United States

Special Rapporteur Raquel Rolnik conducted a mission to the United States from October 22 to November 8, 2009 and held meetings with several government representatives and civil society organizations. She visited the cities of Washington DC, New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Pacoima and the indigenous reservation of Pine Ridge in South Dakota.

The Rapporteur noted that millions of North Americans spent a significant portion of their salaries to pay rent and mortgages, faced forced evictions, and lived in inadequate housing conditions – a scenario negatively impacted by the financial crisis of 2008.

She emphasized that the United States has an old and established commitment to decent, safe and proper housing, which began with the National Housing Act of 1934 but which has diminished in the last few decades. Reductions in public housing led to a decrease in the quality and number of housing units available to the poor. According to the Rapporteur, efforts to reform public housing have actually resulted in worse housing conditions for the poor.

The Rapporteur acknowledged that the new federal administration was prepared to face the housing crisis and suggested the adoption of participatory decision-making processes. The Rapporteur thanked the government of the United States for the invitation and celebrated its openness and support.

Click here to read the non-offical blog about the mission made by the civil society.

To read the report in the official UN languages, click here (choose the language in the ‘Documents’ columns).

To read the report in English, click below.

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