20 Dec 2022 by lbigmr

Social Rights: Covid-19 Crisis and the Right to Housing

In a policy brief published by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights, the authors address an important topic during the Covid-19 crisis: the right to housing.

In the course of the Covid-19 crisis, the right to housing became more and more the focus of public debate. Karin Lukas and Vincent Perle also deal with this topic in their November 2022 policy brief “Social Rights in the Pandemic: Covid-19 Crisis and the Right to Housing.”

On the legal basis of the (revised) European Social Charter (RESC), the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights (LBI-GMR), in cooperation with the Austrian Chamber of Labour, examines the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on social human rights in Europe.

With regard to the right to housing, the authors note, among other things, the following points:

  • The aggravation of already precarious housing conditions by the Covid-19 pandemic leads to a disproportionate health risk.
  • While there was no increase in homelessness during the crisis, in some countries there was even a temporary decrease.
  • In many countries, forced evictions were banned or restricted.
  • Cutting off energy and water supplies was also prohibited, or energy costs were subsidized for low-income households.
  • Rental contracts were made more favourable for tenants in some cases, and rent increases were prohibited for a time in some countries.
  • Access to housing subsidies was made easier, subsidies were increased in some cases, and access to social housing was also simplified.

In general, the authors note that during the Covid-19 crisis, the issue of the right to housing was increasingly addressed politically. However, many measures were implemented only for a limited time. They call for long-term policy measures to counteract further deterioration of the housing situation, due to the energy and inflation crises.

Please find attached the German version of the policy brief on “Social Rights in the Pandemic: Covid-19 Crisis and the Right to Housing.”

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