Universal access to housing that is decent, sustainable and affordable

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Housing shortages and rising housing costs in metropolitan and peri-urban areas have led to a rise in housing exclusion, homelessness, and poor-quality housing that is now affecting young people, single-parent and large families, workers and the middle classes more broadly, who are being driven out of major European cities by excessive housing costs and forced to relocate to rural areas. This in turn is leading to an increase in the cost of housing in rural areas, and to social segregation, the emergence of exclusively residential areas (dormitory towns), increased mobility, changes in the landscape, land take, and an increase in infrastructure and costs for the community. Although housing policy remains the competence of the Member States, the shortage of decent and affordable housing in the EU calls for a European housing action plan setting out a clear and comprehensive set of measures to help Member States, regions and cities to sustainably boost the supply of social and affordable housing where it is lacking, in terms of either quantity or quality.