The international conference that took place at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on January 17th and 18th did not just bring together key policy makers and stakeholders from across Europe but also concluded with an action plan that builds upon various recent legislative initiatives and aims at addressing the current and future housing needs on the ground. In light of the upcoming European Elections this plan provides a roadmap for the EU Institutions, the candidate MEPs as well as for the national and local authorities that are confronted with lack of affordable homes in their territory. Housing Europe incorporates this Action Plan to its campaign ‘Our homes are where Europe’s future starts’.
The Action Plan for Affordable Housing in the EU consists of six main points:
1. Work with European cities and metropolises, as well as their networks, in their exchanges on local housing policies and good market regulation practices in the framework of the EU Urban Agenda and its Housing Partnership that must be reinforced in the next legislative period.
2. Support investment in social infrastructure by creating a European Investment Platform dedicated to affordable housing within the framework of the future cohesion policy 2021-2027, the InvestEU strategic investment plan ("Juncker 2") and the mobilization of the European Investment Bank.
3. Set up a partnership-based surveillance of local housing markets as part of the European Semester and weigh long-term investments in social infrastructure, particularly social housing, in the calculation of the Member States' budget deficit.
4. Ensure effective implementation of the housing component of the European Pillar of Social Rights, including the right to access to social housing and quality housing assistance for households whose needs are not met by the housing market.
5. Consolidate the European legal framework concerning housing and in particular secure SGEIs (Services of General Economic Interest) state aid status for social housing and reduced VAT rates, while guaranteeing the Member States full competence to define the social housing scope.
6. Organize each year a "European Housing Summit" bringing together all stakeholders for the implementation and monitoring of this Action Plan.