IUT Brussels EU News
August 2017
Tenant’s solar
EU citizens’ initiative
“Stop TTIP”
EU Housing Partnership - action plan and public consultation

IUT / EHF publications
Active ageing and inter- generational solidarity pdf

Affordable Housing for all – Policy implications of shrinking budgets pdf

Changing lifestyles, changing climate – the role of housing in the EU pdf



European Declaration on Responsible Housing

CSR Code of Conduct pdf




  IUT, housing and the European Union



  News 2017






EU and Energy

Energy union package, EU COM Febr. 2015

Tenants shall have full access to building's energy certificate when considering a new flat.
New EU
Energy Performance Buildings Directive (EPBD), May 18

OECD reports on increased costs for energy, March 2010

Energy-saving buildings, agreement reached, Nov. 18, 2009

Open letter to 27 Ministers in the EU responsible for Energy, concerning the recast of the EPBD, Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, EPBD. Nov 2, 2009

A drop in the bucket? Report from FES/IUT conference, April 14-15, on energy efficient renovation and ERDF funds.

8 billion Euro from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) can be used for energy-efficient refurbishment of existing housing stock, April 2.

Energy Efficiency in buildings: the European Parliament leaves the Commission with no choice. Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in the EU Parliament, April 2.

Recast of the Energy Performance Buildings Directive (EPBD) - IUT propsed amendments, Feb. 12, 2009.

The EU Commission proposes measures to boost energy efficiency and renewable energy in low-income households, Dec. 3.

IUT on the the Energy Performance Buildings Directive.

IUT on the Renewable Energy Directive

"Energy contract": Covenant on Energy-saving in the Dutch Housing Corporation Sector.

IUT Brussels news letters

  • June, 2017 pdf

  • April, 2017 pdf

  • February, 2017 pdf

  • December, 2016 pdf

  • October, 2016 pdf

  • June, 2016 pdf

  • April, 2016 pdf

  • February, 2016 pdf

  • December, 2015 pdf

  • October, 2015 pdf

  • August, 2015 pdf

  • June, 2015 pdf

  • April, 2015 pdf

  • January, 2015 pdf

  • October, 2014  pdf

  • September 2014, New EU COM  pdf

  • August, 2014  pdf

  • May 2014, Europe has voted pdf

  • March 2014 pdf

  • January 2014 pdf

  • December 2013 pdf

  • December 2012 pdf

  • November 2012 pdf

  • June 2012 pdf

IUT Policy Papers, Statements and Reports

  • IUT Contribution to the Consultation on the European Pillar of Social Rights. April 2017 pdf
  • World Consumer Day 2016
    - IUT statement pdf
  • IUT Tenants’ Milestones for the new European Parliament, 2014   ENGpdf  FRpdf   DEpdf
  • IUT Press releases
    IUT welcomes new EU initiative for social housing June 11, 2013 pdf
  • Housing for young adults
    IUT recommendations. Oct. 2011

  • Facts & News on Affordable Rental Housing for the Young, Oct. 2011 pdf

  • A European Housing Policy for a more social Europe  - future perspectives. Background paper for the Tenant's Day 2011  pdf

  • IUT welcomes the initiative of the EU Committee of the Regions to discuss the influence of European policies and decisions on national housing policies. May 2011  pdf

  • Press release: ”EU Commission, keep your hands off our social housing systems” Launch of a ”Written Declaration” in the European Parliament. Nov. 2010    pdf

  • Changing lifestyles, changing climate – the role of housing in the EU: Recommendations from the IUT and the European Housing Forum towards the EU, based on a series of four lectures. pdf 
    October 2010

  • IUT and the members of the European Housing      Forum welcome newly elected EU MEP:s, June 2009

  • “Tenants make a social Europe”
    IUT proposes Tenants´ Milestons for 2010-2014.
     June 2009  pdf 

  • IUT on the the Energy Performance Buildings Directive, 2008

  • IUT on the Renewable Energy Directive, 2008

Assorted facts, figures, contacts, etc.


