UN to look at U.S. housing conditions

United Nations symbol at UN headquarters


Bill Radke: A special envoy from the UN Commission on Human Rights is touring the United States this week and next to review housing conditions here. This is the first time a UN fact-finding mission has come to this country. From Washington, John Dimsdale tells us what the UN is looking for.

John Dimsdale: As the UN's advocate for adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik is visiting seven U.S. cities -- looking at foreclosure rates and the availability of low-income shelters. Usually UN housing rights advocates are in countries like Romania or Cambodia. But Rolnik says the housing crisis in the U.S. bears closer scrutiny.

RAQUEL ROLNIK: Because of the specific link between the financial crisis and the issue of housing and especially housing for low-income people, a great interest raised to the situation of the United States.

The UN Commission for Human Rights did not send her to investigate specific violations of housing policies.

ROLNIK: But indeed I have received complaints on the demolition of public housing and the situation of the people that became homeless or live in a precarious situation.

She'll deliver a report on U.S. housing conditions in the spring -- before her next investigation in either Laos or Indonesia.

In Washington I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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