Buried in Attachment A for Item 5 of the Dunedin City Council Meeting Agenda from 6 May 2019 is:

Action 1.4: The Council becomes a member of the ‘Cities for Adequate Housing’ and implements housing as a human right and ends homelessness in Dunedin.

Housing Action Plan for Dunedin, April 2019

The Cities for Adequate Housing calls for the following five actions that would cause even the most liberal of property developers to raise an eyebrow:

  1. More powers to better regulate the real estate market
  2. More funds to improve our public housing stock
  3. More tools to co-produce public-private community-driven alternative housing
  4. An urban planning that combines adequate housing with quality, inclusive and sustainable neighbourhoods
  5. A municipalist cooperation in residential strategies

The concept of a right to housing is from Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is somewhat clumsily bundled in with “the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family”.

This also aligns with Sustainable Development Goal 11 – make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

It will be a challenge bringing “housing as a human right” into District Plans. It’s the classic consequentialist (effects-based) vs deontological (activity-based) planning debate.