Beyond sleeping rough, homelessness may include situations of living in temporary, insecure or poor-quality housing. Typical causes of homelessness are:
Homeless people may face reduced life expectancy, health problems, discrimination, isolation and barriers to access to basic public services and benefits.
Challenges for the EU include:
See also poverty and social exclusion.
EU Member States have primary responsibility and competence to address homelessness. The EU's Social Investment Package encourages them to:
Effective homelessness strategies may cover:
The EU can support action by Member States, including funding from the European Social Fund (ESF), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD).
A set of EU policies such as social inclusion, regional development, migration, financial regulation, health and human rights policies help address the complex causes of homelessness.
The Commission provides guidance on confronting homelessness within the Social Investment Package. It explores trends in homelessness, good practices by Member States and core elements of integrated homelessness strategies, highlighting the support role of the EU.