Housing (Right to adequate)

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Caselaw

 The case concerned a resolution adopted by the Dobšiná municipal council, under pressure from right‑wing anti‑Roma groups, to cancel a previous resolution in which the council had approved a plan to construct low‑cost social housing for Roma inhabitants living in very poor conditions. The petitioners contended, amongst other things, that the State party had failed to safeguard their right to adequate housing, thereby violating Article 5(e)(iii) of the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).  

Five joined communications alleged the existence of slavery and analogous practices in Mauritania and of institutionalized racial discrimination perpetrated by the ruling Moor community against the more populous black community. It was alleged, amongst other things, that black Mauritanians were enslaved, routinely evicted or displaced from their lands, which were then confiscated by the government along with their livestock.  It also was alleged that black Mauritanians were denied access to employment and were subjected to tedious and unremunerated work.

This collective complaint, made by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), alleged that Roma in Greece were denied an effective right to housing.

The Committee held that the implementation of Article 16 with regard to nomadic groups, including itinerant Roma, implies that adequate stopping places should be provided. The Committee stated that, in this respect, Article 16 contains similar obligations to Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights. 

In 1981, the State of Maharashta and the Bombay Municipal Council decided to evict all pavement and slum dwellers from the city of Bombay. The residents claimed such action would violate the right to life, since a home in the city allowed them to attain a livelihood and demanded that adequate resettlement be provided if the evictions proceeded. The Court declined to provide the remedies requested by the applicants but found that the right to a hearing had been violated at the time of the planned eviction.

The South African government decided to establish a transit camp on the grounds of the Leeuwkop Prison (state-owned land) for Alexandra Township flood victims. It was intended that the occupants would then move to permanent housing when it became available. The plan was apparently made without consultation with the residents in the area and a residents' association, Kyalami Ridge Environmental Association (KREA), requested that the relevant minister suspend operations.

A large number of residents of basties (informal settlements) of Dhaka City were evicted without notice and their homes were demolished with bulldozers. A case, challenging the ongoing evictions, was brought by two residents and three citizens in the public interest. The Supreme Court held that inhabitants had some rights to shelter and a fair hearing and made recommendations for resettlement.

The Bhe judgment concerned three related cases (Bhe, SAHRC and Shibi), which were decided together. In the first action, the father of applicants, Nonkuleleko and Anelisa Bhe (aged 9 and 2), had died, and the mother (the third applicant) brought an action to secure the deceased's property for her daughters. Under the African customary law rule of primogeniture as well as section 23 of the Black Administration Act, the house became the property of the eldest male relative of the father, in this case the grandfather.

Callahan was a class-action suit on behalf of homeless men in the Bowery area of Manhattan seeking a temporary mandatory injunction requiring the City of New York to provide shelter to homeless men.