Protecting the Right to Housing During the COVID-19 Crisis
The global COVID-19 crisis has proven beyond doubt that secure, safe, and adequate housing is essential for people’s health and safety. To control the spread of COVID-19, people across the globe have been urged or required to stay at home. This seemingly simple policy has revealed just how dependent the rights to life, human security, health, and dignity are on access to adequate housing.
At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis have put a large number of people in a precarious situation in which they are struggling to meet their housing costs and are vulnerable to homelessness. COVID-19 has fully exposed, and has the potential to deepen, the global housing crisis. For years, this crisis has been characterized by a severe lack of affordable housing, weak tenant protections, limited social or public housing, and inadequate housing for migrants and asylum seekers. Abusive mortgage lending practices and the failure to regulate the financialization of housing have consolidated a system that reproduces housing precariousness and homelessness.
This briefing paper highlights the patchwork approach that States across the world have taken in order to protect the right to housing during the COVID-19 crisis, and examines the need for more comprehensive emergency legislation to prevent evictions during a global pandemic.
Model Emergency Housing Legislation: Protecting the Right to Housing during COVID-19
This comprehensive model emergency legislation, developed by the Open Society Justice Initiative, the Open Society Initiative for Europe, The Shift, and a coalition of human rights groups, consists of legal provisions that governments can use to protect the right to housing during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis.
Housing Groups Call on Governments to Adopt Comprehensive Legislation to Ensure Housing during COVID-19
The Open Society Justice Initiative and the Open Society Initiative for Europe have joined The Shift and a coalition of human rights groups in unveiling comprehensive model emergency legislation to protect the right to housing during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis.