INDEPENDENT NEWS

UN expert urges G20 to tackle global housing crisis

Published: Fri 30 Nov 2018 10:50 AM
UN expert urges G20 to tackle global housing crisis
· “Collective amnesia” as to what started 2008 financial crisis
· Households are being evicted and priced-out of neighbourhoods
· G20 summit starts in Buenos Aires on 30 November
GENEVA (29 November 2018) – A UN expert has urged leaders of the world’s major economies meeting for the annual G20 summit to tackle the unresolved global housing crisis that is depriving millions of a basic human right.
“It seems that governments across the world are experiencing a collective amnesia as to what sparked the 2008 global financial crisis. In 10 years, the G20 leaders have yet to address the housing crisis that was at the heart of the financial crisis and that has only worsened since,” said Leilani Farha, Special Rapporteur on adequate housing.
“One can hardly consider the world economy to be stable when millions of people in most G20 countries and elsewhere struggle to find and maintain an adequate and affordable place to live, and one quarter of the world’s urban population lives in informal settlements.”
She said economic instability was caused by a new global order which treated housing as a commodity and a financial instrument to park, grow and leverage capital.
“The G20 leaders must ensure that financial actors and their governments are prevented from selling-off the human right to housing to the highest bidder.”
The independent expert said rather than creating homes, housing is being built at the luxury end to satisfy investors – who of course have no intention of living there. Residential real estate was now the world’s largest business valued at an estimated US$163 trillion – more than twice the value of the world’s total GDP.
“Governments have actively encouraged – through tax structures, laws, policies and a lack of regulations – private financial actors to purchase large swathes of housing in ‘under-valued’ areas and to buy up foreclosed mortgages, affordable housing and even social housing stock. As a consequence, low-income and increasingly middle-income households are being evicted and priced-out of neighbourhoods,” Farha said.
The expert said apartments, flats and houses were not commodities like gold and oil. “Housing is a human right which should be accessible to all,” she said. “Until it is understood as such, fair and sustainable development is unachievable. It is high time that world leaders acknowledge the financial crisis was a housing crisis, made worse over the past 10 years by the blind acceptance of the new economic order.”
ENDS

Next in World

Chilling The Warm Fuzzies About The US/China Trade Deal
By: Gordon Campbell
On the Iran aftermath
By: Gordon Campbell
Gordon Campbell on the recent upheavals inside Iran
By: Gordon Campbell
World screams out for action but climate summit whispers
By: Oxfam
Decade ending 2019 likely to be hottest on record
By: UN News
“Iran Must Begin Acting Like A Normal Nation,” Says Trump
By: Caitlin Johnstone
So The US Is Invading Iraq Again
By: Caitlin Johnstone
Full-Scale War Avoided, Trump Right Back To Warmongering
By: Caitlin Johnstone
“We Do Not Seek War,” Says President Who Just Started A War
By: Caitlin Johnstone
US Assassination Of Iranian Military Official May Ignite War
By: Caitlin Johnstone
US Empire’s Passion For Iraqi Democracy Magically Disappears
By: Caitlin Johnstone
Soleimani’s Successor Is Failing
By: Eric Zuesse
How Iran Can Checkmate Trump
By: Eric Zuesse
The USA’s System of Checks, Balances and Reality Crumbles
By: John Stanton
World Leaders Call on US To Resume Diplomacy With Iran
By: Julia Conley
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media