Reports / statistics
(see also: www.iut.nu/literature.htm )

  • Housing Statistics, from Eurostat

  • Housing Affordability in the EU. Extract from Eurobarometer 2011  pdf

  • Housing cost overburden rate, 2009 pdf

  • Housing Statistics in the EU, 2010 pdf

  • Tenure Status 2009, from Eurostat  pdf

  • Youth in Europe, Eurostat 2009 pdf

  • EU: 51 million young EU adults lived with their parent(s) in 2008, from Eurostat  pdf

  • Eurostat Report: The social situation in the EU 2009.  (Chapter 3: Housing in the EU) pdf

  • - Europe in Figures Eurostat yearbook 2009.
    6. Living conditions and welfare, incl. housing)
    pdf 20 Mb pdf

    - L’Europe en chiffres, L’annuaire d’Eurostat 2009
    6. Les conditions de vie et le bien-être, incl. le logement) pdf 20 Mb pdf

    - Europa in Zahlen, Eurostat Jahrbuch 2009.
    Lebensbedingungen und Wohlfahrt, incl Wohnen)
    pdf 20 Mb pdf

  • Consumers in Europe, Eurostat Statistical Yearbook 2009. (4. Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels)
    pdf 12 Mb pdf


History about housing as a non EU competence

The European housing policy is not formally on the political agenda of the European Union.
The responsibility for the aims and practical means in housing policy rests with the individual Member States themselves. This policy is referred to as the principle of subsidiarity.
Nevertheless, according to the Amsterdam Treaty, Article 136, the Community and the Member States shall have as their objectives, for example, the promotion of improved living and working conditions, and the combating of exclusion.


The principle of subsidiarity cover important areas as;

  • new constructions, and subsidies
  • reconstruction, and subsidies
  • fiscal policies
  • Rent Act
  • city planning
  • building permits

But, in reality, the work of The European Union does include areas which are of major interest and significance for urban areas and for housing;

  • homelessness and social exclusion, building control and standardisation
  • the demand of a non restriction of competition
  • rules which facilitates the flexibility of households
  • rules that ensures everyone's right to settle down within the EU
  • legal provisions for banks and mortgage institutes - to assure equal conditions
  • research and scientific programmes on sustainable urban planning

Services of General Economic Interest, SGEI
Public aid to social housing: compensation for a SGEI

2005: In the Decision of the European Commission of 28 November 2005 on the application of Article 86(2) of the EC Treaty (new Article 106(2) TFUE) to State aid in the form of public service compensation granted to certain undertakings entrusted with the operation of services of general economic interest (here-after the “SGEI-Decision”), the European Commission confirmed that social housing provided to socially disadvantaged groups can be considered as a SGEI and that the cost for providing such service may be compensated by the Member States in accordance with the rules laid down in this Decision.

Resolution of 22 February 2005, the Parliament recalled that “the amount of compensation may not exceed what is necessary for the operation of the service [of general economic interest] and must not be used to finance activities outside the scope of the service in question (so-called cross-subsidies)”. Specifically with regard to social housing, the Parliament noted that “the scope of the draft Decision includes […] social housing undertakings, although high volumes of aid may lead to distortions of competition in these areas too; points out that these sectors are also of interest to private operators; points out, furthermore, that the granting of subsidies may have a detrimental effect on competition”



The foundation for a supranational housing policy is already existing. The question is whether there is a trend in the EU towards a more harmonised housing policy.

The monetary union will result in a growing competition inside the EU, and the members of the EU will lose some of their influence when it comes to fighting unemployment, inflation and times of economic recession.
This may result in keeping the subsidiarity. principles, as each country chooses its own economic tools to tackle these problems.

But, it may also go in the opposite direction. The EU promotes a flexible workforce in Europe and the labour market is of course closely linked to the housing market. How can an unemployed move to a country or a region were there are job opportunities, but no housing available?
This also creates a need for a harmonised social legislation.

Housing almost on the EU Agenda !

