Ghent is the 15th city to sign a pledge to the European Pillar of Social Rights. Mayor Mathias De Clercq signed a strong commitment to principle 19 on housing and assistance for the homeless.
Ghent is committed to invest €90 million to expand the offer and increase the quality of social housing and low-budget private rental homes as well as to step up efforts to address homelessness including the expansion of shelter and Housing First initiatives.
Ghent pledges to:
- provide 200 new low-budget rental homes (partly on long-lease contracts)
- develop new construction and renovations of social housing and affordable rental homes for low-income groups, together with private investors (e.g. by exploring alternative construction and financing methods to deliver new projects more quickly)
- create a structural rolling fund for sustainable renovation; every year, 50 homes will be renovated that are purchased by people who cannot afford to renovate their home
- double the number of entry-level homes from 5 to 10 (Housing First model), in combination with an educational programme for children and a labour market integration programme for adults
- continue the ‘unoccupied building’ project to provide additional temporary and transit homes
Mayor Mathias De Clerq said: “Ghent makes housing a priority with ambitious goals. We will provide better housing to all target groups with a specific focus on people on low income and families with children".
Read the full pledge below.
Ghent follows 14 other cities that signed pledges to the EU Pillar of Social Rights: Madrid, Stuttgart, Gothenburg, Ljubljana, Braga, Vienna, Barcelona, Timisoara, Nantes, Leipzig, Warsaw, Turku, Athens and Leeds. This is part of the EUROCITIES initiative ‘Inclusive cities for all: Social Rights in my city’. This initiative aims to build political momentum to get mayors and deputy mayors to implement Pillar principles at local level. We will officially launch this campaign during a political event at the European Parliament on 21 February 2019.
EUROCITIES will continue this campaign throughout 2019 as part of its strategic partnership with the European Commission under the Employment and Social Innovation programme. We aim to gather pledges from many more city leaders to show how cities can act to translate the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights into concrete actions on the ground to improve people's lives.