|Organization: Office Of The United Nations High Commissioner For Human Rights (OHCHR)|
|Special Rapporteur On The Right To Adequate Housing|
|United Cities And Local Governments (UCLG)|
Despite the extreme importance of housing in all countries and in a context of rapid urbanization, despite a worldwide increase in homelessness, forced evictions, speculation over housing and land, and gentrification, very little attention is given to the human right to adequate housing, its meaning and the solutions it offers. The causes obstructing access to adequate housing for all are known. Yet business continues as usual. The New Urban Agenda will hold its promise of a “paradigm shift” only if it creates the preconditions for achieving truly inclusive and sustainable cities. In this context, mindsets need to be “shifted”: housing is not a commodity but a human right; homelessness is not the product of individual behaviour; private markets will not house those who cannot afford it; forced evictions are not by-products of development; lack of resources is not an excuse for inaction, land has a social function. This side event intends to set the Habitat III Conference in Quito as a milestone for uniting the voices of any stakeholders – national and local authorities, civil society organizations, international organizations, businesses and communities alike - that strive for making cities places to live in peace, security and dignity.