Although the right to housing has been affirmed for decades by numerous international instruments, it remains only a dream for the millions of people in Europe suffering from non-housing and poor housing conditions. In some countries such as Ireland and Spain, these problems have been exacerbated by the crisis that started in 2008 and the recession that followed. Thousands of families found themselves suddenly unable to pay their mortgages, and those that faced eviction were left homeless.

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In the face of these dramatic situations, civil society is organising itself - either in collaboration with institutions or independently - to find solutions and ensure access to decent housing. What actions exactly are being implemented and how can institutions facilitate the development of these actions?

We present below some original actions (in orange) that are being implemented across the continent as well as policies (in green) (tax laws, etc.) that support these actions and facilitate access to housing.

Image Pictures by CLT Bruxelles, Ruben Mendez, globalproject, Corrala de vecinas La Utopía and

Reusing abandoned buildings

While millions of people are homeless or having to live in inadequate housing as many, if not more, homes are empty and abandoned. In Spain, the number of unused or vacant houses is estimated to be over 3 million.

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Everywhere in Europe, individuals, families and groups of people are choosing to build their own homes themselves. The self-construction concept - generally used to create low-cost housing - responds to the wishes of future residents who are free to imagine their own home and take ownership of their future living space; as well, it often incorporates an ecological dimension. In many cases, the construction phase is a collective process involving friends, other members of a group or community, neighbours, etc. The self-construction process can be realised in different settings, ranging from an individual approach to a collective project.

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Public-Commons partnership

In terms of access to housing, new hybrid forms are emerging that bring together public authorities with civil society.

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Sharing houses

To reduce everyday costs and live a collective experience, groups of people are choosing to opt for shared accommodation. Collocations, co-housing and other types of group housing can also help to combat isolation, suffered by many people experiencing poverty or insecurity.

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ALL examples of Actions and Policies

  • Please note: ACTIONS (in orange) and POLICIES (in green)
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Auteur : Lorna Muddiman - Publié le : 2013-04-19 09:00 -


Time Bank of Athens

Auteur : Lorna Muddiman - Publié le : 2013-04-18 13:02 -

The Athens Time Bank was created in May 2011, at Sydagma Square, when thousands of people gathered there to participate in mass strikes and demonstrations.

Community Land Trust Brussels

Auteur : Louise Hain - Publié le : 2013-04-11 15:26 -
CLT Brussels

The Brussels Community Land Trust is an integrated housing model allowing poor households in Brussels that are not longer able to access to decent housing or social housing to enter a long-term housing project and become owner of their own living. This not-for-profit model has been coined as one of the best housing models in the world by UNESCO in 2008.

Rivolta Social Centre

Auteur : alessandra sciurba - Publié le : 2013-04-03 10:20 -

A self-managed social center built in an occupied abandoned factory that has lead to several initiatives : new forms of welfare for Italian and migrant population, innovative types of co-production of renewable energy, collective solutions to produce income for young temporary workers, and new practices of democratic management of resources on the base of a common pool of knowledge and competences.

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Dernière modification de la page : Mercredi 05 juin 2013 14:58:21 UTC