European Parliament Votes on Social Housing

According to a report adopted by the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) of the European Parliament on 23 April, there is an urgent need for investment in the social housing sector which offers leverage to help the EU out of the economic, social and environmental crisis.
The adoption of the report is significant for the fact that it relates specifically to housing although property as such is not an EU competence. It demonstrates the importance which the Parliament now addresses to the issue of social housing and also the way in which it interrelates with other important issues such as economic governance and energy efficiency.

The own-initiative report by Karima Delli (Greens-EFA France) should now be submitted to a vote in a plenary session of the Parliament in June. 

An estimated 25 million Europeans live in social housing, which exists in all countries except for Greece. The volume of stock varies considerably between countries, as indeed does the need. Social housing is provided not only by non-profit operators but also by private investors or legal entities subsidised by national and regional authorities.

However there is a shortage of decent housing and an urgent need for investment in the social housing sector. Such investment can boost the construction sector and also promote greater energy efficiency. It is also noted that a sufficient supply of social housing also serves to smooth out the cyclical nature of the housing market and property bubbles.

Therefore the report calls for:
• The promotion of the role of social housing as a social and macro-economic shock absorber
• The encouragement of investment to boost the local employment and the green economy
• The combating of poverty and promotion of inclusion and social cohesion
• The combating of energy poverty