Poverty housing – Housing exclusion

Mar 29, 2018 | Europe, Focus On, News, Thematic Clusters | 2 comments

Beyond data: homelessness and housing poverty
A reading of the Third Report sull'Housing Exclusion in Europe (2018)
by Caterina Cortese
Training Office, Research and Innovation – FIO. PSD

Last 21 marzo, FIO. PSD He attended the presentation of the Third Report on 'Housing Exclusion in Europe curated by Foundation Abbe Pierre and FEANTSA which was held in the European Parliament (Brussels). Among the contributions those of Caterina Cortese who collaborated to offer information, data and reflections on the phenomenon in Italy including in the report the results of an internal monitoring fio.PSD offering a privileged point of view on the recent trend of the phenomenon

The report is a very important document that provides a photograph of the phenomenon of homelessness and homeless poverty in Europe based on statistical data carried out annually by Eurostat (EU-SILC) but also it based on the voice services that touch the phenomenon first-hand every day. At the same time, as stated in 'Editorial, the report is a "call to action" for European authorities to the evident inadequacy of existing host systems, They must work to make concretely feasible the goal Europe 2030: Zero Homeless


The exact number of homeless people in Europe is unknown today. The report in fact reflects a number of limitations, first of all the lack of a rigorous quantitative and qualitative monitoring on homelessness phenomenon. The only obvious thing is that people who live the most serious housing problems are present in 18 member countries covered in the report (1). Each country observes, "Counts" and acts on the phenomenon in a different way to the point that the data are not comparable between them, nor can they make us talk about a European homelessness. There are countries that count on a night the people in reception, so France, Finland, Belgium, Hungary, Luxembourg, where the estimate is between 3.000 and the 10.000 rough sleepers per night up to 78.170 England in a month; and there are countries where the surveys include all (almost) the types of homelessness (ETHOS) such as Germany (estimate 860.000 homeless nel 2016 half of which political refugees), Greece (about 500.000 in 2015), and Sweden (that, in 2017, in a week with around 33.250 homeless people). And then there are countries where the government and official statistics have established criteria to observe the phenomenon of homelessness and homeless estimated at around 50.724 for example in Italy; so Austria (15.090 in 2016), the Czech Republic (68.500), to Poland (33.408), the Netherlands (60.120). The Spain finally counted a daily average of 16.437 people accommodated at night welcome

What therefore affects, a synchronic reading, It is the extreme variety with which we measure the homelessness in Europe. Adopting instead a diachronic perspective, the common element is the exponential increase in homelessness in recent years significantly even in countries with strong welfare policies such as Germany (+150% from 2014 at 2016), England (+169% from 2010), Belgium (+96% from 2008 at 2016). Ireland is also among the countries from 2014 at 2017 registered a high increase (+145%) of persons received. Only Finland (-18% from 2009 at 2016) and Norway demonstrate that they have reduced the number of homeless people by adopting an integrated strategy essentially based on the Housing First approach


At the base of a contrast to Homelessness Strategy there must be:

The report lists 4 step that must be the basis of a strategy to combat homelessness:

  • Planning for Results (a goal is precisely Homeless Zero)
  • Prevention of homelessness (capacitanti more services and less care)
  • Projects rapid re-housing and Housing First
  • structural Policies (housing units, of the work, Bless you) to anchor the inclusion pathways activated to a country system that functions

The appeal to Europe by the editors of the Report, then strong. Certainly the issue of homelessness is recognized. Nell’ European Social Rights Pillars for example the right housing and assistance to homeless people are among the 20 priorities which Member States have to respond with appropriate policy. Even the European semester just concluded (2017) He had recognized in housing exclusion a recurring phenomenon in many countries members. However, if the housing will be a priority in the social agenda in the fight against homelessness, it will be decided in these months of discussion for the post-2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF).

Governments nazioanli aim to emphasize what has been done until now with its own policies, which objectives programmed and by what means to reach them.

There are some good practices and some good results presented in the Report and in this logic can act as levers to push the Commission to invest more capacitanti approaches for homeless people

  • Finland: Housing First
  • France: Right sull'Housing law which introduces the right of appeal in case of failure to respect the right to housing and the concept of no return on the road a person housed in reception
  • Scotland: Housing Act and Homelessness Act sanciscono il diritto alla casa
  • Norway: municipal incentives to real estate market (rent) and custom designs of Rapid Rehousing in the private market
  • Canada: integrated use of resources for services provided by the public administration (Bless you, job, protection, hospitality), interruption of assistance spiral cronicizzante and efficient use of resources
  • Italy: dynamic and functional use of the different structural funds ESF on work and training, ERDF reorganization of the reception system and social housing; FEAD distribution of food and material goods
  • Denmark: law on participation and the right of choice of beneficiaries

Less positive practices gathered in Spain Portugal, Sweden, Netherlands, England where wrong reforms, financial crisis, rising house costs, abolition of housing subsidies without adequate measures against impoverishment, hostile and criminalizing measures have increased the severity of the phenomenon of homelessness.

