I suggest to include a petition on the Effective Right to Housing, as part of the Petition Pack. Below is the context, the problem and the proposed petition. I would be grateful for input on this petition.
The context – the Right to Housing is recognised at international and EU level
The right to housing is recognised at international level. It is, in fact, one of the universal human rights, adopted by the UN in 1948 (https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html), and was further included in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (https://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CESCR.aspx), ratified by 153 states in 1966.
Article 11(1) states:
"The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international cooperation based on free consent."
The Council of Europe, which brings together 47 European Countries, including the European Union, also protects the right to housing, in Article 31 of the Revised European Social Charter (https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list/-/conventions/treaty/163) of 1996.
In addition, the right to housing is one of the fundamental rights on which the European Union is based, and is included in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf), which came into legal force in 2009 with the Treaty of Lisbon, as paragraph 3 of Article 34 reads:
3. In order to combat social exclusion and poverty, the Union recognises and respects the right to social and housing assistance so as to ensure a decent existence for all those who lack sufficient resources, in accordance with the rules laid down by Community law and national laws and practices.
The problem – the EU enforcement of the Right to Housing is weak
The number of homeless people in Europe is estimated to be 700,000, according to FEANTSA & Foundation Abbé Pierre. This is estimated to be an increase of 70% compared to ten years ago (https://www.feantsa.org/public/user/Resources/magazine/2019/Spring/Homeless_in_Europe_magazine_-_Spring_2019.pdf).
There are no official EU statistics which measures the scale of the problem and no directives which make member states accountable for managing the problem.
The petition’s ask – make the Right to Housing effective
For an effective enforcement of the right to housing, we request that the EU:
- Issues official EU-wide statistics on the numbers of homeless in each member state, using a homogeneous method
- Establishes a ten-year plan to eradicate homelessness in each member state, overseen by the EU, with focus on providing adequate short, medium and long-term housing solutions for those in need and unable to provide for themselves, in addition to emergency shelter
- Defines annual homeless threshold levels, as part of the ten-year plan, which member states are required to achieve or otherwise they would be subject to EU sanctions