you're reading...

Homelessness on the rise in the EU

Homelessness is on the increase in the EU, with rises recorded in most member states, as the economic crisis and austerity policies hurt the most vulnerable.

Immigrants, women, families and young people are making up a growing proportion of the homeless, while cuts in welfare, housing, health, probation services, education and training are aggravating the problem, according to a report by the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless.

The report – On the Way Home? – FEANTSA Monitoring Report on Homelessness and Homeless Policies in Europe – states:

‘For Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the UK, the crisis was identified as a key driver of increased homelessness in the past 5 years. Several of the countries most affected by the crisis, such as Greece, Portugal and Spain have experienced dramatic increases in homelessness. [Homeless] Service providers in Portugal and Spain estimate increases of 25-30% in the demand for homeless services since the onset of the crisis. In Greece, despite a lack of reliable statistical data, there are clear indications of a large and rapid increase in homelessness. Service providers estimate that Greece’s homeless population also rose by 25% between 2009 and 2011 and reached 20,000….

‘These increases in homelessness reflect increased unemployment and loss of income which mean more people have difficulty meeting housing costs. At the same time, austerity budget cuts are diminishing capacity to respond to homelessness. For example, 61 of the 85 staff at the City of Athens Homeless Foundation were laid off in November 2010.

‘A new shelter, begun in 2009 and intended to relieve congestion in the two existing hostels, has been unable to open because of the lack of staff. Housing benefit was suspended in 2010, partly due to the reduced inflow of social contributions which had funded the scheme. Social housing in the form of the Greek Workers’ Housing Organisation has been abolished. Similar issues are observed in Spain and Portugal.’

Even in Germany, following years of a downward trend, homelessness is on the rise. This is because of a shortage of affordable housing, which is compounded by cuts in social housing funding, while poverty as a result of long- term unemployment and low-wage work are also driving up Germany’s homelessness, as are inadequate social security for unemployed people, inadequate housing support for young people and a reduction in employment promotion measures. NGO homeless service providers estimate that the number of homeless people increased by 10% from 2008 to 2010.

Previous estimates by Red de Apoyo a la Integración Sociolaboral (RAIS) put the number of homeless in the EU at 3 million.

Read the report

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or @revoltingeurope


One thought on “Homelessness on the rise in the EU

  1. My name is John Raymond and I have been involved in homelessness for more years than I care to recall. I am contacting you in the hope that you might support an anti homelessness intiative at EU level. Basically this involves a common petition which seeks to ‘mandate’ MEPs to take a personal involvement in combatting homelessness within their own constituencies.

    The URL for this online petition is http://johnr207.tripod.com/mandate (please note not to key in www). Any support you could add to this initative would be very much appreciated.

    John Raymond

    Posted by John Raymond | April 30, 2013, 5:35 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Twitter Updates

  • The dark side of the Italian tomato. webapps.aljazeera.net/aje/custom/201… #migration #unfairtrade 10 hours ago
  • Telefonica-Movistar: a united fight against exploitation by @esthervivas | Revolting Europe wp.me/p1bMfw-27m 1 day ago
  • RT @nfirindia: @USILive WE STAND SOLIDLY BEHIND THE DOCKERS IN NORWAY itfglobal.org/news-online/in… 1 day ago
  • After losing vote, US-EU threaten to undermine treaty that forces multinationals to respect human rights ow.ly/3mjeGk 1 day ago
  • Usual suspects still having an good crisis wp.me/p1bMfw-27i 3 days ago
  • Read A Week in Revolting Europe paper.li/tomgilltweets/… #austerity #strikes #health #corruption #deflation #pensions #privatisation 4 days ago
  • Why the French are right to go on strike | Revolting Europe wp.me/p1bMfw-27g 4 days ago
  • Why the French are right to go on strike. My piece @TheLocalFrance - plus view from leading communist @FDG m.thelocal.fr//20140626/why-… 5 days ago
  • #Austerity bad for our #health: #Greek homeless drug addicts doubled during crisis dlvr.it/64Dn6n #troika 1 week ago
  • A Week in Revolting Europe paper.li/tomgilltweets/… #politics #privatisation #austerity #debt #troika #euro #protest #strike #sovereignty 1 week ago
Follow @tomgilltweets

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Anti-social Europe in numbers


Key facts and figures on wages across the EU

Wealth Inequality in Europe

Get the key facts and figures


A different take on European issues

Italy’s Healthcare Crisis

Health services are ‘close to collapse’ in Rome, Turin and Naples after years of cuts and privatisation.

550 days, 29 Workers, Zero Job Losses

How a few determined Italian women stopped their factory closing and protected their livelihoods

Filthy Rich

France's Bernard Arnault of the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) empire is worth $41 billion. Check out Europe's rich list


Private banks receive half-trillion-euro gift from ECB


Workers and citizens stand up for themselves


Workers are on a go-slow over privatisation

Popular resistance delivers results

Lessons from the victory against Madrid privatisation plan


Hundreds of workers occupied the factory of ArcelorMittal in Florange in the north of France

International Workers Day

International Workers Day 2012

RSS Watching Corporate Europe

  • Leaked document shows EU is going for a trade deal that will weaken financial regulation
  • Mediapart exposes unhealthy liaisons between French MEP and the tobacco industry
  • Help us block the revolving door!

RSS Fight discrimination in Europe – Amnesty Int’l

  • Listen to Roma Rights
  • France: Forced evictions add to climate of fear amid alleged hate crimes


in Italy the home is a very dangerous place to be


Workers down tools over PM Monti's attack on labour rights


Concentration camps and a massive migrant marine cemetery




Read the statement by Lafontaine and Melenchon

The Troika in Portugal – Three Years On

A success story?


The Dossier