JULY 2020

Welcome back to the FEANTSA Flash! 

This month homelessness landed decidedly upon the EU agenda with Social Rights Commissioner Nicolas Schmit announcing the launch of a cooperative platform for tackling homelessness – a particularly reassuring commitment considering the persisting threat of covid-19. Schmit made the announcement at the online launch event for FEANTSA & Fondation Abbé Pierre’s Fifth Overview of Housing Exclusion in Europe 2020, which you can read more about below. While the pandemic has thrown homelessness into the spotlight as a subject of public concern, FEANTSA and our network continue the work we have always done, with a few adaptations – see the “Save the Date” for our online annual conference – and are ever grateful for your support. 
As always, feel free to send us some tips for the next edition of the Flash by clicking here.



Save the date: FEANTSA's online Conference

FEANTSA’s Annual Conference has moved online. From 5-9 October 2020 we will be running a series of webinars on a range of topics and themes. Have a sneak peek at the programme here. Registrations will open to the wider public in mid-September.

FEANTSA Youth Study Session 

Applications have opened for this year's 5-day study session with the Council of Europe. The course will focus on how young women experience homelessness and will: 

  • Build awareness of the needs of young women experiencing homelessness 
  • Understand how young women and girls navigate homeless services 
  • Share best practices around Psychologically Informed Environments and Trauma Informed Care to respond to experiences of gender-based violence 
  • Share pathways & solutions to addressing important issues such gender, physical and emotional safety, interrelated and complex health issues, pregnancy and motherhood and sex work



5th Overview of Housing Exclusion and Homelessness in Europe 

Last week, FEANTSA and Fondation Abbé Pierre launched their joint annual report on homelessness and housing exclusion in Europe, which finds more and more families, women, children & people with a non-European nationality are homeless. The report was launched online with presentations from experts and an announcement from Social Rights Commissioner, Nicolas Schmit, of the launch of an EU platform to tackle homelessness. You can find the report in French and English, as well as a handful of shareable infographics and a recording of the launch, here

FEANTSA Youth seeks best practices to end youth homelessness  

As a follow-up to the publication of our European Framework for Defining Youth Homelessness, FEANTSA is compiling practices to combat, prevent and end youth homelessness in Europe. If you work for or know a service that is supporting young people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness we’d like to hear from you. 

Results from European survey: Harm reduction approach widely adopted by homeless services  

FEANTSA and the ‘Harm Reduction 4 Homelessness’ project partners ran a survey to learn more about current Harm Reduction service provision for people who are homeless and use drugs and alcohol. The responses (185 organisations, 20 countries) suggest that most services follow a permissive approach: 82% allow access to services under the influence of drugs, a third allows drug use in their services, with similar results for alcohol use. Approx. 25% follow an abstinence-based approach. Most frequently provided support is syringe provision/exchange, opioid overdose prevention, Hepatitis C and HIV testing, social & psychological support, health and mental health support. Find out more here or contact Ruth Kasper. 


FEANTSA Publications

European Journal of Homelessness Volume 14, Issue 1 out now

You can now access the latest issue of the European Journal of Homelessness. This issue covers a wide range of important topics, including Housing First, categorical change, homelessness in Ireland and Germany, Homelessness amongst veterans, and more. Find it here.

FEANTSA reacts to the EU Commission’s new Youth Employment Support Package 

At the beginning of this month the EU Commission launched the Youth Employment Support: a Bridge to Jobs package. FEANTSA welcomes the package and explains how our network, with expertise on youth homelessness, can provide critical support in its implementation. Read our reaction paper here. 

Member News

The Polish Federation for Solving the Problem of Homelessness release report on covid-19 & homelessness 

The study, conducted in June, found that relatively few people were infected with coronavirus, of those tested in institutions, however once a person was infected the virus spread rapidly demonstrating the need for testing in institutions. The key results of the study are available in English and Polish here.  

Arrels launches guide for homeless counts in Catalonia 

The Arrels Foundation has announced that it is launching a new website and practical guide to facilitate and promote the counts and censuses of homeless people in Catalan municipalities. The foundation has also published a report on the situation of homeless people in Barcelona.

