Art & the Right to Housing

Illustrating the seven dimensions of the international human right to housing in powerful and concrete ways, connected to community experiences across the United States.

What is the right to housing?

The most comprehensive statement of the right to housing is found in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), Article 11. It describes:

“the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions.”

Learn More


We hope these pieces will be helpful in advocacy to address homelessness and advance the right to housing.

Please feel free to download and use the artwork.

1. Legal Security of Tenure

Guaranteeing legal protection against forced eviction, harassment, and other threats.

2. Accessibility

Prioritizing disadvantaged groups and ensuring they have full and sustainable access to adequate housing.

3. Affordability

Keeping the financial costs of housing to a level where the satisfaction of other basic needs is not threatened or compromised.

Diminishing Housing Affordability by Hannah Smaglis

The canvas is divided into sections, each representing the various living expenses individuals need to spread their income between every month. As housing costs increase, it becomes more and more difficult for individuals to afford the other resources that are required for their survival.

• Diminishing Housing Affordability by Hannah Smaglis

Download & Share

4. Location

Locating adequate housing to allow access to food sources, health care services, employment options, schools, childcare centers, and other social facilities.

The Centrality of Housing Location by Hannah Smaglis

This piece focuses on the importance of locating housing in an area that provides residents with access to fresh food, health care, and public transportation. As more housing is torn down to erect highways, individuals who rely on public transportation are deprived of access to the essential resources to survive and thrive.

The Centrality of Housing Location by Hannah Smaglis.

Download & Share

5. Availability of Services

Facilitating services essential for health, security, comfort, and nutrition.

6. Habitability

Providing inhabitants with adequate space and protecting them from cold, damp, heat, rain, wind, or other threats to health and structural hazards.

7. Cultural Adequacy

Housing construction, building materials, and policies that enable the expression of cultural identity and diversity of housing.

Climate Gentrification by Hannah Smaglis

This piece highlights the climate gentrification crisis within Miami. As floods and other severe weather persist from climate change, many developers are seeking to move their real estate from the shorelines further inland. This push inland threatens to displace many communities across Miami, eroding housing accessibility, cultural adequacy, and security of tenure. This piece symbolizes the strength communities bringin coming together to address this problem.

Climate Gentrification by Hannah Smaglis

Download & Share