Advancing social rights through public international treaties and frameworks has had limited effect. However, the concept of minimum core obligations is one which has the potential for wider application, as courts across the world struggle to implement social rights, striving to assimilate nuanced and costly concepts into curial reasoning. Applied to the complex world of housing, it offers a useful contemporary threshold of State obligations. This has led to some valuable development of constitutional (particularly in common law jurisdictions), although often deferential. Of course, in Europe, advanced social housing policies have until recently relegated such rights approaches to the margins. But in the context of the financial crisis and the inability of States to fully address social needs, it is important to identify the current legal measures in this area which impact and on EU institutions and EU States. The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (EUCFR) has the potential to transcend the over-wrought debates about separation of powers, resource limitations and tedious legal definitions of minimum social rights standards. It could provide a universal minimum core obligation in relation to housing and other rights across the 28 States. The key issue, as this jurisprudence develops, is whether its interpretative guide will be forward-looking European standards of housing and social assistance, (such as those being developed by the European Committee of Social Rights of the Council of Europe, related to participation and inclusion in society), or human rights jurisprudence arising from high profile cases in developing countries.