In the EU around 4,1 million people are homeless each year for a shorter or longer period. Homelessness is currently increasing in most countries in Europe – except Finland (FEANTSA). One factor of the increasing number of homeless people is the incredible lack of really affordable and social housing all over Europe – especially for vulnerable people. Much more housing first projects in adequate houses are urgently needed to end evictions and homelessness. It is clear that the EU could do much more.
Better EU legislation for more social and affordable housing
European legislation restricts cities and districts when they want to invest in affordable and sociel housing. Since the economic and financial crisis of 2008/2009, public-sector investments in affordable and social housing have fallen by 50%. In Germany alone, around 1.9 million affordable apartments are missing in the 77 largest cities (Heinrich-Böckler-Stiftung).
Due to speculation house prices and rents are skyrocketing. More and more people can’t afford housing in the cities anymore. Around 82 mio Europeans are overburdened by housing costs and/or are living in overcrowded and/or conditions of health at risk (EUROSTAT, EU Urban Agenda – Housing Partnership).
Housing for people – not for profit!
“We cannot and shall not accept the unacceptable! We have to end homelessness in the European Union. The EU legislators must commit to the human right to housing,” says Karin Zauner-Lohmeyer, the spokeswoman of the European Citizens’ Initiative “Housing for All”. “We are convinced that housing markets need regulation. Housing is a public responsibility and should not be left to the market. Europe is in an urgent need of a broad non-profit housing sector and an absolutely new access to land ownership. Land cannot be multiplied. It is a public common good.”