Chilean housing policy: a pendant human rights perspective

Author:Sebastian Smart, Vicente Burgos
Position:Institute of the Americas, University College London, London, UK
Chilean housing policy: a pendant
human rights perspective
Sebastian Smart
Institute of the Americas, University College London, London, UK, and
Vicente Burgos
Development Planning Unit, University College London, London, UK
Purpose This paper aims to analyse the Chilean housingpolicy from a human rights perspective. The
work is based on the framework to study socio, economic and social rights as humanrights developed by
the current special rapporteuron extreme poverty and human rights to describe the steps undertaken by the
ChileanState in terms of recognition, institutionalisationand accountability of the right to adequate housing.
Design/methodology/approach First, the authors describethe different levels of legal recognition of
the right and the lack of constitutional andlegislative recognition in the different levels of the Chilean Legal
System. Second,they analyse the Chilean Housing Policy and theinstitutionalisation of the different elements
that compose theright to adequate housing, describing and criticallyreviewing the Chilean housing policy in
the past 30 years. The nal section analysesthe accountability of such policy, taking into considerationthe
developments of international and regional mechanisms and the processes of accountability lead by civil
societyand tribunals.
Findings The paper concludesthat a human rights perspective of the right to adequate housingwith legal
recognitioncould improve the accountability, the results and developmentof the Chilean housing policy.
Originality/value The importanceof this paper is both empirical and theoretical.Empirically, this paper
adds to the current understandingof housing policies in Chile, aiming to complete the narrative of housing
laws at the national level. Theoretically, this paper uses for the rst time a recognition, institutionalisation
and accountability human rights approach to analyse the Chilean housing policies and its loopholes at the
Keywords Poverty, Policy, Chile, Economic, Recognition, Human rights, RIA,
Right to adequate housing, Social and cultural rights, Institutionalisation and accountability
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
This paper aims to analyse the Chilean Housing Policy from a Human Rights perspective.
To do so, we use the framework to study Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR)
developed by the Special Rapporteur on ExtremePoverty and Human Rights, Philip Alston;
who has argued that in order to analysethe extent of protection and promotion of ESCR, it is
important to examine the recognition, institutionalisation and accountability (RIA) of each
specic right (UN Human Rights Council,2016). This is a framework that aims to avoid the
historical division between ESCR and Civiland Political Rights (CPR) through the analysis
of the different stages and policydevelopments undertaken by States to promote and protect
human rights; taking into special consideration the principles of indivisibility and
interdependency (Alston, 2017a). While most scholars recognise that CPR on the one hand
and ESCR on the other, should be treated without any kind of difference and arguably
represent similar categories of rights,historically the division of rst and second categories
of rights has been prevalent and is stillpresent in some current mainly political debates
Human rights
Received19 February 2018
Revised29 July 2018
Accepted22 August 2018
Journalof Property, Planning and
Vol.10 No. 3, 2018
pp. 187-201
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/JPPEL-02-2018-0004
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