The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, Raquel Rolnik, recently published guiding principles on security of tenure for the urban poor. The gulf between incomes and rents, a foreclosure crisis, the disinvestment in and destruction of public housing stock and low-income communities being increasingly subject to rapid gentrification makes security of tenure a pressing issue human rights issue here at home.
In the report, presented to the Human Rights Council in December 2013, the Special Rapporteur states:
The plight of the urban poor presents one of the most pressing challenges to security of tenure [the right to live in one’s home in security, peace and dignity] , especially in an increasingly urbanized world. These principles aim to provide guidance to States and other actors to address this challenge in order to ensure adequate housing for poor and vulnerable people in urban and peri-urban areas. Underlying these guiding principles is a presumption that individuals and communities occupying land or property to fulfill their right to adequate housing, and who have no other adequate option, have legitimate tenure rights that should be secured and protected. The concept of legitimate tenure rights extends beyond mainstream notions of private ownership and includes multiple tenure forms deriving from a variety of tenure systems.
The report can be downloaded below.