As of today, the lack of broad societal access to affordable housing is one of the most pertinent issues faced by European States. Deepening, broadening, and updating the pre-existing institutions that provide accessible housing services in various forms, as well as adopting new methodologies for affordable housing, would constitute a major step forward for the European community. In the study, Sergio Nasarre-Aznar, Núria Lambea-Llop, Milan Ftáčnik and Līga Rasnača identify the main challenges relative to social and affordable housing, as well as propose practical and policy-oriented solutions that deliver tangible results for the citizens of the Europeans.
First, the authors identify the key components of inadequate housing in the EU and introduce the multidimensionality of the concepts of inclusiveness, sustainability and affordability in the field of housing. Second, they examine the need for shared and coordinated EU action in the field of social housing, as the root causes of these problems are shared across borders. While the EU has no direct competence to legislate in housing matters, it can still influence housing through other means and institutions.
Next, the authors perform a cross-country analysis of European countries and regions, comprised of Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom (England mainly), Slovakia, Austria, Latvia and Baltic countries. In these case studies, the authors review the most important institutions, schemes and policies that regulate affordable housing at the national, regional, and municipal levels. Finally, they give an overview of housing challenges and possible solutions on the European level to ensure the access to sustainable, inclusive and affordable housing.
This report is part of a year-long project in partnership with the Fundación Pablo Iglesias, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Baltics, Brīvības un solidaritates fonds and Masarykova demokratická akademie, exploring multilevel recommendations and actionable points for regional, national and European actions to enhance access to a decent, inclusive and sustainable place to live.