Social Housing in the EU (European Parliament, Feb 2013)

  • Social Housing in the EU

  • Briefing paper published in February 2013 by the Policy Department A: Economic and Scientific Policy of the Directorate-General for Internal Policies of the European Parliament.

  • The authors are IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor, Michela Braga (fRDB and Bocconi University), and Pietro Palvarini (fRDB and University of Milan Bicocca).

  • The report was requested by the European Parliament's Committee on Employment and Social Affairs.

  • Abstract:

    • This briefing paper provides an overview of the social housing sector in the EU area.

    • After presenting how Member States define social housing, it details the response of the sector to the 2007–2008 financial crisis.

    • In addition, it sheds light on the most recent developments at the EU level on the conflicting interests that are necessary to reconcile within the sector:

      • ensuring adequate and affordable housing for all citizens,

      • yet guaranteeing open competition among market players.

    • Finally, innovative social housing projects are presented.

  • Keywords: social housing, European Union, EU, European Parliament, EP, European Commission, EC, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, big landlords, corporate interests, developers, lobbying, European Property Federation, Association of Institutional Property Investors in the Netherlands, Union Nationale de la Propriété Immobilière

This extremely interesting briefing paper describes how corporate interests have successfully defended their position at the national and EU courts and administrative levels thanks to the narrow definition of "public housing" included in the EU regulation on competition in the single market.

Do you know of a similar report that has more updated information (the one in this page was published in February 2013)? If so, please let us know by getting in touch with Jose Miguel Calatayud, Arena Housing Project director, at

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