The thesis examines the right to adequate housing from a human rights perspective. Specifically, how a human rights based approach can help support the fulfillment of the right to adequate housing. The research begins discussing a ‘human rights based approach’, ‘the right to housing as a legal human right’, and a ‘HRBA to housing’. An attempt will be made to create legal and conceptual clarification, culminating with the meaning and content of a HRBA to housing. The thesis examines current law, policy, and jurisprudence in South Africa, as well as the role of international assistance in fulfilling the right. The thesis provides case studies on a rights based approach to in-situ upgrading and social housing-cooperative initiatives. It discusses how current development practices have often led to human rights violations and the exclusion of the poor, showing a scary resemblance to its apartheid past. The thesis analyzes these violations as well as recommendations to incorporate human rights principles in order to overcome these bad practices. The thesis also goes into other development obstacles including power and economic and political restraints. The latter case discusses the role of Norway and its responsibilities in assisting with international development cooperation.