Today members of the European Action Coalition (EAC) picketed the offices of the European parliament and European Commission in Milan to highlight the direct responsibility the EU has in preventing the free access to housing for all regardless of their legal status and to demand the EU stop its complicity in the destruction of social and public housing carried upon by global finance and national governments.
The coalition comprises 30 member organizations in over 25 countries who have joined together this week in Milan to plan out a Europe wide strategy to tackle homelessness, the lack of affordable social housing and the alarming increase of evictions across the continent.
The coalition delivered a letter to representatives of the European Parliament and the European Commission with the following demands:
1)Housing rights for all, regardless of a person’s citizenship status or legal status!
2) Stop the sponsorship of banks and mortgages!
3) Stop dispossession of people to the benefit of the banks!
4) Stop promoting the privatization of public and social housing!
5) Support the construction and maintenance of good quality public and not-for-profit housing!
6) Enforce mandatory directives to stop evictions and protect both homeless and inadequately housed people!
7) Initiate directives to regulate the private renting system for the protection of tenants’ rights!
The representatives of the European Parliament responded by saying that the EU was not responsible for housing and it was down to the individual member states, after a brief confrontation with members of the EAC they agreed to take the demands and pass them to senior officials in the European Parliament.
Rita Silva, a member of the European Action Coalition said:
“European Union representatives say they don’t have direct responsibility in housing but there are concrete actions and strategies taken by the EU institutions that are negatively impacting the direct access to housing, for instance the liberalization of rental market through memorandums, or the limiting of public housing spending through european fiscal treaties.”