Opinion Factsheet  

Towards a European Agenda for Housing

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Opinion Number: CDR 1529/2017
Rapporteur: IMANE Hicham
Commission: COTER
Status: Adopted
Date: 01/12/2017
 
Provide the impetus needed for a horizontal European approach towards housing.
Allow the CoR to take part in the broad work underway at inter-institutional level in relation to housing such as the Urban Agenda Partnership on Housing;
Provide a follow-up to the CoR opinions on the Urban Agenda (2016), on the Social Pillar (2016), on State Aid for Services of General Economic Interest (2016) and on an European agenda for social housing (2011) and be related to the on-going opinions on the Energy Efficiency Package (incl. the Review of Directives on Energy Efficiency and of Energy Performance of Buildings) and on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The rapporteur was received by the Commissioner Vestaeger's cabinet member Mr Schønberg for a meeting to further discuss the CoR Opinion "Towards a European Agenda for Housing", on 19 February 2018. Following this meeting and in order to address the issues that local and regional authorities are currently facing in this area, the CoR will host an event on 23 May 2018 organised by the Urban Agenda Partnership on Housing.

THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



- welcomes the fact that the European Pillar of Social Rights, proclaimed by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission at the social summit for fair jobs and growth in Gothenburg on 17 November 2017, includes the right to access to social housing, the right to good quality housing assistance, and the right to assistance and protection for those at risk of eviction;

- highlights the increasing impact of EU policies and rules on the conditions under which Member State and regional and local authority housing policies are put into practice. This concerns the relevant State aid arrangements, the VAT system, the definition of social housing as a service of general economic interest, the rules governing public procurement and public-public cooperation, and country-specific recommendations under the European Semester, with regard in particular to rent controls and housing benefits;

- following on from the EU Urban Agenda's Partnership for Housing, calls for the implementation of a European Agenda for Housing that can: ensure better coordination between EU policies and the policies of the Member States, their regions and local authorities; achieve better coordination of EU policies and intervention mechanisms to support these housing policies; and compare how European cities provide affordable housing;

- welcomes the fact that the Commission's report on the EU Urban Agenda echoes its call for a review of Decision 2012/21/EU with the aim of broadening access to social housing beyond "disadvantaged citizens or socially less advantaged groups";

- calls for housing investment to be eligible under the post-2020 cohesion policy, in order to better respond to the diversity of local needs.

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State Aid and Affordable Housing investment - Capacity Building Workshop

The workshop will showcase how the prevailing legal uncertainty in state aid law creates obstacles for investment in affordable housing. It aims to develop knowledge and mutual understanding on the use of state support in the housing sector in general and the multi-storey apartment buildings in particular. Speakers and participants from the legal field and affordable housing scene will be able to discuss how regulations and/or guidance can be improved to increase the supply of affordable housing.

 
23 May
 

The European Pillar of Social Rights: Stepping up to the challenge of implementation

Housing Europe, the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing organises a breakfast policy debate that will be hosted by the European Committee of the Regions in the aftermath of the adoption of its Opinion ‘Towards a European Agenda for Housing’. The event will bring together key decision makers at EU level with affordable housing providers from across Europe as well as representatives of various strands of civil society with emphasis on Youth. How can the Member States better address the challenge of the actual implementation of the Pillar, while their respective starting points vary a lot? What is the best way to unlock the potential of the European Structural and Investment Funds for housing in the period 2018-2020? Why should offering adequate housing solutions to young people be one of the priorities?

 
08 Mar