​The human right to adequate housing is more than just four walls and a roof. It is the right of every woman, man, youth and child to gain and sustain a safe and secure home and community in which to live in peace and dignity

The Right to Adequate Housing Toolkit

Elements of the right to adequate housing


  • Legal security of tenure: Regardless of the type of tenure, all persons should possess a degree of security of tenure which guarantees legal protection against forced eviction, harassment and other threats;

  • Affordability: Personal or household financial costs associated with housing should not threaten or compromise the attainment and satisfaction of other basic needs (for example, food, education, access to health care);

  • Habitability: Adequate housing should provide for elements such as adequate space, protection from cold, damp, heat, rain, wind or other threats to health, structural hazards, and disease vectors;

  • Availability of services, materials, facilities and infrastructure: Housing is not adequate if its occupants do not have safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, energy for cooking, heating and lighting, sanitation and washing facilities, means of food storage, refuse disposal, etc.;

  • Accessibility: Housing is not adequate if the specific needs of disadvantaged and marginalized groups are not taken into account (such as the poor, people facing discrimination; persons with disabilities, victims of natural disasters);

  • Location: Adequate housing must allow access to employment options, health-care services, schools, child-care centres and other social facilities and should not be built on polluted sites nor in immediate proximity to pollution sources;

  • Cultural adequacy: Adequate housing should respect and take into account the expression of cultural identity and ways of life.

  • Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment n°4
    Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish



Here are illustrative examples of indicators to implement and measure elements of the right to adequate housing based on the Human Rights Indicators framework developed by OHCHR:



Mechanisms dealing with housing rights:

Special Procedures


Treaty Bodies




Finding recommendations of human rights mechanisms to States on the right to adequate housing, forced evictions and other issues: Universal Human Rights Index

United Nations Commentary and Guidelines on Eviction and Resettlement Learn more on important issues relating to the right to adequate housing

Including Forced eviction, Displacement, Homelessness, Poverty, …

United Nations Commentary and Guidelines on Eviction and ResettlementLearn more on the right to adequate housing of specific groups

Including Women, Indigenous peoples, Migrants,…

The Right to Adequate Housing Toolkit

Main page

  • Standards
  • Justiciability
  • Mechanisms
  • Indicators, ...


  • Forced evictions
  • Displacements
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty, ...


  • Women
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Migrants, ...
International standards

Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing (A/63/275),
Part IV

Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish

Compilation of Selected Adjudication on housing rights (2006)

Report of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Housing Rights: The Duty to Ensure Housing for All

OHCHR in the field