The unanimous appeal to Europe is therefore to:

  • Set precise goals for the 2030
  • Put human rights at the center of the strategy
  • Build target oriented policies (migrants, asylum seekers, Teen, women)
  • systematic monitoring consistent data on homelessness
  • Flexible use of structural resources to improve adherence with the social complexity of the individual member countries
total population: 60 millions (2016) (2)

Homeless People: 50.724 (2014)

absolute Poor: 4,8 millions (2016)

People at risk of poverty: 1 person on 4 (27%)

People in homelessness conditions (3): 7,6% (2016) (European average 4,8%

Population whose cost exceeds the house 40% of disposable income: 9,6% (2016) (European average 11,1%)

Population poor in the same condition: 35,8%

People living in overcrowded (number of rooms is not adequate to the number of family members): 27,8% (2016) (European average 16,8%)

People in the same poor condition: 39,2% People do not adequately skilled to heat the apartment: 16% (2016) (European average 8,7%)

People living with low housing quality (Istat Index for BES): 7,6% (2016)

Being poor, young non-EU citizen makes them vulnerable and notes a worsening of housing conditions.

The cost of the house (rent), more than the mortgage, overcrowding and structural deficits (heating and lighting) of a historic housing stock and outdated, are indicators that the prism of homelessness weigh more.

Italy has a polarized housing market.

On the one hand we have a popular housing system firm with thousands of people on the waiting list (Federcasa than estimated 600 thousand applications on the waiting list); we have very few affordable homes, therefore only 4% the Italian housing is intended for social housing (France is the 18%, Holland even the 30%).

While, on the other side, we have 7 million empty houses (Istat Census 2011), the 70% Residents of the people own their houses, and only 11% of the population has a home in reduced rental costs

The real challenge to combat homelessness and homelessness is to focus on a political triangulation (housing units, income support and activator) that put the individual at the center of the intervention (inside a house) and accompany with custom project towards forms of social and economic integration:

  • House Plan
  • rent regulations
  • Unlock / renovation subsidized housing
  • Using virtuous confiscated Mafia assets
  • Patti for housing inclusion (government, regions, third sector, Private housing market)
  • European Investment (European Investment Bank, Council of Europe) based on loans rather than grants to finance projects of Housing
  • Projects of Rapid Rehousing and houses dotted around the city (Housing First) also freeing the public housing stock into disuse
  • pilot projects, Small scale, for homeless people funded by investment in the residential Fund (SON) using existing housing

Priorities for action

Among the priorities for action, under the current Plan of interventions and social services contrast to poverty (art. 21 of Decree. 147 of 2017) as also indicated in paragraph 9 Article 7 Decree REI, specifically dedicated to the fight against homelessness, highlight some contextual actions and operative approach that additional resources (20 millions) could support:

  • Updating the Guidelines for the fight against homelessness marginality
  • Update Survey Istat-fio.PSD-Ministry-Caritas
  • National Protocol for social workers training on homelessness and Housing First
  • Dialogue and construction of Patti for social inclusion with home field
  • Dialogue and construction of Patti for social inclusion with the sector Care / Retirement
  • Awareness campaign not to criminalize the SD phenomenon
  • Income support for PSD granted by supplementing regions of REI
  • Support the rent for a year for neo-SD
  • Agreements with property owners
  • essential levels (access, taking charge and personalized project) also for PSD
  • Housing first
  • widespread welcome in the city (small shelters from 15/20 people)
  • Job guidance at the welcome for the homeless
  • skills Budget

Target groups (emerging profiles of PSD) (4):

  • humanitarian Migrants (refugees, asylum seekers, diniegati) and irregular
  • PSD chronic and elderly
  • Youth homelessness
  • Workers in the prime of poor (45to eat) and in age from pre-retirement (55 to eat) (Italians and foreigners)
  • Former detainees
  • People with mental disorders or addictions

1 Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, United Kingdom. Sweden

2 Eurostat data

3 For people in homelessness (severe housing deprivation) It refers to people living in damp homes, with dripping roof, no shower, no toilets Indoor, with poor natural light

4 Micro Observatory on Homeless – fio.PSD Monitoring 2017

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  1. Paulo

    I question myself if EUROPE having a place for Tousands of refugees many economic problems so why don’t have places for EUROPEANS…

    • Admin

      I wonder why do you waste your time writing racist nonsense on this blog?


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