Millions of Europeans Suffering Common Affordable Housing Crises

pre 1914 image of two children sleeping outdoors beside steps
Sleeping, homeless children - Jacob Riis photo by Riis, Jacob A is licensed under the public domain
Although this picture was taken more than 100 years ago, homelessness among children persists.

The following article provides readers with an insight into the current state of national housing crises across Europe.

For largely unilingual North Americans, the article is a window into a lot of other nations’ housing problems. The universality of the conditions discussed in the article tends to undermine the sense of any one nation’s exceptionalism.

When it comes to affordable housing, North America is not uniquely different, uniquely blessed, uniquely impervious to other nation’s woes. There is something to be learned from Europe.

Here is a parade of nations with the same kinds of shelter problems, any or all of which may benefit from solutions that are useful to all.

The following article, written by Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, might frighten American readers fixated on the idea that a shelter is not guaranteed by the American Constitution and therefore cannot be considered as a human right. They should rest assured that though human rights are mentioned in the author’s job title, and in the title of the article, the ‘right to housing’ is not a feature of this extensive survey of national housing crises.

Read more in NEW EUROPE: The Right To Affordable Housing: Europe’s Neglected Duty