Special Rapporteur Miloon Kothari conducted a mission to Australia July 31 to August 15, 2006, invited by the country’s government.

Despite noting good practices developed by the government to solve some of the problems related to the implementation of the right to adequate housing, the Rapporteur expressed his concern regarding some specific groups.

The Special Rapporteur concluded that there was a serious national housing crisis in the country, despite Australia being one of the richest developed countries and having a comparatively small population.

The housing crisis affected several sectors of the population and, despite affecting the most vulnerable more critically, it also affected medium income earners. The Rapporteur noted that Australia did not have a clear, consistent and long-term housing strategy.

Several sources showed reduction in public housing, increasing rental fees and stagnation in the number of homeless.

The Special Rapporteur recommended the implementation of laws that explicitly incorporate the protection of human rights and of the right to adequate housing, and encouraged the government to turn housing into a national priority, by means of a coordinated policy focused especially on the most vulnerable members of Australian society.

He also recommended the creation of a federal ministry dedicated to housing and a body that could effectively represent the interests of the Aboriginal population.

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