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Cities for Housing: A global movement of local governments for the Right to Housing and against housing financialization

Housing is an essential condition for enjoying a full right to the city. However, many cities still face a scarcity of adequate housing, struggle to regulate real estate market or find themselves confronted with a rise of homelessness or slums. Faced to a global crisis pervading the full realization of the right to housing, local governments of our Committee have come together to defend the social function of housing and fight against financialization.

Our Committee provides a meeting point for local governments to advance international agendas for the right to housing at the global level, and to exchange knowledge and practices on this topic. In recent years, local governments have committed to the right to housing through the Declaration “Cities for Adequate Housing”. Our Committee has also facilitated local government participation in the campaign The Shift, launched by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing.

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Collective action on the Right to Housing

The adoption of “Cities for Adequate Housing” marked the culmination of a two-years process. In an unprecedented event, Mayors from across the world came together to launch the Declaration as a global call for action for the right to housing. In the Declaration, local governments demanded more capacities and resources on the subject. Our Committee and UCLG work together to welcome new signatory cities to the Declaration, and to exchange practices through a UCLG Community of Practice on Housing.

Partnership with the United Nations, academia and civil society

Launched by the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing in the framework of the Habitat III Conference (2016), “The Shift” campaign has provided a good opportunity for worldwide organizations and governments to support the right to housing. Throughout the last years, local governments have become an important support for “The Shift”. In 2018, the “Cities for Adequate Housing” Declaration was adopted as a local government contribution to “The Shift”.