Court asks Mexico City authorities to suspend eviction for violation of right to housing and health during pandemic
Date: 25 August, 2021
- Since the beginning of the movement pandemic, civil society organisations and academia have asked the authorities of the CDMX to issue a moratorium on evictions and to provide support measures for the population at risk of losing their homes, but no progress has been made.
- In the absence of specific governmental provisions on evictions, a court granted precautionary measures in favour of vulnerable people.
Aura is an elderly woman with health problems for which her treating doctors told her that she could not receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Having lost her source of income as a result of the pandemic, she fell into arrears and was unable to pay the rent for the house in which she lives with her daughter and a minor grandchild. Faced with the civil lawsuit that her landlords started to evict her, she filed an amparo lawsuit against various Mexico City authorities for failing to take measures to address the evictions caused by the pandemic. In the lawsuit, she also asked the court to preventively provide the landlords with a rental housing subsidy to prevent the situation from affecting them while Aura finds alternatives for shelter. As a precautionary measure, a federal court ordered that she be given government assistance to avoid affecting her rights to housing and health. Referring to the minor, she requested that the best interests of the child be safeguarded by creating the material conditions that will allow her to live fully.
The complaint was filed on 3 May this year and admitted on 23 August. The suspension demands that the complainant be integrated into social support programmes for vulnerable populations and that she be given assistance to safeguard her right to housing and health.
El caso es acompañado por la Oficina en América Latina de la Coalición Internacional para el Hábitat en conjunto con la abogada Kalycho Escoffié Duarte, quienes recordaron que desde el inicio de la contingencia sanitaria en 2020 el Relator Especial del derecho a la vivienda la ONU exhortó a los países a establecer moratorias de desalojos para salvaguardar el derecho a la vivienda de las personas que arriendan o tienen una hipoteca además de su derecho a la salud.
The case is accompanied by the Latin America Office of Habitat International Coalition together with lawyer Kalycho Escoffié Duarte, who recalled that since the beginning of the health contingency in 2020, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing urged countries to establish moratoriums on evictions to safeguard the right to housing of people who rent or have a mortgage in addition to their right to health.
Dozens of countries have adopted measures of this nature, which, according to various research carried out by different universities, have been shown to have an impact on the rate of contagion and mortality. However, to date, the capital’s authorities have not adopted any measures to prevent evicted people from being exposed to the streets and the risk of contagion.
The lawsuit is being heard before the Tenth District Court on Administrative Matters in Mexico City.