On January 25, 100 public, cooperative and social housing providers, policymakers at European and local level, researchers and fellows committed to fair homes are calling for change at the heart of the EU, the European Parliament.
The past half-decade has been one of the most disruptive periods for the European continent in recent memory.
In the light of the European elections of June 2024, it is of the utmost importance that European, national, and local policymakers adopt an integrated approach towards tackling both the social exclusion, which has resulted from a lack of affordable housing, and the need to significantly reduce the carbon footprint in the European residential stock.
The public, cooperative, and social housing sector can play a pivotal role in ensuring a socially and sustainably inclusive future for people in Europe.
The EU has a wide variety of tools through which it can either incentivise socially inclusive and sustainable housing systems or exacerbate the current housing crisis. By following 3 steps, the EU can play a pivotal role in ensuring that affordable and decent housing becomes, and stays, a reality for all.
#1 EMBRACE A NEW HOUSING PARADIGM
1) Support public, cooperative, social, and community-led housing as the backbone of national housing systems.
2) Ensure that public debt and deficit rules adequately account for the positive long-term social return on investment from the sector.
3) Adapt State Aid rules so they do not prevent Member States from addressing the housing crisis.
4) Include housing exclusion indicators in the EU Semester, the biannual economic, fiscal, employment and social recommendations to Member States.
5) Prevent short-term rental platforms’ impact on availability and affordability of housing through European legislation.
6) Urgently address the impact of higher interest rates and construction costs, which are slowing the delivery of new social housing.
7) Share effective models of inclusive housing systems within and beyond Europe as the new way forward.
Establish a new Task Force led by a European Commission Vice-President to embrace the new housing paradigm throughout EU policymaking.
#2 BACK A MOVEMENT FOR A FAIR ENERGY TRANSITION
8) Beyond renovation, EU green policies should include low-carbon housing supply targets to meet growing demand.
9) Simplify access to the 19 EU funding and financing streams currently available, attaching clear conditionally on social criteria.
10) Encourage district decarbonisation which addresses local needs for housing that is affordable, age-adapted, well-connected, and uses local resources.
11) Broaden the approach to renovation and circularity to foster local supply chains, quality job creation, social enterprise, and biodiversity.
12) Harness the potential of digital and tech advances for a fair energy transition.
Through a transformative fund that harmonises all existing tools, ear-marked annually for socially responsible renovations.
#3 ADDRESS THE ROOT CAUSES TO END HOUSING EXCLUSION
13) Secure access to decent affordable housing as the best way to prevent the growing homelessness and housing exclusion emergency.
14) Encourage long-term national and local partnerships between housing providers, social services and local authorities to deal with prevailing support needs (e.g. migration, youth, elderly, family breakdown, cost of living).
15) Support skills development with social service providers, local authorities and actors from the social and affordable housing sector.
Introduce housing exclusion as a core section of impact assessments for EU policies.
Use EU platforms, such as the European Platform for Combatting Homelessness, to urgently support national and local partnerships to end housing exclusion.
Embrace a new housing paradigm.
Share your thoughts via the #VoteNewHousingParadigm hashtag.