Is Housing a Human Right?

Advocates around the country, and around the world, think so, and they're making their case from Southern California to Scotland and South Africa.

February 24, 2012, 7:00 AM PST

By Anonymous (not verified)


With a 20-percent increase in family homelessness between 2007 and 2010 in the United States, advocates are beginning to frame their work not as an affordable housing crisis or as a homelessness crisis, but as a human rights crisis.

Chicago, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City are just a handful of cities where local housing and homelessness advocates are securing concrete wins as they take on homelessness as part of a human rights agenda, writes Maria Foscarinis, executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.

"Focusing on the human right to housing can help advance solutions to this country's homelessness and housing crises. Ultimately, it can help us to shift from a paradigm that treats housing as a discretionary privilege to one that treats it as a priority and a right," Foscarinis writes, citing the United Nations commitment to an "adequate standard of living" as well as international homelessness policy.

Thanks to Matthew Brian Hersh

Friday, February 17, 2012 in Shelterforce

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