4.11 Housing, Land and Property and other legal assistance

It is important to consider housing, land and property rights in all shelter responses that go beyond basic emergency shelter. HLP is often very important in achieving gender responsive or gender transformative programming, and good HLP programming can lead to meaningful economic empowerment of women.

Guidance on integrating HLP in programmes can be found in

At the outset of a response with a significant shelter component it is recommended that CARE invests in identifying and analysing HLP issues in the particular context, and establishing the role that NGOs can play in addressing them. For an example of this, see the report commissioned by CARE Nepal early in the 2015 earthquake response.

CARE can always support communities through advocacy, and typical issues requiring advocacy are:

  • The right to transitional settlement
  • A safe location with access to services
  • An equitable and efficient compensation process
  • Leadership, strategy and continuity of policy from those responsible for coordinating the response
  • The right to return
  • The right to own land
  • Property restitution
  • Appropriate and affordable building standards
  • Access to materials and labour
  • Property and land ownership in the names of male and female households
  • Property and land ownership protection for vulnerable groups.

CARE can also provide legal assistance by ensuring there are fair and enforceable legal agreements between tenants, landlords, local authorities, or other stakeholders. Where these are not legally enforceable, there may be other ways to enforce agreements, such as community involvement. Specialist actors such as NRC’s ICLA may be available in some contexts for referrals, advice, or more detailed legal assistance in partnership with CARE.