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Promoting and Defending Housing Rights

Post By: Damie Omole

This semester, I have the privilege to work on a project for Justice Ventures International concerning housing rights. Housing rights issues involve more than the problem of homelessness. It includes various problems such as forced eviction, violations of the right to adequate housing, lack of housing affordability, and housing discrimination. 

This winter, we witnessed the people of Texas struggle with the snowstorm. Many were left without power, water, and food. This is sadly the reality of many individuals around the world daily. About 100 million people are homeless worldwide, and about 1.6 billion people lack adequate housing. This means about 100 million people live daily without food, power, and electricity.

This issue affects all nations, both big and small. Housing rights issues directly affect the realization of other human rights. Without adequate housing, people are at risk of human rights violations such as human trafficking. Employment will be difficult to secure, violence will be increased, and health services will be unavailable.

Various governments have taken steps to address the problem of homelessness and inadequate housing. However, many of these solutions have involved various forms of gentrification and forced eviction. These strategies have focused on development for the middle class instead of the low-income groups in need of adequate housing.

Addressing the issue of housing rights should not only involve the provision of emergency shelters. It should involve long-term sustainable solutions that involve a commitment to ensure fully adequate housing for all. Some proven steps taken by certain organizations include ensuring the security of tenure and providing access to counsel. By implementing sustainability strategies, housing rights organizations and government agencies move closer to promoting and defending housing rights for all.

This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Student Staff member. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.