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EU Cohesion Policy should help Europe address the Housing Challenge

The future EU budget should not be cut

Brussels, 23 February 2018 | Published in Economy
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Ahead of the Informal Leaders' meeting on the EU long-term budget after 2020 Housing Europe presents a unique mid-term analysis of the impact of the EU Structural Funds in the public, cooperative and social housing sector, calling for an inclusive EU Cohesion Policy that may help Europe address the Housing Challenge. For this reason the future European budget should not be cut.

To manage demographic change, slow the growth of inequalities, contain health costs linked with inadequate housing such as energy poverty, facilitate integration and sustainable urbanisation, catalyse the energy transition and the transition to a circular economy, we need to turbo-boost our approach to housing in Europe. Lack of affordable, adequate, accessible energy efficient housing and resulting exclusion is one of the key risks faced by our cities, regions, and societies at large. The human and economic cost of this policy failure and over-reliance on the market are becoming difficult to brush over. The EU Cohesion policy could do more to address this challenge by building on innovative and established approaches that work and supporting regions in establishing more responsible housing systems.

In line with providing concrete evidence to support policy making around provision of affordable housing, Housing Europe, the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing has just published a unique analysis of the implementation of the Structural Funds on the sector, offering facts, figures and detailed country profiles as well as concrete examples that have already been working on the ground.

It will be key in the years to come that the EU Cohesion Policy further supports these positive experiences and helps Europe house responsibly so that all citizens can benefit. For this, simplicity in accessing funds for those engaged on the ground will be key. The possibility to blend grants and loans (Structural Funds, EIB loans, European Fund for Strategic Investments etc.) is vital.

Housing Europe President, Cédric Van Styvendael stresses that:

For a number of reasons the upcoming programming period will be decisive for the future of Europe, for our future. The EU should make sure that the Cohesion Policy, one of the foundations keeping Member States together should be as inclusive as possible, delivering the means needed to address the major challenges with housing being undoubtedly among them. Therefore, we believe there is only one scenario for the EU long-term budget based on three pillars: a) putting people first, b) caring for all shrinking and growing cities and regions across Europe, c) supporting evidence-based policies”.