Immigrants, particularly recent immigrants, are a significant and, in many countries, an increasing proportion of the clients of homeless services. This issue does not only concern third country nationals but also EU mobile citizens who appear as a significant proportion of the homeless population in many North-Western European cities. The causes of homelessness vary for immigrants, depending on their personal situation and the administrative status afforded to them by the receiving country. Among the key factors linking migration to homelessness are: administrative status, which affects the right to social or public sector housing, to social protection, to work and can also affect immigrants’ right to access homelessness services; ethnicity, which can have a significant impact on access to the housing market (often because of discrimination); and institutional factors, such as restrictions on new admissions of migrant workers and non-renewal of work permits. Administrative status is paramount not only as regards access to housing but also concerning access to emergency accommodation, since in a number of Member States, access to publicly-funded homeless services is denied to non-nationals or to undocumented migrants.
European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless
Most of FEANTSA members are homeless service providers that need to take into account issues related to migration and finding answers from the EU level as well as sharing practice with stakeholders dealing with similar issues in different national contexts. FEANTSA puts together these inputs, tries to make proposals on how to solve the issues raised by its members and works with EU Institutions in order to find long-term solutions.