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Call for inputs: A place to live in dignity for all: Make housing affordable

Issued by

Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing


15 August 2023

presented to

the 78th session of the General Assembly


Issued by Special Procedures


Adequate housing

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This report takes a look at the global housing affordability crisis and its impact, and sets out recommendations for preventing escalating housing costs, protecting tenants, and addressing the unaffordability of housing.


Housing affordability - a key element of the right to adequate housing – has become key concern for more and more people, including political decision makers at local, national and international level. 

Many urban areas have witnessed a sharp increase of housing costs outstripping the income of households. Millions living in informal or inadequate housing continue to lack the financial resources to access adequate housing meeting official building standards. Families go hungry or cut on health expenditures to pay rent, mortgages or utility charges.  Unpaid housing costs have become the most prominent reason for evictions in many countries.

Lack of accessible affordable housing is the main reason for the growth of informal settlements and increased homelessness. Dramatically rises in energy costs have sharply increased energy poverty and housing costs in many countries. Rising inflation has turned an already serious problem into a housing affordability crisis of global dimensions.

Key questions asked

The report “A place to live in dignity for all, make housing affordable” responds to the following questions:

  • What obligations have States under international human rights law to ensure that housing is accessible and affordable to all without discrimination?
  • What happens to you when you cannot afford anymore your home?
  • Who is at particular risk to experience housing cost overburden?
  • What are the consequences of housing unaffordability for the enjoyment of human rights?
  • What have States, local Governments, development cooperation agencies, housing providers, town planners, architects and civil society organizations done to ensure that housing is affordable to all without any discrimination?
  • What laws, policies, programmes and practices have been successful to reduce the unaffordability of housing?
  • States should enshrine the affordability of housing as within their national or constitutional laws.
  • States should implement legal and other interventions to ensure homeowners, financial institutions and business actors in the housing market uphold the right to affordable and adequate housing.
  • States should implement measures to sustain affordable rents, including rent regulation, vacancy control and housing subsidies.
  • States should adopt measures to avoid no-fault evictions and ensure just cause for all individual evictions. No one must be evicted for failure to pay rent solely due to economic distress.
Inputs Received
Inputs Received


Local governments

Human Rights Institutions / Ombudspersons

International Organizations

Civil Society Organizations / Academics