The impact of COVID-19 on the right to adequate housing: local government perspectives

The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing Mr. Balakrishnan Rajagopal and the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) invite you to the webinar on “The impact of COVID-19 on the right to adequate housing – local government perspectives”. The webinar takes place on Wednesday 24 June, 15.00-17.00 hrs CEST.

Local governments are at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 and housing has become a central defence against COVID-19. The webinar will discuss the importance of housing adequacy to ensure protection against COVID-19 and focus on challenges faced by local and regional governments to ensure access to safe housing, housing affordability and to prevent and stop evictions of tenants and homeowners. The discussion will reflect on the safety of children, women, older persons and persons with disabilities.

The webinar will map out potential strategies to counter such impacts at local level. To what extent have emergency measures countered the spread of the virus with possible unintended discriminatory outcomes? Has there been a reinforced spatial segregation in our cities and communities?

The discussion will inform the forthcoming report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing Mr. Balakrishnan Rajagopal to the UN General Assembly in which he will make medium and long term recommendations to States, local and regional governments and other stakeholders to ensure the right to adequate and safe housing for all during and after the pandemic, to realise Sustainable Development Goal 11, to end homelessness and to address widespread lack of security of tenure, housing unaffordability and housing inadequacy.


  • Peter Kurz, Mayor of Mannheim (Germany), Chair of the Global Parliament of Mayors
  • Natacha Foucard, Chief of the Sustainable Human Development Section, Special Procedures Branch, OHCHR 


  • Balakrishnan Rajagopal, Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing
  • Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown (Sierra Leone), GPM member
  • Lorena Zárate, former President of Habitat International Coalition
  • Sheila Foster, Scott K. Ginsburg Professor of Urban Law and Policy, Georgetown University, Co-Chair of the GPM Advisory Committee (moderator)

The panel members will respond to short interventions from local government official representing different contintents and to questions from the attendees.


  • Grace Mary Mugasa, Mayor of Hoima, Uganda, 2nd Vice Chair of the GPM Executive Committee
  • Luca Montuori, Deputy Mayor for Urban Design, Rome City Council, Italy
  • Mohanna Al-Kattan, Executive Director of Licenses, Greater Amman Municipality, Jordan 
  • Malusi Booi, Councillor and Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements at City of Cape Town, SA
  • Julian Higson, Director for Housing and Landlord Services at Bristol City Council, UK
  • Marisa Novara, Commissionner, Department of Housing, City of Chicago, USA
  • Christophe Lalande, Housing Lead Specialist, Land, Housing and Shelter Section, UN-Habitat, Nairobi, Kenya


Local and regional government officials


The opportunity will be given to share emerging good practices at local level to protect the rights of tenants, renters and home owners, and various groups at risk of marginalization, including persons living in situation of homelessness, in collective housing, institutional settings, or in informal settlements and exchanged views on how to scale up actions for the creation of adequate housing for all.