U.N. gets special investigator to examine NYC housing

October 26, 2009 03:29PM

New York City housing is being questioned as a possible “human rights violation,” as affordable housing becomes increasingly difficult to come by, said Raquel Rolnik, who has been appointed a special rapporteur for a United Nations Human Rights Council study on the issue. Accessible housing is a crucial human rights issue, according to Rolnik, who is meeting with local housing activists to discuss crucial city issues such as the Atlantic Yards development and the New York City Housing Authority’s Grant Houses in Harlem. “Affordable housing here is not that affordable,” Rolnik said. “I am representing the right of adequate housing as a human right.” In addition to her study of New York City housing, Rolnik will conduct housing surveys in Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., a South Dakota Indian reservation and Wilkes-Barre, Penn. “Adequate housing is a human right,” Rolnik told the Indypendent, a local independent paper that relies largely on volunteerism and donations. “Second, today, now, it’s time to go forward, to implement that. I think that few countries in the world have the conditions to do that. And U.S. is one of them.” [NYT] and [Indypendent]