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The right to housing, as defined by international law, is basic human need which allows us to subsist. Good housing contributes to the wellbeing of families and to a country’s broader economic and social development. According to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, general comment 4, the right to adequate housing [1991] the minimum requirements of adequate housing are;

  • Legal secure tenure; In their housing, people must be protected from eviction, harassment and other threats. States must enforce tenure security, in consultation of the affected groups.

  • Availability of services and infrastructure; Housing should include facilities essential for health, security, comfort and nutrition, safe drinking water, energy for cooking, heating , lighting, sanitation facilities, refuse disposal , storage and emergency services.

  • Affordability; The cost of adequate housing should not be so high that it compromises the ability of the house hold to access other basic needs.

  • Habitability; Housing must protect its inhabitants from cold, damp, heat, rain or other health threats and structural hazards. It must provide adequate space for them.

  • Accessibility; All people are entitled to adequate housing and disadvantaged groups in particular must be accorded full and sustainable access to housing which may mean granting then priority status in housing allocation or land use planning.

  • Location; Housing should be located in areas with access to employment options health, school, child care facilities. This service applies equally in rural and urban areas. Housing should not be built on or near polluted sites or sources of pollution.

  • Cultural adequacy; Activities geared towards development or modernization of housing should ensure that the cultural dimensions of housing are not sacrificed, while simultaneously ensuring technical facilities.

This section therefore seeks to create the link between housing and cross cutting themes such as:

  • HIV & AIDS

  • Environment and climate change

  • Gender




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