The Social Situation Monitor (SSM) Research Seminars aim to provide a forum to discuss the theoretical, methodological and policy implications of the latest economic and social research. More specifically, SSM Research Seminars aim to inform:
- the economic and social analysis of the European Commission in general, and the Commission’s Employment and Social Developments in Europe (ESDE) review in particular;
- the economic and social analysis of the European Commission’s stakeholders;
- the economic and social policies of the European Commission and its stakeholders.
The Research Seminar will present and discuss recent and ongoing research on social aspects of housing in the EU, including housing affordability and related policies. Decent housing is a major determinant of citizens’ wellbeing: it influences people’s physical and mental health, their security, social relations, mobility, and schooling and employment opportunities. Principle 19 of the European Pillar of Social Rights confers the right to social housing or housing assistance to households in need, appropriate assistance and protection against forced eviction for vulnerable people, and adequate shelter and services to include homeless people.
Housing affordability covers issues of very different intensity and scale. In addition to mortgage costs (principal repayment and mortgage interest) and rents, households face a variety of other housing-related costs. For instance, costs relating to insurance, mandatory services and charges, regular maintenance and repair, taxes and utilities can significantly push up total housing costs, with a significant negative impact for lower-income households.
While housing subsidies and social housing aim to reduce housing costs for most vulnerable groups, the impact of macroprudential tools and structural housing market policies and regulations on housing affordability is more ambiguous. At the EU level, in addition to the investments provided by the EU funds and the NextGenerationEU, the Commission has adopted the affordable housing initiative to support the renovation wave and launched the European Platform on Combatting Homelessness. The Research Seminar will also aim to provide additional insights on the effectiveness of available measures.