Pillars of the Human Right to Housing

The human right to housing is enshrined in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, passed unanimously by the United Nations in 1948, which reads:

Article 25

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 25 has been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, conventions, instruments and even in national constitutions and laws.

"Housing is a Human Right," therefore, is more than just a slogan: it is established and ratified internationally law.

Like many other laws, however, the human right to housing is not universally recognized, accepted or enforced. In order to enforce this mandate, we must strengthen the pillars supporting the human right to housing. The Seven Pillars of the Human Right to Housing include:

  1. Universal Access.


  2. Security of Tenure.


  3. Adequate Conditions (standard of living).


  4. Democratic Participation.


  5. Equitable Use.


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