Earlier this week, the European Social Policy Network (ESPN) published a report on national strategies to tackle homelessness and housing exclusion. The report points to the growing use of integrated strategies and “Housing First” solutions, although significant challenges remain.
For one, it is estimated that in the last 10 years homelessness has grown in 24 out of 28 EU countries. A further complication is that it is not possible to accurately estimate the current number of homeless people as there is a significant lack of data as well as inconsistent definitions on the matter.
Recent negative trends in homelessness are due to changes in the housing market, most notably to a steep increase in rental and property prices. And while we have seen an increase of innovative solutions like integrated strategies and Housing First approaches (prioritise housing as opposed to the “staircase model of progressive service provision), there is scarce evidence to accurately assess their effectiveness.
The results of the report make it clear that action to tackle homelessness needs to be a top EU priority. Eurodiaconia’s members provide quality social services like housing, education and counselling to people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping in Europe. Their work is key to informing our advocacy work in Brussels on the top priorities and directions EU policy should take on this matter.
To know more about the national strategies report, please visit ESPN’s website.
To know more about our member’s work on homelessness and social housing, please have a look at our work on social services.