This report aims to improve understanding of the true cost of inadequate housing to EU Member States and to suggest policy initiatives that might help address its social and financial consequences. The full impact of poor housing tends to be evident only in the longer term, and the savings to publicly funded services, the economy and society that investment in good quality accommodation can deliver are not always obvious. While housing policies are the prerogative of national governments, many Member States face similar challenges in this field. In some, projects to improve inadequate housing have already provided valuable practical experience that can usefully be shared, and this report presents eight such case studies. While improving poor living conditions would be costly, the report suggests the outlay could be recouped quite quickly from savings on healthcare and a range of publicly funded services – in the EU as a whole, for every €3 invested in improving housing conditions, €2 would come back in savings in one year. An executive summary is available - see Related content.
With contributions from Robert Anderson, Pierre Faller, Jan Vandamme (Eurofound) and Madison Welsh.