“A. Obligations in relation to the right to adequate housing:
4. The right to adequate housing, enshrined in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 11 (1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, is well established under international law. What constitutes “adequate” housing is determined in part by social, economic, cultural, climatic, ecological and other factors. Regardless of any particular context, however, it includes the following minimum criteria: security of tenure, availability of services, affordability, habitability, accessibility, appropriate location and cultural adequacy. These elements remain ever-so relevant in the light of the novel challenges that the climate crisis poses to achieving the right to housing, as well as the mitigation and adaptation efforts being undertaken in response to the crisis.” 
Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context (2022:3)
Although the right to adequate housing is enshrined in International Law and agreements that governments of the world have signed on to, over the past decades, governmental agendas and legislative protections have been systematically eroded in favor of neoliberal market dynamics, thereby facilitating the financialization of housing and increasing housing burdens as described in Section 8: What are we up against? main factors behind housing injustice. To understand how we arrived at the current situation, this section provides an overview of a selection of relevant political events and changes in legislation that directly or implicitly influenced the housing sectors in Belgrade, Berlin, and Barcelona and marks when some of the main initiatives and groups combating housing injustices in the three cities were formed. The timelines are not all encompassing, rather, they include events and issues that our team considers relevant for understanding the domains on which the practical work is focused: the issue of housing unaffordability and inaccessibility to land for non-profit housing in Belgrade, the issue of the right of preemption (preemptive buying right, in German: Vorkaufsrecht) in Berlin, and the issue of evictions in Barcelona. In addition to the print version of this section (the three icons below), we designed an interactive web-based version that enables scrolling through the three timelines and exploring entries in parallel (below).
After noting two key aspects from the socialist period, the timeline of Belgrade expounds on the events during the period after the disintegration of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia into seven states, Serbia being one of them. Up until the 1980s, the political and economic systems had produced housing policies that starkly contrast with the ones dominating the scene today, ones that emphasized and protected societal ownership and self-management. Similarly, the period when Berlin was a divided city saw both East and West governments competing to demonstrate that they could create “better” welfare for the respective population, with affordable adequate housing being a main component in this. The reunification of Germany in 1990, and thus of East and West Berlin, brought about massive privatization and the wholesale of assets of the city-state, the implementation of increasingly investor-friendly policies, and reduced investment in social housing. Following the same pattern, the Barcelona timeline starts by noting the main housing-related aspects during the Francoist period before turning to the 1980s and onward, when the country abandoned the politics of autarky and internationalized rapidly, transforming Barcelona into a city that many of its inhabitants cannot afford. These transformations cannot be decoupled from the neoliberal development and economic restructuring paradigms that were (and continue to be) pushed through institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the European Union with its various operational arms.
The timelines in this section demonstrate how the political organization of the governments and their relation to the issue of housing radically transformed in just a few decades, shifting focus from the provision of housing as a state policy to laissez-faire policies that rendered this basic good an “exchange value” to be traded on global markets, and how housing has in turn become a significant burden for most households. The rapid financialization of the housing markets in the three cities did not unfold without resistance. Quite the contrary, the struggles against it have intensified and housing equality has become a main item on agendas of municipalist movements in Belgrade, Berlin, and Barcelona. Although civil resistance to governmental agendas has existed for a long time, the timelines clearly demonstrate that the financial (mortgage) crisis of 2008 represents a turning point for highlighting the housing crisis and people mobilizing around the issue. Due to the variations in geopolitical and socio-economic contexts, activists in Berlin and Barcelona have managed to gain more ground over the past 15 years and achieve higher resonance in political programs than in Belgrade. However, the latter has managed to articulate a political alternative to established parties as demonstrated in the results of the 2022 elections. That said, sadly, the road toward radically shifting political paradigms on the issue of housing and achieving justice for everyday inhabitants of Belgrade, Berlin, and Barcelona remains long. While the scenes of mobilization and resistance give us reason to hope, the global shift toward right-wing politics and the accentuation of capitalism are daunting.
 Rajagopal, Balakrishnan. Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context (A/HRC/52/28). Geneva: United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, 2022. Accessed on May 5, 2023.
Until September 2023 the materials above can be seen in the linked PDF viewer, but can neither be downloaded nor printed due to ongoing fine-tuning.