23 May 2023
Social Situation Monitor - Research Seminar: The social dimension of housing in the EU
Focus and aim of the Research Seminar 
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.
SSM Research Seminars are primarily intended for: 
  • Economists and analysts working in policy-making organisations 
  • Academic researchers  
The Research Seminar is open to a maximum of 50 participants.   
Researchers and academics across Europe are invited to submit abstracts in relation to their findings based on methods such as econometric analysis, cost-benefit analysis, modelling exercises, and impact evaluations. The methods used should be shortly presented in the abstracts.
The presentations could cover the latest research developments on social aspects of housing in the EU, including estimating the potential impact of housing policies.

Possible key questions to be answered:
  • Determinants of trends in housing markets, including private rental market, and their social impact;
  • Determinants of trends in housing-related costs, including mortgage costs and rents but also costs related to insurance, mandatory services and charges, regular maintenance and repair, taxes and utilities;
  • Methods to measure housing affordability, including its development over time and across different population groups such as renters, outright owners and mortgage holders;
  • Profiles of households most affected by decreasing housing affordability, homelessness, housing exclusion;
  • The effectiveness of different housing policy measures, such as social housing, rent regulation, rent subsidies / housing allowances, mortgage-related tax relief;
  • Impact of targeted support measures on energy-efficiency of housing, including among vulnerable groups;
  • Homelessness and quantitative evaluation of action plans to reduce homelessness;
  • Social impact of policies favouring homeownership: are they likely to help low- and middle-income families, do they decrease wealth inequality?
Call for abstracts 
Please submit your abstract (2000 characters maximum – including research questions, methodology applied, main results) and biography (1200 characters maximum) electronically below by 13 March.

Presented analytical work should preferably be empirical and cover the EU, or be based on methodologies that could be scaled up at EU-level. The methods and data used should be shortly presented in the abstracts.

Please indicate in the abstract:
  • What is the target population/geographic scope? What are the policy implications and relevance outside the geographic scope of analysis (external validity at the EU-27 level)?
  • What are the empirical methods?
  • What is the underlying evidence? (e.g., survey and sample sizes, date of fieldwork/waves, administrative data and source)
  • What are the results of the empirical work?

Abstracts will be reviewed by the SSM team, which includes representatives from the European Commission, ICF Consulting and HIVA. Abstracts will be assessed based on their quality and relevance for the work of the SSM team.

The SSM Research Seminar will take place in Brussels, with face-to-face presentations by the invited speakers and the possibility for the participants to join online.

The presentations will follow a blended learning approach (one speaker per paper in case of co-authored papers). During the Research Seminar, speakers will be given the opportunity to respond to questions from the audience and actively participate in the discussion with economists and analysts working in policy-making organisations and their academic peers.

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Submission of abstracts 
Please submit your CV by clicking on the below button:
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