n Law, Democracy & Development - The right to housing in France and South Africa




If current national and international declarations on human rights tend to recognise a "right to housing", the exact meaning of such provisions remains a controversial issue. In France, the Constitution of 1958 does not proclaim such a right. The constitutional judge considers "the possibility for any person of having decent housing" as "an objective of constitutional value". However, this norm is mostly interpreted as a goal of general interest. It gives a basis to public intervention aimed at building social housing, but also aimed at acting on the private market of housing (especially by regulating leasing agreements.


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