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European Social Fund Plus

Commission launches toolkit to support social housing in Member States

Cover page of the toolkit
© AdobeStock (background photo); Midjourney

The European Commission has released a new toolkit to help policymakers make the best use of EU funding to invest in social housing and accompanying services. 

This initiative addresses the urgent need for affordable and decent housing, which is crucial for social inclusion and enables greater participation in education and the labour market.

Housing affordability: a challenge across the EU

Housing affordability has become an important challenge across the EU, as shown by the sharp increase in house purchase and rent prices over the past decade:

  • House purchase prices increased by 47.9% and rents by 22.8% between 2010 and 2023.
  • Nearly 10% of EU citizens spent over 40% of their income on housing in 2022.

Toolkit features and case studies

The toolkit features 20 case studies that illustrate how EU funds, such as The European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), can be used to improve access to adequate housing. 

Addressing the needs of vulnerable populations, the toolkit outlines strategies for providing suitable housing solutions to homeless people, persons with disabilities, Roma communities, migrants, refugees, and LGBTIQ people.

The right to decent and affordable housing

Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicholas Schmit, highlighted the importance of this initiative: “The right to decent and affordable housing is at the heart of a strong social Europe and social cohesion. As housing is a complex issue that must be looked at from both a social and economic perspective, it can benefit from additional guidance or information. This is why we have created the Social Housing toolkit to help Member States put in place efficient housing policies backed by adequate financing.”