Together for affordable housing in Europe: Join us in supporting the European Citizens’ Initiative “Housing for All”!
Renting is becoming increasingly more expensive and risks becoming a luxury good. Due to the fact that in the current political discourse, social and affordable housing is being left behind, more and more people in Europe can hardly afford to rent a place to call their home. However, at the same time, rents are rising faster than earnings, which, for many makes the situation even worse. 82 million Europeans already are financially stretched because of their rent payments, as 40 percent and more of their disposable household income is spent on rent. However, an affordable home is fundamental for a good life and for social cohesion in Europe. In future, it should be regarded as part of public responsibility. Only together, we will be able to send a strong signal for affordable housing in Europe; the AK therefore supports the new European Citizens’ Initiative “Housing for All”. We want to use this initiative to urge European legislators to improve the framework conditions for social and affordable housing.
Overview of the demands of the European Citizens’ Initiative:
- Having a home is a human right and public responsibility. All people in Europe have a right to affordable, adequate housing. EU legislation must under no circumstances be allowed to restrict access to subsidized and affordable housing.
- The restriction of new debt provided for by EU rules makes it far more difficult for countries, cities and communities in Europe to finance the construction of affordable living space through loans. Hence, the demand is therefore to exempt investments in social housing by countries, cities and communities from the “Maastricht Criteria” (“Golden Rule”).
- The European Investment Bank shall set up a fund, which makes available loans to non-profit and public construction companies for creating affordable living space at particularly favourable conditions.
- Due to short-term leases to tourists via online platforms, cities are losing a large amount of living space, which in turn results in making the situation on the housing market even worse. Apart from that, these platforms often enjoy tax advantages. Hence, the requirement is for a Europe-wide regulation, which ensures that short-term leases do not lead to a shortage in properties to rent and that the providing online platforms do not enjoy any tax advantages.
- The demand is that data on housing requirement and housing cost (burden) in the European regions is collected in a standardised manner throughout Europe. Only then will it be possible to visualise developments on Europe’s housing markets and to politically steer the issue of housing.
For further reading please see the campaign site of the citizens’ initiative “Housing for All” https://www.housingforall.eu/de/startseite/ and the blog of the Austrian association “Europeans for affordable housing” https://housingforall.blog/.