The global movement to secure the human right to housing

THE SHIFT recognizes housing as a human right, not a commodity or an extractive industry. The Shift restores the understanding of housing as home, challenging the ways financial actors undermine the right to housing. Using a human rights framework, The Shift provokes action to end homelessness, unaffordability, and evictions globally.

The Shift - Right to Housing

What we believe

Housing is not a commodity, it’s a human right

Housing is a vehicle for equality, dignity, and inclusive community

States are accountable for the implementation of the right to housing and have a legal obligation to regulate financial actors who undermine this right.

Forced evictions are a gross violation of human rights

Homelessness is not the result of individual failure, but is the failure of governments to implement the right to housing effectively

An unregulated private market cannot be relied upon to ensure adequate housing for vulnerable groups

The Shift is a global convening. The Shift connects and mobilizes anyone working to secure the right to housing. From Berlin to Seoul, Montevideo to Montreal, The Shift includes cities big and small from every continent. It brings together governments, legislators, human rights institutes, urban planners, architects, scholars, grassroots groups, artists, philanthropists, lawyers, students, and NGOs. The Shift is led by Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, in partnership with United Cities Local Government and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Shift team includes lawyers, campaigners, filmmakers, community advocates, journalists, and researchers.

What we do

Generate and amplify a global conversation on the right to housing.

Expose, through research and publications, how the over commodification of housing erodes the right to housing.

Support governments to implement human rights-based housing strategies and end homelessness.

Encourage States to regulate the impact of the private market on housing in line with human rights obligations.

Support local and regional Shift initiatives, events, and campaigns.

“In almost every single country, in every region, in cities and towns across the globe, we are experiencing a human rights crisis – the housing crisis. And something needs to change. It’s time to reclaim the #Right2Housing. It’s time to Make the Shift.”


Get active

If you want to help make the shift, you can follow us on social media, and use the hashtag #maketheshift when promoting your right to housing events and statements.

The Shift - Right to Housing

Keep us close through all of our channels

© 2020 THE SHIFT |