Over the last ten years, the number of homeless people has increased at an alarming rate in almost all European Union countries: broadly speaking, this increase has led to the explosion in the number of people needing emergency shelter. The shortage of decent and truly affordable housing available for all, combined with the saturation of temporary and emergency accommodation services, are at the core of the housing exclusion scandal in Europe.
Our 4th Overview of Housing Exclusion in Europe shows that although the right to shelter is supposed to be a fundamental right, access to emergency accommodation in Europe remains genuinely conditional. The conditionality of access to emergency accommodation is mainly demonstrated in the way the public response is structured to deal with homelessness: seasonal management that responds to weather conditions, which undermines the need to adopt continuous strategies in the fight against homelessness. Access to emergency accommodation is also determined by a difficult admission process, where multiple selection and prioritisation criteria limit access and exemplify the selectiveness of the right to accommodation.
Emergency accommodation services, in the sense of temporary accommodation infrastructures taking in people who need emergency shelter, covers a multitude of realities in Europe. This is the case not only in terms of status and funding, but also regarding the services offered, the conditions of access and the quality of service.
The spring 2019 edition of the Homeless in Europe Magazine contains the following articles: