Today, UN Special Rapporteur on to Adequate Housing Leilani Farha held a press conference in Copenhagen to speak about letters that she and Surya Deva, Chair-Rapporteur of the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises jointly released to governments and corporations around the world, including the United States and Blackstone Group L.P. (See links below)
At the press conference, Ms. Farha addressed the financialization of housing, including the policies and laws that treat housing only as a commodity. She explained that she and Ms. Deva have expressed her firm conviction such policies and laws do not correspond with international human rights obligations. In a letter to the government of the United States of America, Ms. Farha asserted that housing investment in that country is “contrary to international human rights obligations” and “has disconnected housing from its core social purpose of providing people with a place to live in with security and dignity.” Other governments receiving similar letters included the Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Ireland and Sweden.
HLRN is sharing here the exchange of letters between the UN experts and the Blackstone Group L.P here to inform HIC Members and the general public of the state of debate on the financialization of housing in the world. All readers are encouraged to use these documents in their policy analysis, advocacy and outreach to make the “shift” from a mainly market-based and corporate-driven approach to adequate housing with the purpose of ensuring more-affordable adequate housing options, especially for those most impoverished, vulnerable and in need of adequate housing.
Download the letters below:
UN human rights experts’ letter to Blackstone Group L.P.
Blackstone L.P. response to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Graphic: Adaptation of three-headed Blackstone L.P. logo with the human rights flame. Source: HLRN.