage and exchange points of view regarding the Right to Housing in local and global agendas.

[Local governments launch an appeal for rights-based strategies on housing and migrations - Policy Council on the Right to the City]

It is foreseen that the declaration will be officially presented the following day (16 July) on the occasion of the Forum of Local and Regional Authorities.

Our Committee invites its member local governments to take note of this initiative. As the text of the declaration is still a draft version, we propose you to contact the Committee directly for being able to read the last version of it

We also invite members to join the communication efforts around the campaign on the 16 July using the hashtags #CitiesforHousing and #MaketheShift.