Report on effective human rights-based housing strategies

15 January 2018
Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Leilani Farha
To the Human Rights Council at its 37th session


© Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housingHousing conditions around the world remain extremely challenging, with homelessness on the rise including in most affluent countries, forced evictions and displacement continuing unabated, informal settlements that lack basic services and security of tenure growing, and housing markets forcing poor and low income households out.

At the same time, States have committed to ensure access to adequate, affordable, secure housing for all by 2030 in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda.

In order to address current housing conditions and meet these ambitious commitments, States need to adopt human rights-based housing strategies. 

The report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing provides guidance for States how they can design and implement effective human rights-based housing strategies to realize the right to housing, and move forward in meeting their obligations under Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. A “how-to manual”, this report outlines necessary principles, elements and mechanisms for housing strategies to be rights-based with examples of practices from which others can learn.

The report outlines key principles for rights-based housing strategy. In order to ground itself in human rights, a housing strategy must:

  • Be based in law and legal standards
  • Prioritize those most in need an ensure equality
  • Be comprehensive and whole-of-government
  • Include rights-based participation
  • Include accountable budgeting and tax justice
  • Include human rights-based goals and timelines
  • Include accountability and monitoring
  • Ensure access to justice
  • Clarify the obligations of private actors and regulate financial, housing and real estate markets
  • Implement international cooperation and assistance

Read the report in all six UN languages


In elaborating her report, the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing invited States National Human Rights Institutions, independent monitoring mechanisms, civil society organizations and networks to share information about their housing strategies and to provide concrete examples of challenges faced and suggestions about how these can be addressed.

Questionnaire for States (English | FrançaisEspañol)   

Questionnaire for civil society organizations and National Human Rights Institutions (English | FrançaisEspañol

Inputs Received


Civil Society Organizations

National Human Rights Institutions