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October 2016


Dear FEANTSA Flash reader,
 
Welcome to the latest edition of the FEANTSA Flash. We hope you find it an informative and interesting read. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have a story you would like to see included in the next edition.

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FEANTSA News

 
FEANTSA welcomes inclusion of homelessness as a priority in UN New Urban Agenda
At the Housing and Sustainable Development (Habitat III) conference in Quito on the 17th of October 2016, UN members committed to eliminating homelessness and progressively recognising the right to adequate housing. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, Leilani Farha, has challenged governments to end homelessness by 2030 to coincide with the Sustainable Development Goals. FEANTSA is looking forward to working with EU institutions, member states and cities in realising this goal. For more information see FEANTSA’s press release.

FEANTSA disappointed in omission of housing exclusion from EPSCO’s priorities for social policy reform
On the 13th of October 2016, the Employment, Social Policy, Health & Consumer Affairs Council endorsed principal messages on the EU’s social situation and social policy priorities. The message to include housing refers to “a reduction in severe material deprivation rates and in the burden of housing costs in several countries”. FEANTSA feels that this statement does not take into account the salience of the current housing crisis in Europe, with housing cost overburden rates growing in twelve member states between 2008 and 2014, and significant rises in homelessness occurring in most EU member states. For future semesters FEANTSA recommends the use of a composite housing exclusion index based on EU SILC indicators. Click here for more information.
 
FEANTSA Youth promote Youth Rights! Right Now! For International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
The 17th of October was The UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. To mark the occasion, members of the FEANTSA Youth Network took action in six European countries to promote the importance of solving youth homelessness and to highlight the housing as a human right approach outlined in Youth Rights! Right Now! Ending Youth Homelessness: A Human Rights Guide, a publication by the Canadian Homeless Hub. The guide outlines how youth homelessness can be reduced by using a human rights approach. See pictures from the day here, and find the guide online here.

HABITACT now has its own Twitter account
FEANTSA network HABITACT has launched a Twitter account. HABITACT is a transnational exchange on municipal homeless services which aims to encourage cooperation between local social policy administrators and the exchange of good ideas. Stories related to municipal housing strategies, social services and HABITACT events will be posted to the Twitter account, with the hope it can be a useful resource for both municipalities and homeless organisations alike. The account can be found here.

FEANTSA and partners awarded Erasmus+ Project on Street Support
A three-year Erasmus+ Project focusing on fostering the social inclusion of alcohol and drug users in order to contribute to the reduction of alcohol and drug-related nuisance in public space has been awarded to FEANTSA and five other organisations: (The Rainbow Group (NL, coordinator), Fixpunkt Berlin (DE), Simon Community Cork (IR), Spolecnost Podané Brno (CZ), Comité-Anti-Sida Valencia (ES)). Entitled “Street support and public nuisance – inclusive education strategies versus marginalization,” the project will involve best practices and information exchange, the production of a European Assessment Report and country reports on homelessness and alcohol- and drug related nuisance as well as the development of a toolbox for service providers and local governments. For more information, contact FEANTSA Project Officer, Ruth Kasper.


Call for Papers: European Journal of Homelessness: Volume 11, No. 1, 2017
The Call for Papers for the European Journal of Homelessness: Volume 11, No. 1, 2017 is now open. To be considered for inclusion in this edition of the Journal, papers must be submitted to the Lead Editor, Professor Eoin O’Sullivan (tosullvn@tcd.ie) before the 2nd December 2016. Click here for more information.


New FEANTSA website & logo coming next week!
The new FEANTSA website and logo are now only a week away! The new site has been designed to be more accessible and easier to navigate than the old one, with items searchable by theme and date. As with the current site, the new one will contain a host of homelessness-related resources, including country statistics, toolkits and the European Housing Exclusion Index. Follow FEANTSA’s social media to stay updated.

Europe News

State of European Cities Report published
As part of the European Week of Regions and Cities, The Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission and UN-Habitat published the 2016 State of European Cities Report. The report focuses on how cities are fundamental to jobs and growth, climate action and migration; containing examples of best practice in terms of policymaking. Projects on social integration are among those to receive more than one hundred billion Euros between them from EU Cohesion policy between 2014 and 2020. The report can be downloaded here.

