Key Messages to the European Union from the ROOF Network

The ROOF process made it very clear: it takes a city, a country and Europe to finally end homelessness. We believe that change is key, change the mindset and get all levels on the same page. We have been aiming to make progress in the local, national and European homelessness and housing policies. Through advocacy and storytelling we have been changing more minds towards data collection and starting or upscaling Housing First/Led. Now we need Europe to help us cities end homelessness. Therefore, the ROOF network created 4 specific messages outlining what Europe can do in the next decade to help cities towards functional zero. Now we need you to call on Europe with us.

1 | The EU must produce an Ending Homelessness Strategy by 2024/25 that includes key actions on improving affordability and quality of housing solutions.


•The EU and its Member States must embed housing need as a fundamental human right in their legislation and policy and position housing as central to addressing improvements in public health, inequality and the climate crisis.
•The EU should embed a Recommendation under the European Pillar of Social Rights on giving Member States strategic direction for their national homelessness policies and related housing solutions to prevent and end homelessness grounded in realistic deliverable targets. 
•The EU should further strengthen the Lisbon Declaration by drafting a clear Roadmap for transformation together with key milestones.
•The EU should support cross-sectoral mechanisms for collaboration between and within Member States in order to deliver coherent and coordinated responses at EU, national and local levels.

2 | The EU and the Member States should develop a joint monitoring system with harmonised indicators and ad hoc surveys on homelessness to inform policy decisions.


•The EU should provide Member States and cities with the opportunity to enhance their capabilities with respect to collecting robust data on homelessness including understanding Housing First outcomes. The monitoring system should include headcounts based on the ETHOS (light) typology as well as targeted surveys based on a light version of EU-SILC.
•The EU should facilitate Member States and cities to fill the analytical skills gap which can inhibit the development of policies and interventions that will have the biggest impact on tackling homelessness.
•The European Platform on Combatting Homelessness should work with Eurostat to develop a joint monitoring system, including protocols for harmonised data collection and analysis to inform and evaluate policies at EU and national levels.
•The EU should develop a data-driven understanding of the various types of homelessness across and within Member States and design appropriate citizen-centred solutions.

3 | Housing-led approaches, particularly Housing First, should be promoted as a key method of tackling homelessness.


•The EU should promote housing-led approaches as crucial to tackling homelessness and Housing First as particularly effective on reducing complex homelessness and reducing costs on the public purse.
•The EU should regard homelessness and housing inequality as urgent public health and safety issues and should support and fund coordinated housing-led/Housing First approaches across cities in order to enable new ways of working and partnerships to be established. 
•The EU must create real opportunities for cities to share knowledge, collaborate and build capacity on delivering Housing Led and Housing First approaches in order to co-design solutions with our citizens and to end homelessness in Europe.
•The EU and Member States must work with cities to design and implement Housing First approaches, which provides long-term results to end complex homelessness.

4 | EU Structural and Investment funds should be allocated to tackle homelessness by expanding affordable housing stock and providing support to allow people to live and thrive independently.


•The EU must address housing insecurity, which is linked to many other inequalities, as a priority and link it horizontally into EU funding programmes and enable flexible modes of delivery of housing and support.
•The EU should set the tone for addressing housing inequality and must invest in building new housing and renovating existing properties to a high quality to be used by the public and social sectors.
•The EU should target funding at initiatives within Member States which assist homeless people into housing, maintain tenancies and access wider networks of support.
•The EU must integrate standard references to social and affordable housing in all reports of EU institutions when discussing housing markets and financial stability.

It takes a city, a country and Europe 

It takes a roof, a house, a home 

It takes all of us 

Together we can end homelessness

Call to maintain ending homelessness as a priority beyond 2030 from European cities to the EU, the European Platform on Combatting Homelessness and the future 2024 Belgian presidency of the Council of the EU


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