Questionnaire for National Human Rights Institutions, UN Agencies, Local Governments, and Civil Society Organisations

The Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Mr. Balakrishnan Rajagopal, invites National Human Rights Institutions, civil society organisations, networks, UN agencies and inter-governmental entities, local governments, and others with relevant information to share contributions and inputs for his first report to the UN General Assembly.

The report of the Special Rapporteur will focus on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the right to housing. It will reflect on the importance of housing adequacy to ensure protection against COVID-19 and on the transformation of the home during the pandemic into a medical shelter, work-place, child care centre, sport centre or nursery for the aged.

It will analyse measures taken to prevent and stop evictions of tenants and homeowners during and in the aftermath of the crisis and to protect various groups at risk of marginalization, including persons living in situation of homelessness and in informal settlements. The report will also reflect on safety of children, women, older persons and persons with disabilities at their respective place of living. Mr. Rajagopal will analyse to what extent emergency measures implemented may have had (unintended) discriminatory outcomes and map out emerging good practices to counter them by local and national governments.

Finally the report will analyse medium and long term interventions that are required to protect during and after the crisis the right to adequate housing for all, to realise SDG 11, to end homelessness and to address widespread lack of security of tenure, housing unaffordability and housing inadequacy.

In this context, the Special Rapporteur would like to receive contributions and views from national human rights institutions, non-governmental organisations and networks, UN agencies, academic institutions, local governments, or other relevant stakeholders. Answers to any of the following questions which are relevant to the mandate or work of your organization/institution would greatly assist the Special Rapporteur in developing his thematic report and fashioning follow-up strategies to address and ultimately eliminate homelessness. Please feel free to limit responses to particular areas or priorities and to provide other information that you consider important.

The report of the Special Rapporteur will be presented to the General Assembly in October 2020, and will be available in all official UN languages. Due to limited capacity for translation, we kindly request that you submit your answers, if possible, in English (preferred), Spanish or French.

Please submit responses preferably by 19 June 2020 to:

Please submit in word format to facilitate accessibility of information to  persons with visual impairements.

You are encouraged to keep submissions short, preferably with short responses with hyperlinks to existing documents, reports or regulations that may be relevant.

If confidentially is not explicityl requested submissions received will by published on the website of the Special Rapporteur as received



Name of the organization submitting:


Impacts of COVID-19 on groups at risk of marginalization

  1. In your country or local context, which social groups are most at risk of marginalization due to the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the right to housing?
  2. What measures (if any) have been taken to protect persons in informal settlements, in refugee or IDP camps, or in the situation of overcrowding from COVID-19?
  3. What measures have been taken by the national or local government to protect persons living in institutions such as prisons, shelters for homeless, women or children,  persons with disabilities, older persons, or collective accommodation for refugees, asylum seekers or migrant workers, including staff working in these institutions from the COVID-19?
  4. What social support has been made available to persons who live in informal settlements or who have relied on informal work as income for their survival, food, and housing? (for example persons informally working as domestic workers, persons informally employed in the care of children or older persons, in restaurants, on construction sites, or in other sectors of the informal economy including migrant labour)

Impacts and interventions to protect the right to adequate housing

  1. Have there been evictions of individuals or communities during the pandemic? If so, please provide details (number affected persons, date, location and background information).
  2. Have there been any cut-offs of utility (heat, water etc.) for any community or individuals during the pandemic? If so, please provide details (date, number, location etc.)
  3. Has a prohibition of evictions and/or utility cut-offs been declared? If yes, please provide more details, to whom it applies, and if possible the official regulation governing it (URL).
  4. Can you provide details about any measures taken by your national or local government to assist tenants or mortgage payers, to pay their rent or mortgage during and after the pandemic? If possible, please provide also the text of the regulations governing these measures (URL).
  5. In April 2020, the previous Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Leilani Farha, published five guidance notes on COVID-19, which can be accessed on the official webpage of the Special Rapporteur. Can you provide any comments if they have been useful for your work or advocacy? Would you have any additional recommendations to protect the right to adequate housing during the pandemic and in its aftermath?


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