Call for input: COVID-19 and the right to housing

Issued by:
Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing
To inform his report to be presented to the General Assembly in 2020

Objectives of the report

The report will reflect on the importance of housing adequacy to ensure protection against COVID-19 and on the transformation of the home during the pandemic into a medical shelter, work-place, child care centre, sport centre or nursery for the aged. It will analyse measures taken to prevent and stop evictions of tenants and homeowners during and in the aftermath of the crisis and to protect various groups at risk of marginalization, including persons living in situation of homelessness and in informal settlements. The report will also reflect on safety of children, women, older persons and persons with disabilities at their respective place of living. Mr. Rajagopal will analyse to what extent emergency measures implemented may have had (unintended) discriminatory outcomes and map out emerging good practices to counter them by local and national governments. Finally the report will analyse medium and long term interventions that are required to protect during and after the crisis the right to adequate housing for all, to realise SDG 11, to end homelessness and to address widespread lack of security of tenure, housing unaffordability and housing inadequacy.

Key questions and types of input sought

To inform his report the Special Rapporteur would like to receive contributions and views from States, regional and national human rights institutions, non-governmental organisation, UN agencies, academic institutions, local governments and other relevant stakeholders.

  • Has your country declared a prohibition on evictions? Have evictions continued to take place during the pandemic? If yes, when, where and who was affected and has adequate alternative accommodation been provided?
  • Have any measures been taken to ensure that households are not cut-off from water, heat or other utility provision when they are unable to pay their bills?
  • Please provide any information about other legal or financial measures aimed to ensure that households do not lose their home if they cannot pay their rent or mortgage? 
  • What measures have been taken to protect persons living in informal settlements, refugee or IDP camps, or in situation of overcrowding from COVID-19?
  • Have any measures been taken to provide safe accommodation for persons in situation of homelessness during the pandemic and in its aftermath?
  • What measures have been taken by authorities to ensure that migrant and domestic workers continue to have access to secure housing during the pandemic and in its aftermath?
  • What measures have been taken to ensure protect older persons, persons with disabilities, migrants, women, and children from the pandemic, abuse, neglect or violence at the place where they are living or have been asked to stay? Please specify in particular measures taken to protect persons housed in institutions, shelters, care homes, psychiatric hospitals or detention.
  • Have you relied on the COVID-19 guidance notes developed by the previous Special Rapporteur in your work? Would you have any additional recommendations to protect the right to adequate housing during the pandemic and in its aftermath?

In order to collect information a questionnaire on COVID-19 and human rights has been developed with other Special Rapporteurs which is available in English, French and Spanish. Questions of particular interest to the Special Rapporteur on the right to housing are published on page 9.

Short submissions with summaries of and hyperlinks to relevant documents, statistical data, public regulations or legislation are in particular useful. Please feel free to limit responses to particular areas of interest to your organization or to provide additional information that you consider important.

An on-line questionnaire (in English) covering only the questions of interest of the Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing is also available here.


The Special Rapporteur invites to a webinar “COVID-19 and the right to adequate housing: local government perspectives” organised in collaboration with the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) on 24 June 2020 from 15:00-17:00 CEST. Read more...

Registration link / Event Flyer

Additional consultations have been held with States and Civil Society Organizations on 10 and 16 June 2020.

Inputs received

  • Submissions received in response to the joint questionnaire are available here.
  • Submissions covering right to adequate housing issues exclusively are posted below.

States, regional and local governments

UN entities and International organizations

National Human Rights Institutions

Civil Society Organizations

Academics and Individuals