The Right to Adequate Housing Toolkit


Elements of the right to adequate housing

  • Legal security of tenure: Regardless of the type of
    tenure, all persons should possess a degree of security of tenure which
    guarantees legal protection against forced eviction, harassment and
    other threats;

  • Affordability: Personal or household financial
    costs associated with housing should not threaten or compromise the
    attainment and satisfaction of other basic needs (for example, food,
    education, access to health care);

  • Habitability: Adequate housing should provide for
    elements such as adequate space, protection from cold, damp, heat, rain,
    wind or other threats to health, structural hazards, and disease

  • Availability of services, materials, facilities and infrastructure:
    Housing is not adequate if its occupants do not have safe drinking
    water, adequate sanitation, energy for cooking, heating and lighting,
    sanitation and washing facilities, means of food storage, refuse
    disposal, etc.;

  • Accessibility: Housing is not adequate if the
    specific needs of disadvantaged and marginalized groups are not taken
    into account (such as the poor, people facing discrimination; persons
    with disabilities, victims of natural disasters);

  • Location: Adequate housing must allow access to
    employment options, health-care services, schools, child-care centres
    and other social facilities and should not be built on polluted sites
    nor in immediate proximity to pollution sources;

  • Cultural adequacy: Adequate housing should respect and take into account the expression of cultural identity and ways of life.

  • Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment n°4
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Indicators of the right to adequate housing

Here are illustrative examples of indicators to implement and measure elements of the right to adequate housing based on the Human Rights Indicators framework developed by OHCHR:

Mechanisms dealing with housing rights:

Special Procedures


Treaty Bodies




Finding recommendations of human rights mechanisms to States on the
right to adequate housing, forced evictions and other issues: Universal Human Rights Index

Learn more on the right to adequate housing of specific groups 

Including Women, Indigenous peoples, Migrants,…

Learn more on important issues relating to the right to
adequate housing

Including Forced eviction, Displacement, Homelessness, Poverty, …

Publications related to the Right to Housing