Million estimated homeless across Europe
A report by Feantsa has unveiled a dire homelessness crisis in Europe, estimating that nearly 1 million people are homeless on any given night.
A recent report by Feantsa, the Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless, has revealed that almost 1 million people are homeless on any given night across Europe, emphasizing the deep-seated housing crisis in the region.
The report emphasized that this figure only accounts for the "most visible forms" of homelessness, underscoring the failure of European countries to establish housing as a fundamental right.
The data, collected from various European Union (EU) countries and the UK, encompasses census records and local authority figures.
However, the report cautioned that these numbers represent a minimum estimate due to unavailable data in six categories used to define homelessness (such as sleeping rough, individuals in emergency accommodation, and homeless people temporarily residing in conventional housing with family and friends).
Freek Spinnewijn, Director of Feantsa, criticized the handling of homelessness across most European governments, stating, "Most governments in Europe continue to fail homeless people, frustrate the general public, and waste resources on ineffectively managing the problem."
The report also highlighted the EU's commitment, made last year, to combat homelessness by 2030. However, it noted that the issue has been worsening, with only Finland and Denmark making significant progress in this regard.
In contrast, Germany officially recorded 262,645 homeless individuals, Spain just over 28,500, and Ireland, grappling with a housing crisis, had 11,632 people in emergency accommodation at the end of 2022.
In Hungary, nearly half the population lived in overcrowded housing, while one in eight Bulgarian families lacked indoor toilets. Substandard housing extended beyond Eastern Europe, with nearly a fifth of the French population and a quarter of UK renters living in housing deemed unfit for habitation.
The report concluded that unfit living conditions impacted owner-occupiers as well, highlighting that resources were often lacking for maintenance and renovations. According to Eurostat, the official EU data office, almost 20 million people across the EU faced "housing deprivation" in 2020, encompassing overcrowding and inadequate housing conditions.