Guillem Fernandez Evangelista

Institute of Government and Public Policy – Autonomous University of Barcelona – Barcelona, Spain


This article is based on research aimed at reassessing the role of social housing in the 21st century. Beyond the debate among researchers, policy-makers and social organisations on the Housing First model of intervention for homeless people, or on measures to prevent evictions, the fundamental debate on the existence and expansion of the social housing stock has largely been abandoned. This research shows that public administrations are losing their capacity to address homelessness as a consequence of both the steady reduction of social housing stocks and their residualisation. In addition, the system of social housing provision still fails to cover certain kinds of homeless situations. Therefore, the article argues for a full rethinking of the social housing system, from planning, regulation, production and funding to the mechanisms of allocation, with the aim of incorporating new accompaniment systems adapted to the needs of tenants, thus ensuring the affordability, continuity, safety and adequacy of housing. A different social housing system is possible. 

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This article was first published in the European Journal of Homelessness. Volume 10, No. 2, December 2016