The Fourth Periodic Report of the United States of America to the United Nations Committee on Human Rights concerning the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was delivered to the United Nations on December 30. Signatories to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which include the United States, commit themselves to uphold various individual rights. In its latest report to the UN on how rights outlined in the Covenant’s 24 Articles are being implemented, the United States, through the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, addresses several housing issues.
The report describes how the United States implements equal protections in housing and lending. Department of State authors describe various ways HUD administers fair housing programs and HUD and the Department of Justice use the court system to enforce fair housing and fair lending laws. The report acknowledges incomplete success. “Despite the numerous laws and policies designed to ensure equal access to housing, racial disparities in housing and lending are of continuing concern,” the authors say.
The report also details how the United States is operationalizing its commitment to equal protections for persons with disabilities, another component of the Covenant. Here, the report describes the DOJ’s pursuit of enforcement actions to “best realize the full promise of Olmstead,” referring to the Supreme Court ruling on a case regarding institutionalization of people with disabilities. The report goes on to describe HUD’s efforts to expand access to housing for persons with disabilities, including issuing 1,000 special purpose vouchers to be used in conjunction with Money Follows the Person initiatives at the Department of Health and Human Services.
In a section on equal rights between men and women, the report notes HUD’s implementation of its responsibilities under the Violence Against Women Act.
The full report can be accessed at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/179781.htm