housing as a human right

The Rochester Housing Coalition believes that Housing is a human right

Our mission: To increase affordable quality housing and promote accountability for Housing Providers and Residents.

We agree with the premises established in the United Nations’ Universal Declarations of Human Rights, articles 17 and 25.

Article 25

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

We believe that every citizen is entitled to the provision of safe and affordable housing in the event that they cannot provide it for themselves. We believe it is the obligation of governments, and Housing Providers, to ensure the housing stock is of adequate condition for the health and well being of the resident. We believe it is the responsibility of the state to provide adequate subsidy to both resident and Housing Provider in order to ensure the adequate supply of housing at a rate which is affordable for members of the community. We believe that housing choice vouchers and grants contingent on affordability are essential tools that the government should employ to meet this end. In the event the resident is unable to function on their own in the private market, a system of permanent supportive housing and shelters should be made available to those citizens who suffer from mental health issues, drug issues, etc. who require additional social services in order to survive.

Article 17

Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

We believe that we can obtain the protections outlined in article 25 without infringing upon the rights of citizens to own and operate property. We believe that Housing Providers have a right to own and manage their properties in a manner that they see fit, whether to live in themselves or rent out to the community. We believe that adequate health and well being standards should be established and enforced for housing, but the Housing Provider should be able to decide whether or not they wish to keep the property empty or occupied, or if they would like to renovate the property to increase rents or value. We believe that a system of grants contingent on affordability, permanent supportive housing systems, and adequate health and well being measures, ensures that Housing is both available, and affordable, to the citizens without infringing on the rights of other citizens to own and operate their own property.