The Parliamentarians of the European Union all involve themselves in issues that is of major concern to themselves, their parties and their constituencies, mainly in interestgroups referred to as Interparliamentarian Intergroups.
In 2005, a new intergroup on Urban and Housing issues was established and the groups´ first meeting took place on February 24.
This intergroup is today chaired by MEP Jan Olbrycht

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IUT, created in 1997, is a partner of the EHF, European Housing Forum. EHF is a network of 11 EU based NGOs involved and engaged in housing and urban planning!

The member organisations represent housing consumers such as tenants, home owners, and people who are homeless or inadequately housed; housing providers such as social and public housing associations and private developers, and housing professionals such as chartered surveyors, real estate managers, and researchers specialised in housing issues.

- EHF website

Members of the EHF


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EU Informal EU Housing Ministers Meetings


Charter of Fundamental Rights... 

On December 7-8, 2000, in Nice France, the governments of the EU met to discuss the future Union, the enlargement and also to discuss the Charter of Fundamental Rights... 
This is where housing comes in. 
"the right to housing" was never included in the Charter, paragraph 34. The wording goes " the right to assistance to housing..."
More information about the Charter
- Full text in the EU languages
- Article 34: Social security and Social assistance, incl. housing.


IUT definition on Social Housing
(adopted May 4, 2005)
“Social housing is sustainable housing with non-profit rents, or/and rents according to the self cost principle and/or where the access is controlled by the existence of allocation rules favouring households that have difficulties in finding accommodation on the market.“





  • Press release IUT / Housing Europe: Will the investment flow to the real economy meet affordable housing? Nov. 26 pdf

  • IUT and CECODHAS met with EU Commissioner Mimica to discuss access to affordable rental housing, June 3 pdf

  • IUT Tenants’ Milestones
    for the new European Parliament

      FRpdf   DEpdf

  • EU: Resolution for more social housing, signed by 30 Mayors of large European cities. Launch in Brussels at the EU city summit: “EU-hands off our social housing”.
    Mayors support IUT: We need more affordable rental housing for broad parts of the population and no limitation of the target group by EU-competition law
    . Feb. 17  
    pdfENG   pdf DE    pdf From Mayor of Vienna

  • IUT / CECODHAS letter to EU Commission: The European housing market needs financial and social stability - evicting households which are not able to pay off their mortgage is no solution! pdf Jan. 16


  • Social Housing in the EU
    From European Parliament, DG Internal Policies
    This briefing 55 page paper provides an overview of the social housing sector in the EU area. After presenting how Member States define social housing, it details the responses of the sector to the 2007-2008 financial crises

  • IUT Press releases
    IUT welcomes new EU initiative for social housing: June 11 pdf
  • IUT / Cecodhas press release: About time to stop a European wave of evictions? The stress test of the social cohesion in the EU, Dec. 18 pdf
  • Call for social housing: Mayors of 27 major European cities sign resolution for the promotion, the preservation and further expansion of Social and Sustainable Housing. pdf


  • Active ageing and intergenerational solidarity - the role of housing, IUT-EAHSA policy paper  pdf

  • French case: EU landlords fight battle over 'unfair' public subsidy for social housing
    Private landlords in countries such as France say government grant gives social housing providers competitive advantage
    , Guardian Sept. 4

  • French case, by Europolitics July 5 pdf

  • French case: Memorandum from France to the European Commission, State Aid SA. 34751 pdf

  • French case: COM inquiry to France, following UNPI complaint, July 5 pdf

  • IUT / CECODHAS reaction to French property owner's (UNPI) complaint to the EU Commission,
    July 9, 2012

  • IUT / CNL reaction to UNPI´s complaint pdf


2010, the Dutch case

  • European Court dismissed objections of landlords against SGEI, May 2015 pdf

  • Social housing organizations want EU decision overturned, May 3 2010 pdf

  • EU Commission approves Changs in Dutch social housing system, Dec. 15 2009 pdf

  • Press release: Dutch Housing Ministry, 2009 pdf

  • Letter from EU COM DG Competition, July 2005 pdf

  • Speech by Minister Dekker, Sept 2006


2005-2006, "Swedish case"

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International Union of Tenants

Tenants United - participation across borders