Zero Evictions Days 2020
The US Human Rights Cities Alliance joins Pittsburgh and other cities join the International Alliance of Inhabitants’ Zero Evictions Days (October 2020)-International solidarity to achieve dignity and security in housing.
Housing is Health Care! Why Housing Must Be Treated as a Human Right
PUSHing The Human Right to Housing
Housing is increasingly unaffordable for people around the world and housing insecurity is rising. Together with the CMU Film Festival and other partners, we helped publicize the documentary film, Push, which tells the story of how global banks and investment firms control residential housing around the world and push out low-income residents, turning our communities into sources of private profit. But the film tells another story too: residents are coming together to demand that housing be protected as a human right.
- Watch the film: Push is now available online for people with access to the University of Pittsburgh library. We're working to help make the film accessible to more people, so watch for information!
- View webinars with Leilani Farha, the focus of the film:
- Webinar Part 1: Building a Global Movement to Protect the Right to Housing --Dialogue featuring Leilani Farha—former UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Adequate Housing, joined by housing and human rights leaders from Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and New York view recording here. Panelists include: Carl Redwood Hill District Consensus Group. (Pittsburgh); Dr. Yolande Tomlinson Organization for Human Rights and Democracy & US Human Rights Cities Alliance(Atlanta); Rob Robinson (Facilitator), organizer with the US Human Rights Cities Alliance, International Alliance of Inhabitants, and Partners for Dignity and Rights.
- Webinar Part 2: Movement building for the Human Right to Housing (Nov. 5, 2020) Local organizers from Philadelphia, Atlanta and Pittsburgh joined former UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Housing, Leilani Farha, to discuss ideas for building a powerful cross-city movement for the human right to housing and an end to evictions. View recording. Panelists: Randall Taylor, Penn Plaza Support and Action Coalition & Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance Steering Committee member; Sanae Lahgazi-Alaoui, Housing Justice League (Atlanta); Regina Young, Democratic Candidate for PA State Representative (Philadelphia); Carl Redwood, Hill District Consensus Group (Pittsburgh)
This event is part of our webinar series, Learning from COVID-19: Shaping a Health and Human Rights Agenda for our Region
Co-sponsoring groups: Carnegie Mellon University Film festival; University of Pittsburgh Global Studies Center; US Human Rights Cities Alliance, Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance; University Human Rights Working Group and Student Task Force; University of Pittsburgh Sociology Department, University of Pittsburgh Center for Bioethics and Health Law
Background on Housing and Financialization
- “Who Owns Our Cities and Why This Urban Takeover Should Concern Us All” Saskia Sassen, The Guardian Nov. 24, 2015
- "Why We Must Halt the Land Cycle" -- -6 min. video on the drivers of rising home prices and what can be done about it. Martin Wolfe, chief economics commentator at Financial Times.
- "Communities Over Commodities:People-Driven Alternatives to an Unjust Housing System" Homes for All, 2018.
- Billions of $ subsidies to homeowners dwarf other public assistance New York Times (2011). Public policies that incentivize homeownership have cost taxpayers far more than most people realize--around $100 billion annually. This money could go a long way to support greater housing justice in this country. Not only are these policies unfair to the majority of taxpayers who are renters, but they have also contributed most to the profits of banks and financial institutions, which have engaged in practices that have destabilized economies and contributed to the 2008 financial crisis, among others.
- #Maketheshift The Shift provides resources and tools for using human rights laws and guidelines to advance the right to housing in your community.
- PUSHBACK Talks weekly podcasts can be found wherever you download podcasts
- Guidelines for the Implementation of the Right to Housing-This report contains Guidelines for the Implementation of the Right to Adequate Housing, focusing on the key requirements of effective rights-based responses to emerging challenges to the right to housing.
- International Call: Zero Evictions for Coronavirus (March 13, 2020): The International Alliance of Inhabitants has been coordinating global pressure on governments and international agencies like the United Nations to ensure that policies are in place to enable people to quarantine safely in their homes during the coronavirus pandemic. They’ve been pushing for a global moratorium on evictions and raising awareness of how this crisis illustrates the importance of the human right to housing for everyone’s safety and well-being.
- Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Adequate Housing
- Letter to US government on violations of right to housing in the commodification and financialization of housing (March 2019)-This letter points out specific acts and omissions of the US government in fulfilling its obligations to protect the human right to housing and calls for specific actions to end racial discrimination in housing, improve funding for affordable housing, and enforce regulations on businesses to hold them accountable to human rights laws and expectations.
- COVID-19 and Government Obligations Regarding the Human Right to Housing-UN Guidance and Background
- Protecting the right to housing in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak Housing is a RIGHT, not a commodity
- Guidance Note: Prohibition of evictions in Pandemic (April 28, 2020)
- Report to the General Assembly: Covid-19 and the right to adequate housing (July 27, 2020)
- COVID-19 Guidance Note: Protecting housing from financialization and building back a better future UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Adequate Housing (April 28, 2020)
- Ban evictions during COVID-19 pandemic, UN expert urges (August 2020)
- RIGHT TO HOME: A MUNICIPAL CALL TO ACTION-Canadian municipal officials put out this call to action in September 2020 to draw attention and focus resources on the need to keep people in their homes in this pandemic. The initiative reflects efforts to build cross-city cooperation to center human rights in city planning and policy and shift policy dialogue away from market frameworks to recognize and act on the legal rights people have to basic needs like housing.
Local Housing Justice Work
- Black Homes Matter Pittsburgh Fair Development Action Group, 2016
- Pittsburgh’s Hill District: A Short History
- Pittsburgh's CreateLab visualizing trends in Pittsburgh. Maps and other data sources can help us see how financialization and discriminatory policies have impacted various trends in our city. These stories were compiled through partnerships with local organizations, including the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations, the Hill Consensus Group, and the UrbanKind Institute.