AMES, Iowa — Leilani Farha will speak about her long engagement in advancing the human right to housing in a virtual lecture hosted by the Iowa State University College of Design.

Farha will present “Planning for the Future: Using Human Rights in Housing” at noon Wednesday, Nov. 2, via Zoom. Her talk is part of the 2022-2023 College of Design Lecture Series. Register in advance to receive the Zoom link.

About the speaker

Farha is the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing (2014–2020) and global director of The Shift, an international movement to secure the right to housing. The Shift was launched in 2017 with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and cities and local governments and works with multi-level stakeholders around the world, including several city governments in North America and Europe.

Farha’s work is animated by the principle that housing is a social good, not a commodity. She has helped develop global human rights standards on the right to housing, including through her topical reports on homelessness, the financialization of housing, informal settlements, rights-based housing strategies and the first UN guidelines for the implementation of the right to housing. She has more than 25 years’ esperience working as a human rights lawyer.

Farha is the central character in the award-winning documentary PUSH directed by Swedish filmmaker Fredrik Gertten. PUSH is screening around the world, and to continue its momentum, Leilani and Fredrik now co-host a podcast — PUSHBACK Talks — about finance, housing and human rights.

In her presentation, Farha will address key housing-related issues in cities around the world such as homelessness, housing unaffordability and the financialization of housing. She will also talk about the human rights imperative.


Olivia Valentine, College of Design Lectures and Exhibitions Committee Chair, ovalen@iastate.edu
Saylor Upah, College of Design Event Planner, upahsay@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, College of Design Director of Strategic Communications, hsauer@iastate.edu