All across Europe, the under 30s have been particularly affected by the budget cuts and austerity policies of the last few years. So-called stay-at-home policies have proliferated in some European countries (the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands), on the pretext that the social welfare systems are too generous to young people and that it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure their child’s transition to independence. Housing discrimination based on age or income is very commonly experienced by young people. A worrying number of young people in Europe are excluded from the housing market or are inadequately housed. These policies run the risk of relegating an entire generation to the margins of society. In addition to being particularly affected by unfit housing, young people are spending astronomical amounts on housing.
Emergency accommodation is not a sustainable solution to the problems that young homeless people are facing, and it can even make matters worse. Short-term accommodation and non-specialised emergency centres should therefore be used only as a last resort. Investing in social housing is vital for housing accessibility.