The Foundation Abbé Pierre and FEANTSA will present their 6th annual Overview of Housing Exclusion and Homelessness in Europe on Thursday 6 May

This year’s report focuses on how young people are disproportionately affected by the housing crisis in Europe. The report also looks at the impact of the ongoing pandemic on poverty and homelessness.

Growing housing exclusion and unemployment: youth at serious risk!

Young people are most likely to experience housing exclusion as a result of the pandemic. The continued increase of rents in tensed housing markets is of course a major factor. But the disappearance of industries young people work in have prevented young people from securing a decent income. As the pandemic continues their situation further deteriorated with their housing situation becoming insecure. A rapidly increasing part of the young population is not able to afford rent anymore and some are even struggling to pay for food. Many young people have no other choice than to move back in with their parents, when this is an available option for them.

Our report shows that the social safety nets and the emergency measures taken by governments during the pandemic are not sufficient to protect young people. According to Eurostat, almost 3 million young people under 25 years old were unemployed in February 2021, which is an increase of 230,000 since the start of the pandemic. One out of three young people who lost their work and income during the pandemic are facing severe difficulties in maintaining or accessing a home.

There is a need for immediate government intervention to support young people back to work, but this will be ineffective if there is no simultaneous action to secure their access to decent and affordable housing.

Stem the rising poverty tide more urgent than ever

The Abbé Pierre Foundation and FEANTSA have been calling for more attention to the increasing number of people experiencing extreme poverty for many years. According to a recent Eurostat survey (2019), 4% of the EU population experienced homelessness at least once during their lifetime. One year after the start of the health crisis, the report warns of the risk of the rising poverty tide.

We get reports from across Europe that unemployment, the use of food banks and soup kitchens, and rent arrears are increasing. The temporary measures in place to protect the most vulnerable during the pandemic are not working. Many Member States are struggling to come up with the right long-term solutions to prevent already vulnerable people from falling into severe housing exclusion and homelessness. The homeless shelter sector is already under huge pressure in most EU Member States and will not be able to absorb another surge in homelessness.

In June 2021, the European Commission and the Portuguese EU Presidency will launch an EU Platform for Combatting Homelessness: the scope of its action needs to be sufficiently ambitious to effectively face the current challenges.

Press contacts


Alice Dekker & Ruby Silk • • 

+33 616 58 21 60


Anne Lambert de Cursay & Solène Dalban Pilon • •

+33 623 25 93 79

Download the press release