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International Homelessness Policy and Research Profile: European Union


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Dr Eoin O'Sullivan of Trinity College Dublin presents the European Observatory on Homelessness and homeless research in Europe.

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International Homelessness Policy and Research Profile: European Union

  1. 1. International Homelessness Policy and Research Profile: European UnionEoin O’Sullivan,School of Social Work and Social Policy,Trinity College Dublin andEuropean Observatory on Homelessness
  2. 2. International Homelessness Policy and Research Profile: European UnionEoin O’Sullivan,School of Social Work and Social Policy,Trinity College Dublin andEuropean Observatory on Homelessness
  3. 3. At Risk of Poverty after Social Transfers in 2010 (%) More than 25% Between 20-25% Between 15-20% Less than 15%
  4. 4. 0501001502002503003504004505002012201120102009200820072006200520042003200220012000199919981997199619951994199319921991199019891988198719861985198419831982198119801979197819771976197519741973197119661952195119501946All Homelessness Social Science Research on HomelessnessScopus Results for Research on Homelessness, 1946-2012
  5. 5. 0500100015002000250030003500United StatesEuropeCanadaAustraliaBrazilSpainSouth AfricaJapanIndiaNew ZealandScopus Results for Research on Homelessness by Country, 1946-2012
  6. 6. Homelessness Research in the European Union, 1946-20120100200300400500600
  7. 7. Homelessness Research in Europe (Excluding the UK)020406080100120140
  8. 8. 0200400600800100012001400UnitedStatesEuropeCanadaAustraliaSouthAfricaNewZealandJapanBrazilIndiaIsraelTop Ten Countries for Social Science Research on Homelessness
  9. 9. 050100150200250300Social Science Research on Homelessness in Europe
  10. 10. Social Science Research on Homelessness in Europe (excluding the UK)0510152025
  11. 11. Publications in the European Journal of Homelessness by Country05101520253035
  12. 12. 051015202530Europe (Social Science) excluding United Kingdom EJHPublications in the EJH and Scopus by Country (excluding the UK and EU)
  13. 13. Scopus and EJH Publications on Homelessness in Europe More than 25 Between 11 and 25 Publications Ten Publications or less
  14. 14. Research on Homelessness in EuropeOne of the recommendations of the seminar wasthat:“the European Commission fund an associationof organisations working with homeless people inthe member states so that they may consultregularly on issues affecting homeless people, onmethods that will secure improvements in theconditions of homeless people and advise theCommission on policy that will improve theconditions of homeless people.”This recommendation led to the establishment ofthe Federation Europeenne d’AssociationsNationales Travaillant avec les Sans Abris(FEANTSA) in 1989 and in 1991 the EuropeanObservatory on Homelessness.
  15. 15. Research Output of the European Observatory on Homelessness, 1991-
  16. 16. European Journal of Homelessness, 2007-The aim is to stimulate debate on homelessness and housing exclusion at theEuropean level and to facilitate the development of a stronger evidential base forpolicy development and innovation.The European Journal of Homelessness publishes two editions per year. The firstedition of each year is a themed edition, largely based on the theme of the annualresearch conference of the previous year, which the European Observatory onHomelessness and its partners organise each year. The second edition is open to allcontributions that address dimensions of homelessness in Europe.
  17. 17. EOH Comparative Studies on Homelessness, 2011-A new series of the European Observatory of Homelessness (EOH) that explores pan-European issues in homelessness through the use of a questionnaire sent to a groupof national experts
  18. 18. ETHOS - European Typology on Homelessness and Housing ExclusionETHOS categories attempt tocover all living situations whichamount to forms ofhomelessness across Europe:rooflessness (without a shelter ofany kind, sleeping rough)houselessness (with a place tosleep but temporary ininstitutions or shelter)living in insecure housing(threatened with severeexclusion due to insecuretenancies, eviction, domesticviolence)living in inadequate housing (incaravans on illegal campsites, inunfit housing, in extremeovercrowding).
  19. 19. The Role of the European Commission
  20. 20. EUROPE 2020 STRATEGY AND THE ECCHEurope 2020 is the EUs growth strategy for the coming decade….EU to become asmart, sustainable and inclusive economy. These three mutually reinforcing prioritiesshould help the EU and the Member States deliver high levels of employment, productivityand social cohesion….the Union has set five ambitious objectives - onemployment, innovation, education, social inclusion and climate/energy - to be reached by2020.A key initiative of the 2020 strategy is the European Platform against poverty and socialexclusion, which sets out actions to reach the EU target of reducing poverty and socialexclusion by at least 20 million by 2020.The Commission aims to “identify methods and means to best continue the work initiatedon homelessness and housing exclusion, taking into account the outcome of the consensusconference of December 2010.”The European Consensus Conference on Homelessness, a Belgian Presidency initiative, withFEANTSA, has helped lay the foundation for a possible EU strategy on Homelessness.
