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The Mediterranean housing reality

A complex maze of challenges and opportunities

Lisbon Portugal, 26 April 2024 | Published in Energy, Social

Housing Europe's member, Gebalis which is in charge of providing municipality housing in Lisbon brought our network from Europe's south to the Portuguese capital to paint together their reality and look for solutions.

Climate Change
Mediterranean countries - Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, and Malta - are experiencing the adverse effects of climate change at an accelerated pace, with temperatures rising 20% faster than the global average. Coastal regions are also particularly vulnerable to flooding.

Youth Exclusion
High rates of youth unemployment and limited access to affordable housing exacerbate social exclusion among young people in the Mediterranean region. This demographic faces challenges in securing stable housing, hindering their socio-economic integration and exacerbating inequalities within society.

Bureaucracy and Production Delays
Cumbersome bureaucratic processes and regulatory frameworks often hinder housing production and development in Mediterranean countries, exacerbating housing shortages and affordability challenges.

Financing Constraints
Access to affordable financing remains a shared challenge among Mediterranean countries, limiting investment in housing infrastructure and urban development projects. Scarce resources and competing priorities pose obstacles to securing funding for critical housing initiatives, hindering efforts to address housing affordability and quality standards.

Houses are homes
Public, cooperative, and social housing providers stress that a house is more than just a physical structure, there is a growing emphasis on holistic approaches to housing that prioritise community well-being, social cohesion, and inclusive development.

The Director of Gebalis, João Carvalhosa stressed that rules for accessing funds must change as today, Portuguese municipal companies often do not qualify for some types of funding. He called for a New Resilience Plan that would have an impact on multiple areas, with a specific very robust fund just for housing.

Abderrahim Khairi, our Membership and Events Coordinator at Housing Europe, brought to the surface the Manifesto call of our network for a New Housing Paradigm. This new thinking supports public, cooperative, social, and community-led housing as the backbone of national housing systems.