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The State of Housing in the EU 2017

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Alice Pittini
@ Yhdyskuntien uudistaminen: Kiva asua nyt ja tulevaisuudessa -seminaari 24.10.2017

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The State of Housing in the EU 2017

  1. 1. The State of Housing in the EU 2017 Alice.pittini@housingeurope.eu
  2. 2. Network of national and regional housing provider federations • 4,500 public, voluntary housing organisations • 28,000 cooperative housing organisations 45 members in 24 countries (20 EU Member States) Manage 26 million dwellings, about 11% of existing dwellings in the EU About us in brief
  3. 3. Our Vision, our guide • We, not-for-profit, public and co- operatives housing providers, have a vision of a Europe which provides access to decent and affordable housing for all in communities which are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable and where all are enabled to reach their full potential. • We provide housing for socially sustainable neighborhoods.
  4. 4. Structure • It is organized in five (5) thematic Working Committees open to all members Housing Europe Observatory (Research) Urban Affairs Social Affairs Financial Affairs Energy & Construction
  5. 5. Advocacy Through the constant monitoring of the work of the EU in the field of housing and related advocacy work, being heard at the top level by developing a positive message to EU leaders. Capacity Building Conferences, workshops, study visits, exchange of good practices, toolkits, e.g. Housing for All campaign #housing4all, funding opportunities etc… Research Research briefings, social housing country profiles, reports, toolkits. The observatory identifies and analyses key trends and research needs in the field of housing and social housing at European level Our added value
  6. 6. Biennial compass of Europe's housing sector • Second edition • Covering 28 EU countries • Source: network of national experts, existing databases and literature • Bringing together trends/figures and policy
  7. 7. What’s in the report • Housing markets in the European Union • Affordability of housing: a new stake for the Union • Local housing markets of the Union: increasing diversity and mobility • Housing as a tool to implement objectives and policies of the Union • Member states profiles of the housing sector
  8. 8. Key messages • Growth has returned to our continent, but we should not forget this growth is leaving many behind and our societies are increasingly unequal. Similarly, the recent ‘recovery’ in housing markets is far from benefitting everyone and the state of housing in the European Union today remains critical.
  9. 9. Growth recovery means also recovery in house prices, which are growing faster than income in most EU MS • Housing markets across the EU have started to speed up again: 2016 saw the highest annual growth rate in house prices since 2009. • Not same trend everywhere: in some countries like the UK or Sweden prices are higher than pre-crisis level, in others like Greece, Portugal and Spain the downward trend has only marginally slowed down. • Crisis had a large impact in terms of worsening households’ economic situation and this means less capacity to make ends meet even in a context of lower house prices.
  10. 10. Inequality and housing exclusion are mutually reinforcing • Housing overburden rate among people at risk of poverty has increased significantly compared to pre- crisis level, from 35.9 in 2005 to 39.3 in 2015 (but slightly decreased for those with higher incomes). Share of poor households paying too much for housing has doubled (or more) in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Greece • The income gap between tenants and owners is widening, and the housing cost burden for tenants is increasing disproportionately in the vast majority of EU countries
  11. 11. 73,2 50,2 26,7 49,8 0,0 20,0 40,0 60,0 80,0 100,0 120,0 Above 60% of median income Below 60% of median income Distribution of the population by tenure status and income group EU 28 average, 2015 (Source: Eurostat, SILC) owners tenants
  12. 12. Poor political response to homelessness & housing exclusion • Housing exclusion has been exacerbated by the crisis and policies are failing to provide an adequate response in most countries. • Increasing homelessness, Finland being the only country in the EU which managed to reverse this trend by implementing effective policies. • People trying to enter the housing market such as younger generations and migrants find it increasingly difficult, also clearly emerging housing problems for working poor
  13. 13. Slow recovery of construction • Residential construction as a share of GDP is currently just over half than its 2006 level ( from 6 to 3.7%), and construction is recovering much slower than prices • Switzerland, Sweden and Norway showing the highest construction costs followed by DE, FR, NL, AT • High building standards and requirements are posing a significant challenge to the provision of social and affordable housing in a number of countries
  14. 14. Increasing territorial divide • Major cities face a structural housing shortage and house prices there are higher and raising faster, with rents following the same trend. • Finding adequate and affordable housing in places where job opportunities are is increasingly hard. • Migration flows are increasing pressure on already tight housing market areas. • Shrinking regions show high housing vacancy rates, abandoned properties and negative equity, as well as an increased need for services and revitalization of areas with an increasingly old population.
  15. 15. Challenges for housing providers • Social and affordable housing providers continue to offer rents significantly lower than the market. They also provide affordable home ownership and shared ownership options. However, they are faced with a double challenge: decreasing income of current residents, and increasing number of people registered on waiting lists (1.9 million in FR, 650thousand in IT, 91.8 thousand in IE). • Responding to the ever growing demand in the context of increasing building and energy requirements and decreasing public support is becoming more difficult.
  16. 16. Different regional responses • Countries with a long tradition of social renting have shown more resilience (e.g. Austria and France), but there’s a trend towards a more residual role (e.g. Netherlands). • Countries with little tradition of social housing (CEE region) and/or where public finances have been particularly constrained (e.g. Greece, Ireland, Italy and Portugal) are struggling to find ways to invest in supply and maintenance as well as necessary social measures.
  17. 17. Lesson not learnt by housing policy makers • The crisis could have represented a turning point showing the importance of investing in affordable, non- speculative housing. However, overall so far there has been little change in social housing policies. • Retreat of the state from housing policies - since the 90s at least, but in some countries the crisis has exacerbated this trend by putting a further constraint on public budgets • Shift in public spending from housing development to housing allowances (e.g. the UK)
  18. 18. Cities at the forefront • In this context, increasingly we find local authorities/cities coming up with solutions rather than national policies • Good lessons to share in use of land, demanding private developers to contribute to social infrastructures, bringing vacant premises back into use, initiatives for social inclusion, education and employment opportunities in poor neighbourhoods
  19. 19. EU Urban Agenda Housing Partnership • HE leading group on affordable housing • Policy toolkit on Affordable Housing in Cities • Currently: 30 examples organized according to 9 themes goo.gl/tEM92P
  20. 20. Measures to increase the availability of social housing in the city of Paris Instruments to reach the goal: • a first purchasing right by the municipality on properties for sale • an obligation at least 30% of dwellings to social housing in all projects by private developers covering over 800 m2 • Financing new construction by HLM providers or give them access to land • One third of the city’s investment budget is dedicated to housing
  21. 21. Limited Profit Housing Associations (LPHA) in Austria • Limited-profit housing associations are enterprises whose activities are directly geared towards the fulfilment of the common good in the field of housing und residential matters. • They provide social and affordable housing with rents covering costs (below market rents) • As they are only allowed limited profit, public funding is needed to provide investment capital and to make it affordable to people. • Control by state authorities and independent monitoring organisation
  22. 22. From empty office to social housing units, the Netherlands • Social housing organisations devise creative solutions in order to give unoccupied office buildings a new future as homes. • There are tens of thousand of unoccupied buildings such as offices, residential and care complexes throughout the Netherlands. • For instance a former office building in Amsterdam with 12 floors was renovated into homes for 285 students The Hub has a built-in kitchen, shower, and toilet, along with heat, a sound system, and Internet. Photo: https://www.fastcompany.com/3057889/this-pre-fab-apartment-turns- empty-offices-into-affordable-housing

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