Thursday, November 12, 2009

Preliminary Findings Released by UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing

Raquel Rolnik, the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, has released the Preliminary Findings from her visit to the US (including a visit to New Orleans on October 30).

The report reads, in part, "As in the case with policies for homelessness, criminalization has been the main response to social problems in subsidized housing, instead of a focus on protection for those who are most vulnerable. In designing solutions, tenants, residents, and community members have been excluded from decision making processes regarding their housing and wider communities."

Among the many recommendations from the preliminary findings are several that will resonate strongly with people from New Orleans, such as, "New housing should be available for displaced residents before any unit is demolished;" and "Following demolition or rehabilitation, residents' right to return must be ensured to the area where new developments are located."

More updates from the Special Rapporteur's visit to the US can also be seen at the blog, and more about the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur can be seen here.

To see more about the US and its reporting on the international treaties it has signed, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has a page dedicated to updates on the status of the US.

Thank you to the many organizers, locally and nationally, who made the Rapporteur's visit happen, especially Mayday New Orleans, who coordinated locally, and the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative who worked to coordinate the trip on a national level.

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