Affordable Housing in Europe: Innovative Public Policies that can Effectively Address the Housing Crisis
By Maria Sisternas. Published in Notes Internacionals CIDOB in September 2017
The affordable housing crisis is an issue that cannot be hidden: in contrast to issues such as pollution, traffic jams, innovation or even tourism – which are intangible because they are difficult to measure or perceive from the individual point of view – the increased cost of living above employment income is a key problem for more than a third of citizens in the European Union, as all the important studies on the issue show.
Though the challenge of affordable housing in Europe has turned out to be huge, no single state seems to have been able to tackle it in a structural way.
The objective of this paper is to review the mechanisms used by the various states to tackle housing cycles and to indicate the future challenges that can be conceived in a context strongly marked by the circulation of capital and the digital transformation.
The data at European level show that most residents live in their own homes, and that rental tends to be a secondary option; homeowners have medium or high salaries, whereas renters tend to be those with fewer resources. (...)
This study seeks, on the one hand, to review the public policies implemented in the context of the end of a property cycle greatly affected by the financial crisis of ten years ago and, on the other, puts forward solutions that seem to have a greater chance of dealing with the problem in the future.
Keywords: affordability, housing crisis, rental markets, property markets, tenants, landlords, public policy, housing policy, income, housing cycle, financial crisis