Ghent joins international initiative on adequate housing

City of Ghent joins international initiative for the right to adequate housing.

On the occasion of an informal visit by UN Special Rapporteur Leilani Farha on 12 September 2018, the city of Ghent officially commits to implementing the right to adequate housing in conformity with international human rights law.

Homelessness and forced evictions are on the rise, including in high-income countries. In many cities, housing has become unaffordable, even for the middle class. We need a paradigm shift from housing as a commodity to housing as an inalienable human right.” - Leilani Farha, appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as an independent expert on the right to housing.

Ghent joins the growing group of municipalities, including Barcelona, Berlin, Seoul, Paris, London or New York City, that have become part of ‘The Shift’, a multi-stakeholder initiative led by the UN Special Rapporteur Farha, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).

Joining The ‘Shift’ is a natural step for the City of Ghent. We are proud to build on the work we have done so far to tackle discrimination on the housing market. We are also looking into the affordability of housing in our city. We want to share our experience, learn from others, and leverage the power of cities to advance the human rights agenda both locally and globally." - Daniël Termont, mayor of Ghent

Welcoming Ghent’s move, Birgit Van Hout, UN Human Rights Regional Representative for Europe emphasized the central place of the right to housing in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its role as a lever for the realisation of many other human rights.

Housing should be adequate, affordable and accessible. Let’s use the momentum created by the Sustainable Development Agenda, to which all EU countries have committed, to make it a reality for all by 2030". - Birgit Van Hout, UN Human Rights Regional Representative for Europe

More information about the human right to adequate housing is available online and here.