BRUSSELS, October 11, 2014 – “Today, on the occasion of World Homeless Day, I would like to express my solidarity with the estimated 400,000 people who are forced to sleep rough or in a shelter every night in the European Union. Homelessness is one of the most extreme forms of poverty and social exclusion, and is unacceptable in European societies.
Member States must take concerted action to meet the Europe 2020 Strategy goal of reducing the number of people experiencing poverty and social exclusion by at least 20 million by 2020.
Yet data from the EU homelessness network Feantsa shows homelessness levels have risen in at least 15 Member States during the last 5 years, including among families and young people. For its part, the Commission has provided policy guidance as part of the February 2013 Social Investment Package, urging Member States to tackle homelessness through integrated, preventive and housing-led strategies and by revising current eviction practices. EU support for action by Member States is available from the European Social Fund, the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived and the European Regional Development Fund. Concrete action is long overdue to ensure that all EU citizens can live a dignified life.’