A place to live in dignity for all: make housing affordable

31 Aug 2023

The UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing released a report this month focusing on the global crisis of housing affordability. The report concludes that:

The world is grappling with a mounting crisis of housing unaffordability, affecting both vulnerable and middle-income populations. Amid a complex interplay of factors, it is crucial for States, intergovernmental organizations and institutions to dedicate more concerted efforts toward addressing the fundamental causes of housing unaffordability. The present report serves as a pivotal push for future dialogue on achieving affordable housing for all. The first step in that direction involves acknowledging housing affordability as a central tenet of the right to adequate housing and recognizing that right as fundamental to every individual.

The report offers a number of prevention strategies that countries should take:

  • enshrine the affordability of housing as an element of the right to adequate housing,
  • invest resources in developing alternative models of affordable housing,
  • enact legislation to shield tenants from evictions due to non-payment of rent,
  • implement legal and other interventions to ensure third parties uphold the right to affordable and adequate housing,
  • enhance the capabilities of various bodies responsible for housing delivery to consistently incorporate a housing affordability perspective into their work,
  •  counter the reduction of public and social housing stocks designed for vulnerable individuals and households,
  • routinely monitor housing affordability and collect disaggregated data that account for gender, race, Indigenous identity, ability and other factors. Collaboration with communities, decision makers and professionals is vital in devising indicators for measuring housing affordability.

A number of other recommendations are made including protection strategies and strategies to address the consequences of housing unaffordability.

The full report can be accessed here.