On the 21st of January, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for decent and affordable housing to be recognised and ensured as a fundamental human right in European legislation. Decent housing must include minimum mandatory requirements, such as access to clean and high-quality drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene facilities, connection to sewage and water networks, and healthy indoor air quality.
Another important aspect of the resolution is its call on the need for measures to eradicate homelessness EU-wide by 2030. This is a particularly relevant call, as homelessness in Europe has dramatically increased by 70% during the last decade, with around 700,000 people across Europe experiencing homelessness. These numbers are likely to keep worsening in the aftermath of the current COVID-19 crisis. The Parliament also calls for the maintenance of the exceptional measures adopted to prevent homelessness and protect homeless people during the crisis.
Finally, MEPs call on EU and national authorities to keep housing costs affordable by law in order to protect the rights of tenants and owner-occupiers, as currently, more than a quarter of European tenants spend more than 40% of their income on rent. This is something that must be urgently addressed, as the rent prices keep rising, pushed by the growth of short-term holiday rental and the lack of more robust regulation.
Eurodiaconia has played an active role in raising awareness on homelessness in Europe and proposing and supporting actions to deliver on principle 19 of the European Pillar of Social Rights. You can find more insights regarding this subject in our thematic policy paper.
For further information on the Parliament’s call, please visit its official website.