A EUROCITIES event on affordable housing on 26 April was an opportunity to demonstrate how cities can use affordable housing policies to improve social cohesion, and to identify obstacles cities face in implementing these policies in the first place. The event attracted 60 policy makers and other stakeholders.
Representatives from Barcelona, Leipzig, Rotterdam and Vienna presented their experiences. Each presenter explained their own local context and the difficulties they face in developing strategies to tackle the growing problem of a lack of affordable housing in their cities, and the impact this has on social cohesion.
Visit the EUROCITIES website for presentations from the conference.
Panellists from the EU institutions then responded to the cities’ presentations. Evelyn Regner MEP (S&D, AT), stressed the importance of recognising housing as a fundamental right and the need to give local authorities enough flexibility to adapt policies according to their local needs.
The European Commission, represented by DG COMP, DG REGIO and DG EMPL, acknowledged that the practical implementation of policies is happening in cities where investments are most needed, in particular in some of the most deprived neighbourhoods.
A second panel discussion gathered housing and tenants’ associations who called on the EU institutions to recognise the particular situation of the housing market, in which huge investments are needed. A lack of affordable and decent housing could have disastrous consequences in cities on social cohesion and could lead to ghettoization in some of the most deprived areas in cities.
Information on EUROCITIES
EUROCITIES is a network of major European cities that bring together the local governments of over 130 of Europe’s largest cities and 40 partner cities, that between them govern 130 million citizens across 35 countries.
Through six thematic forums, a wide range of working groups, projects, activities and events, EUROCITIES offer members a platform for sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas.
EUROCITIES influence and work with the EU institutions to respond to common issues that affect the day-to-day lives of Europeans.
EUROCITIES strategic framework 2014-2020 identifies some of the challenges and opportunities in cities that are closely linked to developments at EU level.
For more details on EUROCITIES activities, please visit the links below: