The Pact of Amsterdam advises to include MS, cities and other organisations in the Partnerships, but does not require that these cover the entirety of their fields, nor to be representative of their whole fields, but to identify and address the most pressing issues including bottlenecks in regulation, funding and knowledge.

The objectives of the Partnership on Housing were clearly established in the text of the Pact of Amsterdam endorsed by the EU Member States:  to have affordable housing of good quality with a focus on public affordable housing, state aid rules and general housing policy.The Housing Partnership members fully respect these goals as stated in the Pact of Amsterdam as well as the guidance available in this document.

The United Nations, IMF and OECD (UNECE, 2015; Habitat III New Urban Agenda, 2016; OECD 2017, IMF 2011) have clearly pointed to access to affordable housing as a pressing societal issue, in line with what is stated in the Pact of Amsterdam. The above documents also clearly state the limited market housing provision along with the mismanagement of the financial aspects of the market housing resulted in global financial crisis and global housing crisis by extension. These documents clarify that there is a need for wide number of affordable housing options provided in tenure balanced manner to counterbalance the results of the global financial crisis.



The objectives are to foster affordable housing of good quality. The focus of the partnership is on public affordable housing, state aid rules and general housing policy. The scope of the Housing Partnership is on municipal, social, cooperative housing, affordable rental housing and affordable home ownership. It is not on emergency housing or purely market rental or home ownership.



The EU Urban Agenda - Housing Partnership focuses on:

  • Better regulations: Guidance on state support and social housing to improve clarity for public and private investors.

  • Better funding: Identification and sharing of good practice on innovative financial models.

  • Better knowledge: Contribution to  enhancing the knowledge base on social and affordable housing issues and exchange of best practices and knowledge, Elaborating Affordable Housing Policy Toolkit.



The work is done in plenary meetings and following subgroups:

State aid: State aid, competition law, definition of social housing in SGEI decision, lead partner Vienna.

Finance and funding: Investments and instruments, loans, “golden rule”, European semester, innovative funding, lead partner Scottish Cities.


General Housing Policy

Part #1: Land use, building ground, spatial planning, renovation, energy efficiency, anti-speculation, lead partner: Housing Europe.

Part #2: security of tenure, co-management, co-design, rent stabilisation, support for vulnerable groups, lead partner: International Union of Tenants.

The EU Urban Agenda - Housing Partnership is working on answering following key-questions:

  1. What is the overall contribution of housing policies to make cities places where all citizens can live, learn, work, access opportunities equally?
  2. How can cities maintain social cohesion and decrease inequality through a broad affordable housing stock?
  3. How can cities address affordability and security for tenants and small home owners, including protection from speculation and expulsion?
  4. What financial instruments and legal conditions do cities need for their housing policies on EU level (state support) and to boost long term investment in affordable housing with adequate recognition of their social and environmental returns?
  5. What new governance is needed to better insert cities´ expertise in the overall EU-decision-making process


Past and future meetings

The Housing partnership has held meetings on 16 December 2015 in Geneva (CH), on 18 February 2016 in Brussels (BE), on 17 March 2016 in Prague (CZ), on 8 July 2016 in Bratislava (SK), on 16 September 2016 in Geneva (CH), on 15-16 December 2016 in Vienna (AT), on 22-23 March 2017 in Brussels (BE), on 13-14 June 2017 in Amsterdam (NL) and in September 2017 in Glasgow (UK).

A draft Action Plan was put for consultation on this website in June 2017.

Until the end of 2018 the Housing Partnership will create and implement an action plan on affordable housing in Europe.


More information

Infographics on the partnership are available here.

More information with regard to EU legislation, policies, strategies, studies, funding, project examples on the topic of Housing can be found at the One-Stop-Shop.

For questions and feedback, please contact UA.communication@ecorys.com.