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EU Spanish Presidency gathered housing ministers for a second reunion after the 13-year gap

Find out more about the declaration they signed and what did they commit to

Gijon, Spain, 14 November 2023 | Published in Future of the EU & Housing

In mid-November, the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU invited all 27 Ministers responsible for housing and urban development to an informal meeting in Gijon, Spain.

Increasing the stock of accessible, quality, sustainable and energy-efficient public social housing was considered essential and the role of the sector was explicitly highlighted in the "Housing for all in sustainable, healthy, and inclusive built environments" Declaration that came out of the meeting.

Ministers put an emphasis on 13 steps, including the need to "offer housing or finance solutions to lower and middle-income households, homeless people, and other vulnerable groups, as well as young people and people with disabilities, considering their specific needs", pointing out that  "this could include the creation and promotion of affordable and social housing stock".

Prior to the meeting in Spain, Housing Europe, local authorities, cities, tenants and social welfare organisations sent an open letter to ministers insisting the EU needs to act on Housing for the Common Good. We stressed that "investment in decent, adequate and affordable housing is key now. [...] Long-term public investment in the sector will only be possible by combining sustainable financial instruments, improving take-up capacities, especially on local level, and de-blocking legislative bottlenecks."