The Right to Adequate Housing - Special Report
The right to adequate housing is one of the fundamental values of the socio-economic rights. The homeless belong to one of the most vulnerable groups and require effective and adequate support from the State to live descent lives. In spite of the fact that the right to housing is enshrined in legislation both on international and national levels, it is violated on regular basis.
Every year Georgia’s Public Defender’s Office receives numerous complaints related to lack of adequate housing or shelter. The review of such applications has revealed a series of legal and practical problems which are in the focus of the present report. Practice has shown that violations of housing related human rights are rather related to systemic problems than having an individual or casual character. There are no unified database of the homeless both on regional and central levels to keep a track on exact statistical data related to the violations of housing rights. Nor are there effective mechanisms to ensure legal guarantees for the homeless on the legislative level. Isolated provisions included in various laws are hardly ever realized in practice. With the existing legislation, who belong to one of the most vulnerable groups have no access to those minimal social benefits designated for the country’s poor. Lack of targeted financial assistance allocated in both central and municipal budgets for the local homeless is yet another problem adding to a handful of problems related to housing.