Headlines

Owners of derelict houses in Ireland to receive funding to renovate
As part of the Rebuilding Ireland plan, from 2017 the Irish government will be running the Repair and Leasing Scheme whereby property owners will receive money to renovate empty properties in return for leasing the property to the local authority for a period of five years, with the cost of repairs being offset against the rental income. Set to last until 2021, the scheme will have €140 million devoted to it. The programme has been established due to there being a significant number of properties, often in areas where there is high demand for social housing, which have been left to relatives after the death of the occupant and the new owners have not been able to afford refurbishment costs. By 2021, the Irish government hopes to make another 47,000 social housing units available. Find out more here.
 
1,515 Barcelona families avoid eviction since January thanks to Unit against Residential Exclusion
Founded in January this year by the City of Barcelona, UCERO, the Unit against Residential Exclusion, helped prevent the evictions of 1,515 families in the city from its inception to July; this being more than the total helped in the entirety of 2015. The Unit is made up of fifteen people with training in a range of skills relevant to evictions, who are able to identify people at risk of eviction through information from the Housing Office, the courts of Barcelona, social emergency shelters and other organisations. Once they have information on people at risk of eviction, the team set up a mediation process and give advice to people at risk. The work of UCERO comes in the context of shifting housing conditions in Barcelona, with more and more eviction prevention work being done in relation to people renting their property rather than paying a mortgage. As rents rise in the city, incomes have remained stable, meaning greater relative housing costs. For more information, click here.
 
€50 million made available in Italy to combat adult marginalisation with Housing First
As part of the National Plan to Combat Poverty in Italy, the Italian government is making €50 million available between this year and 2019 for homelessness intervention programmes. The money is to be used for targeted interventions run along a Housing First approach, with working together between social, health and labour services. People requiring these services mainly live in urban areas, so half of the money will be allocated to cities, with the rest allocated to regions. Read more here (in Italian).
 
500 children made in homeless in Wales in 2015 due to evictions
Shelter Cymru has published a report showing that in 2015, 914 households were evicted from social housing, including around 512 children. The study estimates that dealing with the consequences of evictions costs around £24.3 million a year to the Welsh economy. The report also shows that more than three in four people interviewed were still homeless six months after their eviction. Click here for more information.

More youth and women’s homelessness in Finland
The profile of homelessness in Finland is changing. While once the “typical” homeless person in the country was a single middle-aged man, an increasing number of homeless people there are young and/or women, with around a third of homeless people under the age of twenty-five. Saana Tiivola of Vailla Vakinaista Asuntoa Ry highlights that the route into homelessness is usually the end of a relationship or unemployment, and that alcoholism can often be caused by homelessness rather than vice versa. Partly as a result of the Paavo 1 and Paavo 2 projects run by the Finnish state, homelessness has approximately halved in the country since the 1980s. Find out more here (in Finnish).
 
UK Government backs Homelessness Reduction Bill for England
UK Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed that the UK Government will back the Homelessness Reduction Bill proposed by Member of Parliament Bob Blackman. This is an important step, as the bill takes a rights-based approach to homelessness in England and will put a time limit of fifty-six days for local authorities to help people threatened with homelessness, and the same time limit to find accommodation for people who are already homeless. Crucially, the bill applies to everyone, rather than helping only groups considered a priority. This news comes on the back of the UK Prime Minister’s announcement of a £40 million investment in homelessness prevention. Read more here.
 
Flemish Children’s Commissioner publishes Somewhere at Home Here
In Flanders nearly one in three homeless people is a child. The Flemish Children’s Commissioner has published Somewhere at Home Here: Homelessness from a Child’s Perspective, a report detailing a legal framework of youth and children’s homelessness. The report covers various policy issues related to homelessness including domestic violence, poverty reduction, preventing evictions, housing and rental problems, and housing policy; and provides a set of policy recommendations. The full report can be accessed online (in Dutch) here.
 
