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New Orleans Housing and Human Rights

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Synopsis

The U.S. government continues to violate the international human rights of tens of thousands of displaced Katrina survivors. This report to the United Nations details the extensive homelessness, destruction of low-income housing, government misconduct, and housing discrimination faced by African American and other renters in New Orleans. The report explains how this neglect violates international human rights standards.

Status

Final Report from the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing

Description

From the Final Report:

"The Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context, undertook an official visit to the United States of America from 22 October to 8 November 2009 to examine the realization of the right to adequate housing, in particular in relation to subsidized housing programmes, the homeless situation and the foreclosure crisis.

The first part of the report provides a brief overview of the evolution of housing
policies, focusing on public subsidized housing programmes. It refers to the context of the current affordable housing crisis – with a growing proportion of people living in the United States facing serious challenges in accessing affordable housing.

The second part of the report discusses the realization of the right to adequate housing, particularly affordability, discrimination and participation. The report highlights the implications of significant cuts in federal funding for low-income housing, the persistent impact of discrimination in housing, substandard conditions such as overcrowding and health risks, as well as the consequences of the foreclosure crisis. It also focuses on participation and underlines the importance of adequately informing the public of housing opportunities and involving them in the planning, decision-making, and implementation of programmes and policies that directly affect their lives.

The Special Rapporteur discusses and welcomes new measures adopted to
address the current housing crisis, and concludes her report with a number of recommendations to contribute to these efforts."

Briefing Paper for the Advisory Group on Forced Evictions

This briefing paper is submitted to the Advisory Group on Forced Evictions for the mission its experts are conducting to provide an overview of the international human rights principles’ application to the forced eviction and homelessness crisis in the Gulf Coast region. Human rights instruments offer a framework for developing an approach to resettlement and reconstruction that is capable of meeting the needs of the impacted communities. The submission is divided in three parts:

  • An international human rights background;
  • Review of the various international mechanisms’ treatment of the right to housing for Hurricane Katrina victims; and
  • Documentation and human rights analysis of the current crisis in New Orleans.

Click here to view the CCR Briefing Paper for the Advisory Group on Forced Evictions.

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