Housing Rights in Practice: Lessons learned from Leith

Cover_Housing Rights In Practice

This report by the Scottish Human Rights Commission (the Commission) provides an account of a 4 year project of working with a group of people who were living in poor housing conditions in Leith, north Edinburgh. People were experiencing problems with damp, mould, ineffective or broken heating, pigeon, rodent and insect infestations, and maintenance issues.

Using a model first developed by the Participation and the Practice of Rights project (PPR) from Northern Ireland, the Commission aimed to support residents to secure improvements in their housing by advocating for their right to an adequate standard of housing. The Commission also aimed to see the local authority adopt a human rights based approach more widely as a result of engagement with the project. The right to housing is set out in international law. It contains a range of standards which governments and public authorities need to meet. These standards relate to issues such as habitability and the availability of services.