European News

German Presidency of the EU Council started July 1st 

July 1st began the EU Council’s German presidency, with an interesting programme for the next 6 months. The programme includes plenty of "hooks" to work on homelessness including ambition to further implement EU Social Rights Pillar, advance gender equality, and link access to EU money for MS to respect of rule of law. 

EIB and Municipality of Madrid promote the city's first social impact bond, putting Madrid at the forefront of social policy 

The agreement, supported by the Investment Plan for Europe, will assess the feasibility of social impact bonds to finance measures aimed at reducing homelessness. Find out more here. 

Rough sleeping in London: CHAIN reports

These reports – covering the period from April 14 to present – present information about people seen rough sleeping by outreach teams in London. The Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) represents the UK’s most detailed and comprehensive source of information about rough sleeping.

Rough Sleeping in Wales – Everyone’s Problem; No One’s Responsibility 

The Auditor General’s Report on Homelessness for Wales outlines the ‘wicked issues’ that currently act as obstacles to solutions to homelessness and identifies the response to COVID-19 as an opportunity for public bodies to start addressing long standing weaknesses in partnership working which has stopped them from tackling rough sleeping in the past.

Partner News

The Shift are initiating a Global Homelessness Action and need your help! 

The Shift – the global movement to secure the right to housing – are initiating a Global Action on Homelessness to provide a platform that enables people living in homelessness to collectively and individually claim their human right to housing, while facilitating global attention on this urgent issue. As their primary action, they are looking to collect short statements from persons living in homelessness during the pandemic, articulating their demands to be housed and their right to housing. Your organisation can support this action by helping to collect statements in either text, audio, or video formats and submit them through FEANTSA. Read the pamphlet for more information. 

The role of housing in Europe’s green transition 

What investment could be wiser than one that protects the most vulnerable and contributes to climate change mitigation by decreasing our energy consumption? The Just Transition Fund must recognise housing as a cornerstone of the green transition, argue two leading MEPs and civil society leaders. Read the op-ed. 


EU - Pandemic has shown EU how to tackle homelessness say NGOs 

The coronavirus crisis showed it is possible to get people off the streets if there is political will, Politico reports.  

Denmark - One in ten homeless people in care as a child experiences youth homelessness 

A new study prepared by VIVE - the National Research and Analysis Center for Welfare for the Home for All Alliance looks at what characterizes young people both before and after homelessness. Take a look at results from the survey here. 

Czechia - Social housing platform warn about risk of increase in homelessness as a result of the corona crisis 
There are already over 80,000 people on the streets or in dormitories, and the coronary crisis will quickly add more - Among the most vulnerable groups are single mothers and their children, along with the elderly, the social housing platform warns.

Czechia - Prague 10 will create its own system of affordable and social housing 

The management of the city district is responding to the increasingly acute housing need of some of its inhabitants. It therefore plans to create its own system of affordable and social housing. This will be helped by cooperation with experts. Read more here.  

Germany -  The basic right to a current account: how it works 

Deutsche Bank loses court case and has to offer affordable basic banking services to all homeless people as 2016 EU Directive prescribes. 30% of homeless people in Germany still have no bank account! Spiegel reports.  

Spain - Barcelona threatens to expropriate 194 empty apartments if they are not put up for rent 

"We cannot afford to have empty homes in the city": Barcelona threatens to expropriate 194 empty apartments if they are not put up for rent. Large landowners must find tenants within the month, El periodico writes.  

Ireland - 18 most common age to become homeless research finds 

A Focus Ireland report shows half of 18-year-olds had lived in the parental home or the home of another family member immediately before becoming homeless. Read more in the Irish Mirror. 

UK - Homeless Migrants Are Now Being Moved Out Of Emergency Accommodation 

While the UK government has announced new funding to continue the work of Everyone In, councils in England have been told to decide on an individual basis whether to accommodate people with NRPF, without using government public funds. Read more by Huffpost. 

UK - No DSS lettings bans ruled unlawful by court 

A judge has ruled that blanket bans on renting properties to people on housing benefit are unlawful and discriminatory. BBC has the story.