May 2020


Welcome back to the FEANTSA Flash

This month has been another busy one, and so our newsletter is out a little later than usual, for which we would like to apologise. However, there is plenty to read, and we hope you find it informative. Feel free to send us some tips for the next edition of the Flash by writing to us here. 



FEANTSA Breakfast Bites Webinars 

Our weekly webinar series extends into June. Register for upcoming webinars on Self-Harm, responding to Covid19 and practicing self care and managing stress and anxiety for frontline workers and people experiencing homelessness during Covid19. You can register for upcoming webinars and watch back our previous webinars here. 



Call for Practices in Ending Youth Homelessness 

In follow-up to our European Framework for Defining Youth Homelessness we published last month, FEANTSA is collecting best practices to combat youth homelessness. If you work for or know a service supporting young people experiencing homelessness we’d like to hear from you. You can find more information about our call for practices here. 

Hotels to homes 

In the context of a public health emergency, governments have taken bold measures to protect their homeless people. Now, as they start to lift confinement measures, they must not abandon homeless people but keep the momentum going. That is why we launched the #hotelstohomes campaign, with which we call on public authorities to use the work already done in accommodating people during the health crisis as a springboard to providing them with long-term solutions. Find out more here.  


Member News

In an open letter to the government, BAWO makes a case for a hardship fund against homelessnesss, which would pay 50% of housing costs when they represent a financial overburden to a household. The objective, BAWO argues, would be to avoid chronic homelessness.  Read more here. 

Pierre Verbeeren was appointed new Bruss’help’s new President, RTBF reports. 

Y Foundation has elected its new board for the 2-year term. Find out more here 

In the first of a new quarterly 'Focus on Homelessness' report, Focus Ireland and the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin find that family homelessness has quadrupled in the space of 6 years in Ireland, with hotels and bnbs dominating the response, as the housing crisis spirals.  Find out more here.  

Hogar Si launch #quécasa campaign to demand a permanent solution to homelessness . Find out more here. 


European (And World) News

Fundamental Rights Agency publishes data on LGBTIQ homelessness 
1 in 5 in the LGBTIQ community report experiencing homelessness and housing exclusion, according to the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency’s survey on the quality of life of the LGBTIQ community. With over 140,000 responses from across Europe looking at lives of the LGBTIQ community the agency asked respondents about their previous housing situation. You can track your country and how many people report experiences of homelessness with breakdowns by sexual orientation and gender identity and their reported housing situation of sleeping rough, using emergency services, sofa surfing and staying with friends and family & staying in a place intended to be temporary here. 

New UN Special Rapporteurs on adequate housing and extreme poverty and human rights 
Mr. Balakrishnan Rajagopal (USA) is the new UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context. Mr. Olivier De Schutter (Belgium) has been appointed new UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. We welcome their appointment and look forward to working with them! 

In case you missed it – Mr. Balakrishnan Rajagopal has issued a call for input from States, regional and national human rights institutions, non-governmental organisation, UN agencies, academic institutions, local governments and other relevant stakeholders on Covid19 and the right to housing. Deadline is the 19th June. 



Sébastien’s journal: Samusocial’s director wonders “which of these changes are sustainable”?  

Samusocials’s director tells about his workday during Covid19, and his worries about what comes after, in this piece by BX1 

Winter truce extended to July 

The housing minister has announced a second extension of the Winter truce (i.e. a ban of evictions) until July, considering the Covid19 context, Le Parisien reports. On the other hand, organisations working with homeless people are concerned about what comes next. Will the service users end up back in the streets? More in Le Monde.  

Deconfinement: “zero return to the street” in Lyon 

In an impressive move, the town of Lyon has set up a “zero return to the streets” plan for the homeless. More in France 3 here. The question is, who will qualify for the 1500 places the town will be providing?   

Housing exclusion a ticking timebomb 

With 6-7 million people overburdened by their housing costs, many households will find themselves in even more difficulties in a few months, when the special confinement measures are lifted. Additional costs due to increased use of electricity, water, and phones and higher grocery bills will have a devastating impact, France Culture reports. 

Calais, or the impossibility of confining 

Euronews reports about increasing difficulties at the Calais “jungles”, with less support workers and the police forces coming round every 48 hours to tell people to leave their encampments. 

Towards a European minimum income 

This opinion piece in Publico says “This is the time for the EU to look to the future and continue its program, with a view to presenting an action plan for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and thus launching a ‘European social shield’.” 



Covid19 makes roofless people visible 

Our Member Assis, who are working with homeless people during the pandemic, say “The situation must be approached from a structural perspective, with labour and housing policies that go beyond the emergency.” La Vanguardia reports. 

More than 1200 people are living in the streets of Barcelona during lockdown 

Our member Fundació Arrels finds that the number of rough sleepers is similar to last years’ data, El Periodico reports. 


United Kingdom 
Scottish Government vows to find long-term solution to homelessness 

The Scottish Government has said it is committed to finding long-term solutions for people sleeping rough in Scottish cities who were offered places in hotels to get them off the streets during lockdown. Read more in The National  

The race to house Britain’s homeless 

In this extensive piece, the Bureau of investigative journalism uncovers how homelessness has been dealt with in the UK during lockdown, and the looming threats afterwards.  

Coronavirus: Funding for rough sleepers' emergency scheme to end 

Councils were given £3.2m in March to provide emergency shelter for homeless people, with many housed in hotels. The Manchester Evening News said a leaked report showed ministers had "quietly pulled the plug". More by the BBC here. 


Barcelona, Paris and London united for an emergency housing plan 

The deputy mayors of London, Barcelona and Paris ask for more local competencies to better regulate the private housing sector and better implement tenants’ rights. The three signatories also demand the establishment of funds for tenants and landlords experiencing difficulties, and demand financial support by national governments for local housing policies. Read more in Libération. 


Further Reading

The State of homelessness: A look at race and ethnicity 
Race, ethnicity, and homelessness are thoroughly intertwined, says the National Alliance to End Homelessness (USA) in its annual State of Homelessness report. Perhaps most notably, people of colour are more likely to experience homelessness. But recent data reflects the systemic nature of racial disparities in people experiencing homelessness. Find out more here  

‘A traumatised system’ : Research into the commissioning of homelessness  
This new report, funded by The Riverside Group Limited and conducted by Imogen Blood & Associates and Nicholas Pleace (Professor at the University of York and member of the Research team at the European Observatory on Homelessness), looks into the most significant trends or changes in the commissioning of homelessness services in recent years and what lessons can be learned from these changes to inform future policy and strategy. Read it here. 

Universal credit: The health impacts for people who are experiencing homelessness 
 Groundswell, Kings College London and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have launched their new research 'Universal Credit - the health impacts for people who are experiencing homelessness’, which found that the challenges of engaging with the Universal Credit system impacts on the health & wellbeing of people experiencing homelessness, specifically around assumed capacity. The Universal Credit system assumes capacities of spare time, computer skills, internet access, a bank account and being able to self-advocate. Such capacities are challenging for many people, but especially those facing the multiple health and social challenges that are often linked with homelessness.