  21. 21. EUROPE 2020 STRATEGY AND THE ECCHOn the basis of expert evidence, an independent jury drewconclusions on key questions concerning homeless policies.The Jury stated that homelessness violates the fundamentalhuman rights and ongoing prevention in the national andregional context should be secured;that a major shift from shelters and transitionalaccommodation to ’housing led’ approaches is needed as asustainable solution;that homeless people should be empowered to participatein decision-making related to their issues, and to fight ausual view of homeless people as passive recipients of help;called for an integrated approach to migrants and EU citizensfacing homelessness as a result of access barriers relating tolegal or administrative status.
  22. 22. EUROPE 2020 STRATEGY AND THE ECCHThe European Parliament drew upon the jury’s recommendations on the 14th September2011 when it adopted a Resolution calling for an integrated EU homelessness strategy tomonitor, support and coordinate the development of national homelessness strategies.It also called on the Commission to establish a working group for an EU homelessnessstrategy and to involve all stakeholders in the fight against homelessness;called for the European Typology of Homelessness and Housing Exclusion (ETHOS) to betaken into consideration in developing an EU strategy;called on the Social Protection Committee and its indicators sub-group to promoteagreement amongst Member States on applying this definition;called on EUROSTAT to collect EU homelessness data in the framework of the EuropeanUnion Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC);Called for a framework, agreed by the Commission and the Member States for monitoringthe development of national and regional homelessness strategies, as a central element ofthe EU homelessness strategy; calls in this context for an annual or bi-annual reportingstrategy to report on progress.
  23. 23. Roundtable meeting of Ministers with Responsibility forHomelessness, Leuven, Belgium, 2013The meeting agreed six principles that should inform homelessness policy across Europe.These principles are:Principle 1 (Develop and Share Knowledge and Best Practice)Recognition of need to develop and share knowledge about homelessness so as to greatly improve thequality of homelessness responses at a national, regional, and local level.Principle 2 (Core Elements for Response)Acknowledge that housing-led approaches to homelessness which prioritise access to affordable, long-term stable housing solutions, are one of the most effective responses to homelessness. Alsoacknowledged that prevention is crucial.Principle 3 (Funding)An adequate level of funding to confront homelessness and enable continuous, high-quality provision ofservices, involving private investors, partnerships and collaborative approaches, if possible, should beprovided. Better utilisation of EU financing instruments to combat homelessness should be encouraged.
  24. 24. Roundtable meeting of Ministers with Responsibility forHomelessness, Leuven, Belgium, 2013Principle 4 (Common Reference Framework)A comprehensive reference framework for homelessness can improve the capacity for datacollection, comparison and analysisPrinciple 5 (Research, Innovation and Data Collection)A better understanding of the homelessness phenomenon would result in improved, evidence-basedpolicies and enhanced responses to homelessness. Research and ongoing development ofknowledge, and innovative approaches to the problem are required.Principle 6 (Implementation and Monitoring)The development and implementation of national homelessness plans should be monitored and adviceand expertise should be made available where required.
  25. 25. Measuring Homelessness in Europe Broad Acceptance of the Ethosdefinition Broad definition for researchpurposes More restrictive definitionw No standardised definition
  26. 26. Increases in Homelessness over the past 5 years? Increase Decrease Stability
  27. 27. The Extent of Housing Led Policies and Practices in Europe Housing Led with Support thedominant model Housing Led Strategy adopted, butnot an operational reality Supported Housingwidespread, but a staircase modelremains centralw Housing Led Strategies not widelyadopted
  28. 28. Strategies to Tackle Homelessness in Europe National Level Integrated Strategies Regional Level Integrated Strategiesw Integrated Strategies not widelyadopted
  29. 29. A Right to Housing in Europe? Yesw No
  30. 30. Legislation Criminalizing Homelessness / Begging in Europe National Level CriminalizingVagrancy / Begging National level LegislationCriminalising Aggressive /Exploitative Regional Level LegislationCriminalising Aggressive /Exploitative Begging No Legislation
  31. 31. Summary• The instruments of social inclusion, and the scale and coverage of welfare provision are notuniform across the EU. There is some evidence that the more generous welfare regimesmay be more likely to protect citizens from entering at least some forms of homelessness.• Generous welfare regimes are also less likely to utilise the criminal justice system, as ameans of managing socially and economically marginal households.• Our knowledge remains very uneven. with a lack of data and understanding on someaspects of homelessness. More crucially, there is relatively little research in the South and inthe Central and East European member states.• While the predominant users of services for homeless people are still single men, growingproportions of women, of younger people and of families with children are reported and -especially in Western Europe –a growing number of migrants from Central and EasternEurope and from outside the European Union.• Existing services for homeless people in Europe are still to a large extent directed atcovering the most urgent and basic needs and Housing First /Led policies are still in theirinfancy.
  32. 32. • Further information on the EoH can be found at:•