Social Exclusion starts at home

Housing in Europe? It is going to be more and more difficult. Housing it is also a matter of social exclusion. In the recent days, we often referred to Paris and Brussels banlieues where marginalisation, poverty and exlcusion facilitate the growth of radicalism. Precarious housing does not limit this social emergency. Many people live at the margins of our societies in suburban ghettos. Free zones, where integration is only a face, they sound more like a tacit approval “ if you stay there it is ok for the State”.  That’s why entire areas in the cities seem to be abandoned to their destiny, without laws and any form of bump into different cultures living in same cities.

Housing Exclusion, Feantsa report

Housing costs are increasing all over Europe, but incomes are not. Europeans have difficulties to cope with that. That’s what is reported in the analysis “Housing Exclusion in Europe 2015” by Feantsa that represents organizations working with homeless in Europe. Around 10 million people in the EU, experience severe housing deprivation, according to data. The number of homeless is unknown.

But experts think that about 4,1 millions of people have experience temporarly housing deprivation every year.

Especially in France housing cost increased more than 59% in last 15 years, comparing with 19% in Euro zone.

Furthermore, in Europe, poor households use a larger share of their income forhousing:  in France 35% of poors incomes go to housing, while for the rest of popolation the percentage is approximately 18%.

In Greece poor households spend, on average, 71% of their budget on housing,  in Denmark 61%, in Germany 50% , in Netherlands 49%, in Czech Republic  48%,in Sweden 46% and in Austria 43%.

In Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain and, in general, in countries that suffered most  from the crisis, poor households are between 4 and 20 times more likely than the rest of the population to carry the burden of the increase in house prices. In all countries the number of poor households increased, with the exception of Finland and Netherlands, where policies have been effective. While in last five years  in  France the poor increased by 40% , in Finland they reduced by 50%. An increasing part of population cannot manage to pay their rents and have to ask for credits. Only considering France, 16.9% of families could not be able to pay the rent, that as well known is quite high. And the level of evictions is high as well.

In Sweden the cost of maintenance became very high. In the meantime, it is not recommended to be single: in countries like Greece, Germany and Portugal there is the risk to experience with the double housing overburden , in France five times more, in Sweden seven times. Women are the most hit by housing difficulties because of wage gender gap, they face more problems make both ends meet at the end of the month.

Poor households in suburbs and low-density zones

Some European cities refuse poor households or they keep them far away from city centres where less thant 10% of families seem to be poor like Czech Republic , Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. These numbers arise in Austrian cities up to 20%. While in Italy, Greece, Spain, Bulgary and Portugal most of families at risk of poverty live in low-density areas, with less connections and public services. Indeed nowadays poverty is increasing in small-medium sized cities, in rural zones and in suburbs. In Molenbeek, the Brussels neighborhood on the news over the last days, there is  a high concentration of unemployed and Neet people. Even though these are second or third generation immigrants, they are still not economically integrated. About 25% of young people under 25 years old is unemployed in Molenbeek. In Brussels Belgians have a level of employment of 74%, while it is around 43 % for Maghreb origins citizens and 39% for african communities. It is interesting worth noting that Belgians have 10% of inactivity, while among foreign-born the rate of inactivity goes from 30% to 60%.


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