5.8 million zł devoted to Polish homelessness programme in 2016
The Polish Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy has devoted 5.8 million złoty to its homelessness programme for 2016. This comes alongside investments of 3 million zł in the programme to help those experiencing domestic violence, the same level of investment for those experiencing mental health problems and 3.6 million zł to counteract social exclusion. These investments in Poland are part of an agreement by 27 EU member states to combine efforts to fight poverty and social exclusion between 2014 and 2020. Between 2014 and 2015 the percentage of Polish citizens living in extreme poverty dropped from 7.4 to 6.5. For more information, see here (in Polish).
 
“The Street is not my Choice” campaign launched in Prague
A call for tolerance is the theme of “The Street is not my choice”, a campaign launched by Prague Social Services Centre and Councillor Daniel Hodek, which calls for greater respect towards homeless people. Cllr. Hodek wishes to emphasise the involuntary nature of homelessness and believes that greater tolerance, solidarity and respect towards homeless people in the city could aid attempts to reduce the number of people without a home. Part of the homelessness strategy in Prague is to offer homeless services in each district of the city, so that homeless people do not have to travel far to get help. It is hoped that this will mean they are more likely to engage with the services on offer. Find out more about the events that are happening around the campaign here (in Czech).
Member News

Report for Crisis shows millions would be saved every year by saving 40,000 people from homelessness
A report by researchers Nicholas Pleace and Dennis Culhane has been published by Crisis. Exploring the financial consequences of moving to a preventative model of homelessness assistance and the associated savings for local authorities, support services, the NHS and the criminal justice system, the report reveals that £370 million in public spending could be saved if 40,000 people were prevented from experiencing one year of homelessness. Click here to read the report.

fioPSD creates video starring Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon to promote #HomelessZero
Italian member fioPSD has released a promotional video for their #HomelessZero campaign, which stars Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and a range of other high-profile actors and actresses. The campaign is intended to raise awareness of and to end extreme poverty, in which 50,000 Italians currently live. This can be done through innovative social policies that focus on ensuring that a home is found for those without one and then to provide them with professional social support to integrate them back into mainstream society. See the campaign’s webpage here.


Arrels holds seminar about Housing First
Earlier in October, the Arrels Fundació held a one-day seminar on the subject of Housing First. Participants came from 30 Catalan municipalities to hold discussions with international Housing First experts Sam Tsemberis and Tim Aubry. To find out more about the day, click here.

Ways out of Homelessness in Central Europe: Lessons of an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership
The final report of the Erasmus+ Project, Ways out of Homelessness in Central Europe: Lessons of an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership is now available for download. It features sections on Hungarian housing solutions, local solutions in the Czech Republic, homelessness policy in Warsaw and the Casa Ioana model. Click here to read the report.
 
Better than cure? Testing the case for enhancing prevention of single homelessness in England
A report by researchers Nicholas Please and Dennis Culhane for Crisis which explores the financial consequences of moving to a preventative model of homelessness assistance and the associated savings for local authorities, support services, the NHS and the criminal justice system.

European Journal of Homelessness, Volume 10, No. 1
Volume 10, Number 1 of the European Journal of Homelessness is available online and in print. To order a copy, please contact information@feantsa.org.

Upcoming Events


HABITACT Peer Review
The Habitact Peer Review will be held this year in Barcelona on the 3rd and 4th of November. It is an opportunity to look in-depth at the homelessness strategy of the city, with this year's discussion paper written by Dr. Volker Busch-Geertsema of GISS. Click here for more information.
 
#Por Dignad #Nadie Sin Hogar annual campaign
The annual awareness-raising campaign by by Caritas Española and Fepsh, Faciam, Bestebi and Xapsll will get started on 27 November. Follow the hashtags #PorDignidad and #NadieSinHogar to keep up to date.

FEANTSA 2017 Policy Conference in Gdansk
The FEANTSA Policy Conference 2017 will be held in Gdansk, Poland on the 19th of May. The conference is an opportunity for people working in homelessness from across Europe to meet, discuss their work and find out more about homelessness services and practices from around the continent. Stay up to date with conference news on the FEANTSA website.
This publication has received financial support from the 
European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation "EaSi" (2014-2020)
The information contained in this publication does not automatically reflect the official position of the European Commission

Copyright © 2016 FEANTSA, All rights reserved.

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