The housing of families is a fundamental anchor of the European social and economic model. At a time when Europe promotes mobility and sustainable development and worries about the burden of an ageing population on its economic and social system, we witness that in all European countries, the cost of housing is among the first source of financial difficulties for families.
Moreover, longer studies and the later entry on the labour market are the principal factors leading to the delay of the time to start a family. At a time when Europe faces major demographic challenges, the accessibility to a house which is "children friendly" is key for young adults and the future of society and should not become an additional deterrent to start a family.
Housing is the first preoccupation in average for 39% of European citizens. However, it represents a major challenge for most Eastern European countries when in other countries such as Denmark, Sweden or Austria the population mentions the difficulty to reconcile work with family life as one of the most important challenge. These challenges create an obstacle and/or delay the decision to start a family and contribute to the renewal of the population.
Europe will not be able to sustain a dynamic social and economic policy and guarantee the well being and security of its population unless the member states carry out a more proactive policy to guarantee the quality of housing necessary for the hosting of children, the elderly within the family, regardless of their income. The house, its localisation, its cost, the living space attributed to each person, the educational, social and economic environment are all tied together and influence the emotional equilibrium, the quality of the relationships and the cohabitation within families, professional and social integration. It is also a key aspect of sustainable development.
COFACE wishes that Europe supports national, regional and local policies which guarantee the quality of housing and especially the right to housing.
See: Activeageing and intergenerational solidarity – The role of housing by The European Housing Forum (2012)
Published on 29 Nov 2011
Updated on 10 Jun 2016