Housing, Land and Property Rights response in Mosul

Mosul, 19 Dec 2017 - UN-Habitat in collaboration with its implementing partner, the local NGO Mercy Hands, organized its 13th awareness raising sessions on Housing, Land and Property rights (HLP) in East Mosul under its project titled “Housing, Land, and Property Rights Response for Vulnerable People in Mosul and Surrounding Areas” funded by the Iraq Humanitarian Pooled Fund.

Many families have lost their occupancy or ownership documents in Mosul due to the wave of hostilities to liberate the city from ISIL, in which a high number of properties were damaged or destroyed. The loss of property documents put displaced families, in particular female-headed households, in vulnerable positions as their property rights could not be recognized. Thus, UN-Habitat focused its activities on restoring occupancy and ownership documents of vulnerable households, by providing free legal assistance and consultations through the team of lawyers under their implementing partner.

Households mappings and recording the type of incidents are essential in identifying HLP violations, and are an integral part in prioritizing interventions. Since the beginning of the project, the assessment teams mapped HLP incidents in seven neighbourhoods in East Mosul, reaching 1,985 houses and 12,654 individuals.

UN-Habitat has been conducting awareness raising sessions with beneficiaries seeking information about their HLP rights, as well as capacity building and advocacy sessions with local authorities in order to highlight the issue of HLP and the need for additional interventions. Thirteen sessions with the households have been conducted since the beginning of the project, covering different neighbourhoods in East Mosul, and providing necessary information on HLP rights and referral pathways. As the project has a particular focus on female-headed households, a number of sessions were held exclusively for females in order to provide them with a comfortable space to raise claims and understand their rights and available mechanisms for reclaiming their rights.

The Mukhtar of the Al-Quds neighbourhood, Hamid Hameed Ehmaid, highlighted the importance of the intervention, and positive impact it has with regards to referring cases to the team lawyers, based in the courts in Mosul and Baghdad.

The Mukhtar also underlined how “Al-Quds is a poor neighbourhood; there are 6,000 families living here with more than 1,000 Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs). We have only two schools and no health center. I work from 8am to 10 pm everyday as I have so many cases to deal with as well as many complex issues in Al-Quds, at times you can find four families sharing the same house so you can imagine. Many displaced people have settled here because the rent price is cheaper. Before the implementation of the HLP project, there was no one to support the citizens in the neighbourhood. The intervention of UN-Habitat is essential for families to claim their rights, otherwise no one would be able to pay the fees of the lawyer and the court process”

Accordingly, 539 cases have been referred to the legal team, 212 of which are at the final step in the court process.

The project will run until the end of January 2018, and UN-Habitat is committed to increase its HLP interventions in Mosul, and other areas in Iraq in 2018.

For further information, please contact:

Alan Miran
Media and Communications Specialist, UN-Habitat
Mobile: + 964 750 342 7036
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