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Eradicating homelessness in the European Union: The local and regional perspective  

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is in the process of elaborating an own-initiative opinion on "Eradicating homelessness in the European Union: The local and regional perspective".

The discussion and adoption of the opinion drafted by the Rapporteur, Mr. Mikko Aaltonen (FI-PES), is scheduled for 1st October 2021, within the framework of the meeting of the CoR Commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture (SEDEC).

General context

Housing and assistance for the homeless is one of the 20 principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights (Principle 19). However, homelessness touches upon all three chapters of the Pillar, that is, equal opportunities and access to the labour market, fair working conditions, and social protection and inclusion.

A high level of homelessness is a major societal challenge, undermining the resilience of communities and their capacity to recover in the context of a crisis, such as the pandemic.

Effectively addressing the root causes of homelessness by breaking the vicious circle of individuals' marginalisation, which leads to or is caused by homelessness, is in the hands of local and regional authorities, who are best placed to accompany vulnerable individuals.

Moreover, in most cases in Europe, local and regional authorities are responsible for the provision of decent and affordable housing.

Therefore, in order to be effective, any action to address homeless must be by definition place-based.

Through this own-initiative opinion, the CoR will seek to highlight the need for coordinated responses to the sharp rise in the numbers of homeless people, a complex phenomenon exacerbated by the recent pandemic.

Purpose of the consultation

In order to reflect a wide range of different positions/practices, the Rapporteur would like to ask you a number of questions in the form of a written consultation. You can send your replies by e-mail to sedec@cor.europa.eu before by 13 August 2021.

  1. What are the levels of homelessness in your country? Any particular patterns of concentration of this phenomenon?
  1. What are the root causes of homelessness in your country? Are there any groups particularly vulnerable and at risk of being impacted by homelessness?
  1. Is there a national plan to address and prevent homelessness and to support affordable housing in your country?
  1. What are the competences of local and regional authorities in addressing homelessness and affordable housing in your country?
  1. Is your region/city/town confronted with homelessness and how is it addressed at local/regional level?
  2. What is the role of and cooperation with the civil society organisations and social partners in finding solutions to homelessness in your country? Could you share some experiences?
  1. Has the COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on the homelessness situation?
  1. At a high-level conference in Lisbon on 21 June, European institutions, EU governments and civil society launched the European Platform on Combatting Homelessness, the role of which is to trigger dialogue, facilitate mutual learning, improve evidence and monitoring, and strengthen cooperation among all actors that aim to combat homelessness. This is a useful tool, but should the EU consider a European policy to address homelessness, which should include also fresh European funding

Contact Person: Georgios Petras
Organizer: SEDEC Secretariat
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