Housing Justice, Human Rights and the City

Today, the city is characterised by conflict concerning housing, its adequacy, affordability and location.  These conflicts can take place at an individual level, be it a landlord demanding an increased rent or a borrower facing repossession by the bank.  Increasingly, however, housing is becoming the subject of urban social movements, such as the Focus E15 mothers and the 35% Campaign in the UK, the Homeless Persons’ Union of Victoria in Australia and the Right to the City Alliance in the USA.  Using social media and through political protest, these campaigns have led to a greater awareness of the precarity of urban housing.  Yet, there remains an issue as to how we should create cohesive and stable communities in the inner city, as well as the ways in which their housing needs should be met.  In countries such as France and South Africa, the debate surrounding housing has been framed using the language of rights, while in China, there has been increased investment in social housing.  Elsewhere in Europe, there have been reforms to the private rented sector to provide tenants with greater security of tenure.


Abigail E. Jackson, University of East London a.jackson@uel.ac.uk