Sofa surfing made me realise housing should be a basic human right | Penny Anderson


Evicting a tenant should be a difficult, restricted process with in-built delays for mediation and strict rules on actual evictions, such as a winter break. If housing is to be a basic, incontrovertible human right, evictions must become the very last resort. Governments must provide a roof over everybody’s head – we should have no more time for excuses.

While the premise is sincere, the reality is far more complex. To claim that housing is a human right is to put a rather large burden on society. Everybody needs a home where they can be safe from weather and other people. What should be expected of the people who require social housing, though? And what should be done if those expectations go unfulfilled?

I don’t mean to sound cruel or heartless. I’ve been close to homelessness once before as well. I’ve also volunteered for two years at a homeless shelter. Not everyone can be given a home and a bit of money forever. This is an incomplete and irresponsible solution.