Home is where the slum landlord is: with urban property prices on the increase, some citizens are left unable to access housing, therefore unable to fully enjoy the socioeconomic opportunities offered by European cities. What measures can governments take in ensuring all citizens access to affordable housing in urban areas?

Submitted by: Luiza Greundling, Damir Ismailow, Jurgen Pels, Olaf Scheeper, Teun Slokker, Ties de Winter, Carla-Elena Sava (Chairperson, RO)

The European Youth Parliament,

  1. Alarmed by the fact that housing prices increased by 19% across the European Union (EU) in the past decade,
  2. Bearing in mind that the low interest rates set by the European Central Bank (ECB) create additional demand in the property sector,
  3. Acknowledging that 27 Member States have ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights where the right to adequate housing is stipulated,
  4. Nothing with regret that the Member State’s response to the EU’s housing crisis is unsatisfactory,
  5. Further noting with deep concern that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the EU housing systems, affecting:
    • the homeless population and low-income citizens,
    • people in insecure employment,
    • young people,
  6. Gravely concerned by the increasing economic and social segregation between high-income and low-income households across the EU, in the form of:
    • unequal access to medical services and the labour market,
    • negative effects on young people’s educational attainment and career prospects,
  7. Fully alarmed that 96.5 million Europeans are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, and are either homeless or overburdened by housing costs,
  8. Deploring that 17% of the EU population live in overcrowded accommodation, hindering the need to self-isolate and protect from COVID-19 and contributing to higher infection and death rates during the pandemic,
  9. Expressing its satisfaction with the implementation of the Urban Agenda for the EU;
  1. Encourages Member States to increase property tax for home owners with multiple properties;
  2. Proposes the Member States to increase the amount of public housing;
  3. Requests the Member States to implement a mortgage interest tax deduction;1A mortgage interest tax deduction is a fiscal device where the interest of a mortgage is deductible from home owners’ other taxes.
  4. Recommends the European Commission to prioritise the need for housing in its homelessness policy, drawing upon the Finnish “Housing first” approach2 The Finnish “Housing First” approach prioritises homeless people’s need for housing before securing employment, budgeting properly, or attending to substance use problems.;
  5. Invites Member States to provide housing for people in overcrowded homes during the COVID-19 pandemic by:
    •  reserving public housing spots,
    •  increasing subsidies for public housing spots reserved for this group;
  6. Encourages European higher education institutions to provide full-time on campus  accommodation covered by tuition fees;
  7. Supports public housing agencies initiatives for inclusionary housing, that grant density bonuses and financing incentives to private developers in exchange for including below-market rate units;
  8. Calls upon the EC Directorate-Generals of EAC, EMPL and SANTE to ensure that low-income neighbourhoods include:
  9. Calls upon the European Commission to encourage knowledge sharing about the Urban Agenda between urban authorities as well as between different levels of government by:
    • creating an indicator framework that mirrors the format of the Sustainable Development Goals indicators,
    • increase data collection on these indicators, also including country economic and social parameters.