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UK violates human rights on housing, say charities

Words: Huw Morris

The UK is in breach of its international human rights duties by failing to provide people with adequate homes in the face of a worsening housing crisis, insist top charities.

In a submission being presented to the UN Committee on Economic Cultural and Social Rights this week, the charities say a fall in social housing and an increase in inadequate, unaffordable private rental accommodation is driving more and more families into homelessness.

The statement says the fact that the number of people forced to sleep rough has risen by 55 per cent since 2010 - with 280,000 households at risk of homelessness - is a breach of the UK’s obligations to ensure its population the right to housing, so that everyone can enjoy living in homes that are adequate, safe, and secure.

The group also cites the growing pressure pushing families away from social housing into the private rental sector, where properties are increasingly unaffordable and insecure.

The submission was produced by the group Just Fair, whose members include Amnesty International, Crisis, Oxfam, Save the Children and UNICEF UK.