European institutions, EU governments and civil society have for the first time committed to working together towards combatting homelessness in the EU.
At a high-level conference in Lisbon today, they launched the European Platform on Combatting Homelessness to trigger dialogue, facilitate mutual learning, improve evidence and monitoring, and strengthen cooperation among all actors that aim to combat homelessness.
Combatting homelessness – a priority for Social Europe
The high-level conference in Lisbon is co-organised by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU, the European Commission and the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA).
At the event, national ministers as well as representatives of EU institutions, civil society organisations, social partners and cities signed the Lisbon Declaration on the European Platform on Combatting Homelessness launching the Platform. They all pledged to work together under the umbrella of the platform and to deliver actions within their respective competences.
The platform launch is the beginning of a process to establish a common understanding and commitment and ensure concrete progress in Member States in the fight against homelessness. It offers an opportunity to engage and work with local actors, including cities and service providers. This will enable all actors to better exchange their knowledge and practices, and identify efficient and innovative approaches, to make progress on eradicating homelessness.
In the Declaration signed today, they agreed on the following objectives:
- no one sleeps rough for lack of accessible, safe and appropriate emergency accommodation
- no one lives in emergency or transitional accommodation longer than is required for successful move-on to a permanent housing solution
- no one is discharged from any institution (e.g. prison, hospital, care facility) without an offer of appropriate housing
- evictions should be prevented whenever possible and no one is evicted without assistance for an appropriate housing solution, when needed
- no one is discriminated due to their homelessness status
The new platform is also a concrete deliverable of the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan. It helps to deliver on the renewed commitment of EU institutions, Member States, civil society and social partners taken at the Porto Social Summit in May to support a strong social Europe and a fair and inclusive recovery from the pandemic.
Ending Homelessness Award 2021
During the high-level conference, three projects from EU Member States, which have been supported by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), have received the Ending Homelessness Award 2021.
In the third edition of the Ending Homelessness Awards, the goal was to raise awareness about the opportunities in the new Multiannual Financial Framework to tackle homelessness effectively.
The ‘Housing First’ project for the Moravian-Silesian Region in Czechia involving a wide range of services and activities is the Gold Prize winner. The Portuguese project ‘É Uma Mesa’ that promotes the social integration of homeless people by providing them training, job referrals and employment is the Silver Prize winner and Italy won the Bronze Prize with ‘Housing First’ Trieste project.