The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


DPU partner 'Public Works' launches the Housing Monitor’s Reporting Line in Beirut

8 September 2020

Public works is a research-based studio, co-founded by DPU alumna Abir Saksouk-Sasso, that engages critically and creatively with a number of urban and public issues in Lebanon.

Housing Monitor

By taking a right to the city approach, Public works aims to address and actively respond to the root causes of spatial inequality and the chronic challenges facing just cities and equitable development. The studio initiates multi-disciplinary projects that study, shape and implement counter strategies to urban planning and policy making in Lebanon. It does so with a focus on how neoliberal urbanization and real estate speculation have destroyed residents’ livelihoods, housing, and surrounding environment. The studio has partnered the DPU as part of the DPU summerLab series, and has also collaborated on the RELIEF Centre project led by Camillo Boano.

The right to housing is a basic human right guaranteed by the Lebanese constitution and international treaties. Nonetheless, city dwellers in Lebanon live in constant anxiety over the stability of their housing. They are in crisis, suffering daily from inadequate and undignified housing conditions, suffering while searching for affordable and appropriate housing in proximity to their economic and social networks, and suffering in a constant battle to safeguard their homes. 

No one records this slow violence, and households across all factions of society are left alone to face such housing rights violations.

However, housing is a collective and public concern that needs to be addressed on all levels: the neighborhood, the district, the city, and at the scale of national politics. Beirut’s port blast revealed the vulnerability in housing across the city’s neighborhoods, as well as the failure of public officials and authorities to protect housing rights.

We call on all city dwellers and particularly those subject to housing insecurity: let's not allow housing threats to continue unreported. We need to build the broadest communal solidarity in support of the right to housing, to press the authorities, no matter who is in power, to adopt policies that guarantee housing security and equity.

The Housing Monitor will analyze the types and patterns of housing violations in periodical reports and other communication in order to build an informed public opinion and advocate for the right to housing (all while ensuring data privacy and the anonymity of reporters). The Monitor will also follow up on urgent cases and connect them, within its capacity and through its networks and partnerships, with pertinent support on legal and architectural matters. 

Please report on this number: 81-017-023 or fill the relevant form below depending on the violation: https://housingmonitor.org/

Housing Monitor

If housing security is at risk in the aftermath of the port blast, please use this form: https://housingmonitor.org/displacement

Top image caption: "Threats of evictions are criminal acts"