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RIGHT TO HOUSING / Analytical Documents

Institutional Framework and Separation of Powers between the Different Levels of Government

Mariam JANIASHVILI 

The exercise of the right to adequate housing is an important precondition for the enjoyment of number of rights and social benefits. Tangible results in terms of guaranteeing this right can only be achieved through systematic, well thought out and consistent policies.

Despite the commitments made under the 1994 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (hereinafter referred to as the “UN Covenant”), the right to adequate housing in Georgia is yet to be properly recognized by law and exercised in practice. Efforts by the state to pursue effective policies in this direction have remained fruitless for years. On the other hand, it is important that the definition of the social state in the Constitution of Georgia (as a result of the constitutional reform) has included the obligation to provide adequate housing. At the same time, based on the 2018-2019 Open Government Partnership Action Plan of Georgia, an inter-agency commission was set up to develop a Housing Strategy and a corresponding Action Plan by December 2020.

Among other aspects of housing policy, in the Georgian reality, over the years, the functioning of an effective institutional framework, including a proper understanding of the obligations of central and local governments and a clear distribution of responsibilities, as well as mechanisms for communication and cooperation between the relevant agencies has been a challenge. Given that the regulation of this area is a prerequisite for the effective implementation of housing policy, the National Housing Strategy should include issues related to the establishment and implementation of a sound institutional framework.

In the process of developing housing policy documents, the relevant agencies should employ the international standards, including recommendations from various relevant institutions, as blue prints for further actions. In this regard, guidelines on the human rights-based Housing Strategy developed by the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing are particularly noteworthy. The document emphasizes on the commitment of the states to separate the functions of central and local government and to ensure the establishment of inter-agency coordination mechanisms.

The purpose of this document is to review the functions of the central and local government in the fight against homelessness and the issues of separation of powers. Considering the topic, it is divided into several main parts. The first part discusses the basic principles on which the relevant institutional framework should be based. The second chapter discusses issues such as the functions of the central and local government, effective coordination mechanisms, as well as the benefits and challenges of decentralization. The third chapter analyzes the context and existing challenges in Georgia, and the fourth section provides relevant recommendations.

Institutional_Framework-merged_1613562204.pdf

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