Opinion Factsheet  

Izkoreninjenje brezdomstva v Evropski uniji: lokalni in regionalni vidik

Opinion Number: CDR 3911/2021
Rapporteur: AALTONEN Mikko
Commission: SEDEC
Status: Adopted
Date: 02/12/2021

- notes that homelessness is probably the most severe manifestation of social exclusion in Europe. It is an urgent societal problem that requires more attention by policymakers at all relevant levels including local, regional, national and EU levels;

- believes that homelessness can be solved if the right policy mix of targeted prevention and coordinated measures is implemented in a sustained and systemic manner. Such policy mix should involve close cooperation between social and housing services, in conjunction with the judicial system, and housing-led solutions such as the Housing First approach;

- stresses that local and regional authorities are key players in the fight against homelessness, but they often lack key policy levers and the financial support to be effective. Therefore, homelessness policies should involve all relevant levels of government;

- calls on the European Commission to play an active role in the coordination of the Platform and to allocate sufficient EU resources to ensure effective governance and visible policy impact;

- suggests making Housing First a priority topic for the Platform, given the rapidly growing interest among diverse stakeholders such as national and local governments, NGOs and housing providers. The Committee believes that Housing First, which should be imperatively complemented by high quality social support services in order to help people address personal challenges, should lead to a systemic change in the way homelessness is addressed and not merely be promoted at project level;

- calls on all Member States to develop national homelessness strategies, in consultation with regional and local authorities and with a strong housing-led, place-based approach as the basis, in order to effectively address specific challenges facing different towns, cities and regions. The Committee invites the Commission to produce a European toolkit to support the Member States with their strategic planning;

- calls on EU local and regional authorities to put an immediate stop to the criminalisation and penalisation of rough sleepers, in line with human rights jurisprudence and as requested by the European Parliament.