In recent years, the importance of putting a stronger focus on policies that prevent homelessness has become evident. For this reason, Eurodiaconia is delighted to announce the publication of our latest report, a comprehensive analysis of homelessness prevention policies across ten European countries, based on the feedback and work of Eurodiaconia’s Homelessness Experts Group and its members. This report underscores the urgent need for holistic, integrated support mechanisms to eradicate homelessness. Finally, it provides national and EU-level recommendations for moving forward and achieving the goal of eradicating homelessness. 

Our report advocates for a broad-based understanding of homelessness, drawing on the ETHOS Typology by FEANTSA, whereas we adopt the categorization of homelessness prevention by Fitzpatrick, Mackie and Wood (2019, 2021) and O’Sullivan (2022). This categorization is crucial for shaping policies that not only respond to homelessness but also proactively identify risks and prevent homelessness.  

We advocate for effective homelessness preventative efforts that avoid detrimental human, societal and financial impacts. The lack of affordable housing, socio-economic challenges, financialization of private housing stock and underinvestment in social housing are some of the obstacles identified in the report. Thus, more investment and regulatory efforts are needed, whereby particular attention should be put on marginalized groups faced with discrimination when it comes to access to housing. Our findings suggest that third-country nationals and EU mobile citizens are particularly exposed to homelessness. 

A significant portion of the report is dedicated to the spectrum of prevention strategies and initiatives that Eurodiaconia members have been engaged in. Some examples include: 

  • Counselling centers for people at-risk of homelessness, with advice on finding more adequate housing. 
  • Housing First with holistic approach, involving social and health care services. 
  • Employment and skill-development programs, legal and financial counseling to prevent eviction.  
  • Mobile contact points for EU mobile citizens and migrants experiencing homelessness. 
  • Socially sustainable housing program. 
  • Collaboration with prisons for (re)integration of individuals into society. 

With this report, we identified a new wave of homelessness prevention strategies and housing regulations in some EU Member States, for instance, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Sweden.  

Eurodiaconia welcomes these positive advancements and stresses the importance of transitioning from managing homelessness to effectively eradicating it, by ensuring access to affordable housing, and establishing robust social protection systems. 

We invite our members, partners, and the public to access the full report on our website and join us in this crucial endeavor. 


Read the full report here!