Welcome back to the FEANTSA Flash.
September is probably one of the busiest months in Brussels, with everyone back at work in full swing after what feels like an already very far-away summer. European policy makers are back too, and we have been working hard to remind them that homelessness needs to be on their agenda. A few things are still ongoing, so watch out for October as much of the work from September will continue into the second Autumn month, with perhaps one of the most important being our policy conference which has moved online this year. Read more below.
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Webinar on covid19
On Friday 25th of September, FEANTSA and the European Observatory on Homelessness, together with the University of Bergamo and fio.PSD held a webinar on the subject of Covid-19 and homelessness. The webinar consisted of three presentations from our fantastic speakers: Ruth Owen who spoke about the European context, Dennis Culhane who discussed the situation in the US and Steve Gaetz who spoke about the issue in Canada. You can watch the recording of the webinar on YouTube here, and the presentations are available here.
Webinar: Advocacy and Strategic Litigation on Housing Rights in Europe
Housing Rights Watch held a webinar focused on their publication Instruments for Advocacy and Strategic Litigation on Housing Rights in Europe: A Handbook for Practitioners and NGOs. The webinar featured interesting presentations from Maria Aldanas, Policy Officer at FEANTSA & coordinator of Housing Rights Watch, Aoife Nolan, Professor of International Human Rights Law, School of Law, University of Nottingham and Sonia Olea Ferreras, Human Rights Lawyer and expert on Public Policies, Caritas Spain Advocacy Team. You can watch the recording of the webinar here.
Moria: Urgent Action needed!
FEANTSA and the Greek Housing Network have written a letter to the European Commission and the Greek government, calling for urgent action to ensure dignified accommodation for asylum seekers and refugees formerly residing in the Moria Reception Identification Centre. Find out more here.
End of evictions ban will cause surge in homeless numbers
During the pandemic, governments put eviction bans in place. As eviction bans are phased out, many people will be at risk of homelessness. We argue that protecting tenants from becoming homeless must be a priority for EU Member States in our statement.
Report by Focus Ireland and UCD on LGBTQ+ Homelessness
A report released by UCD in conjunction with Focus Ireland and BeLonG To Youth Services found that parental rejection of gender identity and sexuality could be a contributing factor to LGBTQ+ youth homelessness. Read the full report here.
BAG W Annual Housing Report
BAG W have released their annual housing report. While many of the trends of previous years continued, the report found that the number of women, children, families and non-nationals facing homelessness has increased. Read the full report here.
SAND bring case to the National Board of Appeal and win
A homeless man called Allan Birk was given insufficient social welfare by the City of Copenhagen on account of their failure to assess his residential status correctly. SAND brought a complaint to the City of Copenhagen on his behalf, which the city rejected, so they decided to take the case further. Read the full story here.
Shelter UK’s legal team successfully prove ‘No DSS’ policy is discrimination
Shelter UK were Successful in supporting Stephen Tyler win a case against an estate agent who would not rent to him based on the company’s ‘No DSS’ policy. This is a policy by which people receiving housing benefit are excluded from being able to rent a property. Stephen and Shelter were able to prove that this policy is discrimination and is in breach of the Equality Act. Read the full story here.
Fédération des acteurs de la solidarité’s analysis of emergency accommodation requests
UNICEF France released a report in conjunction with the Fédération des acteurs de la solidarité. The report analysed the requests for emergency accommodation on the 1st of September, the day before the beginning of the new school year. The analysis found that over 1,000 children slept on the street that night. Read more here.
Faciam Webinar: Ingreso Mínimo Vital Y Su Papel En La Prevención Y Abordaje Del Sinhogarismo
Faciam’s webinar “Ingreso Mínimo Vital Y Su Papel En La Prevención Y Abordaje Del Sinhogarismo” (Minimum vital Income and its Role in the Prevention and Approach to Homelessness” was recorded and the video and conclusions are now available here.
Polish National Federation for Solving the Problem of Homelessness Conference
Registration is now open for a conference held by the Polish National Federation for Solving the Problem of Homelessness. The conference will be in Polish language, and take place between the 12 & 13 of October. You can read the programme and sign up here.
La Fapil Press Release – continuation of Housing First is welcome, but not sufficient
La Fapil have put out a press release in response to an announcement by the Minister for Housing. The Minister confirmed the continuation of the Housing First policy as well as an additional budget of 34 million euros for 2021. While this is welcome, it is not enough to combat the lack of social and affordable housing available. Read more here.
European (and world) news
UN Report on the negative impact of Covid-19 on homeless people in Ukraine
The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has published a report on the negative effects of the pandemic and governmental response on the homeless population in the country, largely focusing on the strain that has been put on support services such as shelters. Read the report here.
New homelessness statistics for North Rhine-Westphalia
The new statistics show that in 2019 there was a slight increase in the number of homeless people, but the increase was less than in preceding years. Read more here.
Forte Research Brief: Sweden’s proportion of homeless people
This research brief by Forte shows that Sweden has a higher proportion of people facing homelessness than any of its Nordic neighbours. Find the research brief here.
UK Local Partnerships Briefing: What happens after Everyone In ends?
UK Local Partnerships have published a briefing note outlining the avenues through which local governments can secure accommodation and other supports for people moving out of temporary accommodation that was provided under the Everyone In scheme. Read the full briefing note here.
Belgium withdraws measures that excluded asylum seekers from material reception conditions
These measures, which were introduced in January 2020, limited the rights of certain groups of asylum seekers and their access to material reception conditions in Belgium. The measures granted them access to medical care, but not other forms of assistance such as food or housing; Read the full story here.
UK’s new Affordable Homes Programme
The UK government published its new affordable Homes Programme, which will determine how social and affordable housing is funded over the next five years. Nathaniel Barker for Inside Housing breaks down the main points here.
Statements from Dutch municipalities reveal growing problem of homelessness
Statements from municipalities in the Netherlands reveal that a shortage of social and affordable housing is to blame for the rise is homelessness, particularly among those who are self-reliant, families, and young people leaving care. Read more here.
Eviction Moratorium in the US
The US Government announced a moratorium on evictions to prevent people being evicted into homelessness amid the pandemic. Some 40 million people are expected to benefit from this measure. Read more here.
Demonstrations in Brussels against the end of eviction moratorium
In the Belgian capital, protesters gathered to condemn the end of the eviction ban, which had been extended until August 31st. A member from the Anti-Evictions Front estimated that at least 300 families will be left homeless due to the end of this protective measure. Read more here.
One hundred homeless families who pitched tents in front of Paris City Council moved by police
The occupation of the are in front of the City Council was organised by the migrant aid association Utopia 56. The homeless families had previously been living in makeshift camps on the peripheries of the city. Shortly after midnight, they were told to move by police. Read the full story here.