The right to adequate housing has been widely recognized and accepted as a pat of the right to life by international community as well as in India. Despite having ensconced the right to housing as a part of the larger right to human dignity, right to equality, social and economic rights, the basic provisions, which form the spirit of right to housing are blatantly violated all across the country. The objective of the initiative is to monitor and stop illegal/ forced evictions and network with other organizations to evolve a joint action campaign ensuring ‘right to Housing’ is at forefront.
What We Do?
In a national workshop organized by HRLN in Mumbai in 2000 a National Forum for Housing Rights was set up consisting of activist, lawyers and housing rights organizations from different parts of the country. We work on issue of forced eviction through campaigns, protests and solidarity marches. We help in developing local capacity by trainings and workshops. Our main work is to provide free legal assistance to homeless, and slum dwellers.
The team reviews legal and administrative provisions for the urban poor. We study provisions of master plan for housing of urban poor and suggest pro-poor changes. We do networking at large scale for dissemination of data , developing strategies of intervention and also build a greater public support for the campaign.
The initiative is involved in campaigning and advocacy with policy makers, bureaucrats and progressive town planners to implement prop- poor policies and adequate housing and land supply. We monitor forced evictions and create extensive documentation which stir public outcry in national as well as international circles. After conducting inquiry into large scale forced eviction in seven states the first report of NFHR (National Forum for Housing Rights) was published in collaboration with HRLN in 2003.
Issues Of Concern
- Forced Evictions
- Violations of pro poor housing provisions within the Master Plan
- Legal, administrative and policy barriers to the right to adequate housing
- Impact of globalization on the housing situation of the urban poor.
There have been increasing demolitions and evictions in short or no notices and mostly without providing an alternative accommodation. HRLN unit Gujarat has been successful in housing rights litigation and has obtained a series of orders from Gujarat High Court requiring slum dwellers to be resettled and rehabilitated. In the case of Relief Road Housing Society Association Vs. State of Maharashtra and Ors a remarkable judgement was passed by the Bombay High Court which ordered for a high power committee to formulate a policy for the rehabilitation of slum dwellers.
In name of development it is often the poor and marginalised who are paying the price. A petition filed in the Bombay High Court by HRLN on behalf of NAPM seeks rehabilitation of slum dwellers irrespective of any cut of dates set by the government it also challenges Maharashtra Slums Areas Act . (NAPM vs State of Maharashtra & Ors. )
Our team of lawyers have been successful in getting stay on demolition in Gujarat in a number of cases. This directly affects the three lakh urban poor who reside in the slum in the city of Ahemdabad. In the case of Jan Sangarsh Manch vs State of Gujarat & Ors we have been successful in getting protection for the slum dwellers. Similarly a petition before the Gujarat High Court prays for rehabilitation for a series of cases. After HRLN’s intervention High Court granted stay on demolition tll the time rehabilitation sites are not made available. (Jan Snagarsh Manch vs State of Gujarat & Ors )