Our housing system is broken. Over 85 million people in the European Union are overburdened by housing costs. Too many people live in poor quality or dilapidated homes. Waiting lists for social and affordable housing are growing longer. Energy poverty, eviction and homelessness loom over the lives of millions of citizens. And these inequalities – already severe – are being worsened by COVID-19.
It is time to fix our housing crisis. The common well-belling of our Union depends on it. It is time to rethink the EU policy agenda to give housing the space it deserves.
A home is more than a postal address, it is the environment in which we live, love, build our future and, increasingly, work. It is an anchor for accessing employment and other opportunities. It is a space for rest and respite from the pressures of daily life. A home – a good quality and affordable home – should be a right for all citizens with an implementation of a universalistic model of housing. If we can achieve that, we can make a significant step towards ensuring equal opportunities and increasing social cohesion in our Union.
Housing must become a top priority for the European Union and all its policies must contribute towards decent and affordable housing for all. The commitments contained in the European Pillar of Social Rights must not remain empty words. Social objectives - empowering our citizens to co-create their living environment, including housing affordability - must be a priority for the 2030 Agenda implementation in the EU. Housing goals must have the same legal enforceability as ecological objectives, fiscal consolidation and financial stability.
Investment in affordable housing will pay dividends. It is a key instrument in the fight against social exclusion and territorial segregation; it helps to create inclusive living spaces and to achieve climate targets (housing represents 36% of EU greenhouse emissions); and it has a positive impact on the local economy.
We believe in a more cohesive Europe that protects everyone by guaranteeing all citizens have a decent place to live, particularly vulnerable groups. We believe that we can mitigate the climate crisis, in partnership with our citizens and communities, by building a housing sector which delivers energy-efficient homes. At local and regional level, we believe we must do everything to promote inclusive communities and innovative cooperation in housing.
We are asking the European Union and its Member States for:
More info about Progressive Housing Week
FEPS workshop ‘Concrete Actions for Social and Affordable Housing in the EU’