AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE
Are there specific measures that promote access to affordable housing for homeless people? How is it regulated and how should it be showed?
Measures to provide affordable housing to homeless people fall in either of these three categories:
- emergency hosting
- temporary hosting (including drop-in centers, supervised housing…)
- permanent housing
Many programs in this regard are run by local charities, NGOs and religious institutions.
The general integration process is mainly operated through the services offered by reception homes. They provide shelter, psychological and administrative assistance. They are the starting point to help homeless people reintegrate in society.
Belgium – The Housing First projects started as pilot projects between 2013 and 2016 in the municipalities of Brussels-City and Molenbeek (Brussels), Antwerp, Gent, and Hasselt (Flanders), Liege, Charleroi, and Namur (Wallonia).
In France, social housing application is conditioned to regular residence in France and based on means.
In addition, French law recognizes an enforceable right to housing. Thus, homeless people can go to a mediation commission if no suitable social housing has been offered.
This right is open to homeless people who:
- Are French or have a right to residence or are in possession of a residence permit;
- Cannot find a decent and independent accommodation on their own;
- Meet the financial conditions required to access social housing.
The Swiss Federal Constitution states a fundamental right to assistance when in need (Art 12 FC). This right guarantees a minimal right to food, clothes, emergency medical aid and accommodation.
This is also mirrored on the cantonal level, for instance in the canton of Zurich in its cantonal constitution in Article 111, stating that the canton and municipalities ensure that people
in a situation in need with which they cannot cope with on their own, are provided shelter and means of subsistence.
If someone is genuinely homeless the state has an obligation to provide accommodation.
There are various types of affordable housing under the government’s affordable housing scheme.
Home Ownership/Discount Market Housing
UNITED STATES (NY CITY & STATE)
The McKinney-Vento Act include programs that fund emergency and permanent housing for homeless people; makes vacant government properties available at no cost to non-profits for use as facilities to assist people experiencing homelessness; and protects the education rights of homeless children and youth. Organizations such as the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty work to make sure that the Act’s protections are enforced, including through litigation.
Under the NYC Social Services law, the mayor of New York is required to submit to the State legislature and the governor a five-year plan for housing for the homeless in New York City in February each year.