The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

Research Project: Housing Policies in the European Union

Project briefing

  • Status Ongoing
  • Started January 2018
  • Programme ExWoSt

Housing policy is a central field of action for all member states of the European Union. The manifestation is the product of an individual historical evolutionary path, local market structures as well as the national legal framework and funding-policy measures. In preparation for the German EU Council Presidency in 2020, the research project conducted by the BBSR and BMI aims at providing a comprehensive overview of the different programmatic approaches and characteristics of national housing policies and, based on that, clustering the individual policy approaches and markets found in the European Union.


In all EU member states, housing policy plays an important role in domestic policies. In order to facilitate learning from international experiences and to improve information exchange on national policy options, an informal meetings framework of the EU member states’ housing ministers and their key administration staff (National Focal Points on Housing Policy) was established. This framework also includes the provision of national statistical data and focussed information on specific housing related issues.

A successful international exchange requires a mutual understanding of the working principles of given policy instruments, let them be national specific or EU directives transposed into national law. First of all, this must be based on a sound knowledge of both the constitutive structure and the objectives of national housing policies, and their further development. Intended to assist in the preparation of Germany’s EU Council Presidency in the second half of the year 2020, this project wants to provide an overview on the programmatic foundations and actual developments of housing policies in the EU member states, opening the view on the interaction of markets, regulatory environment and policy instruments in each given national context.

Housing policy in a narrow sense focuses on the quantitative and qualitative provision of housing space. It is particularly concerned with availability, accessibility and affordability of housing for different social groups. Despite these fundamental goals, housing policies differ considerably in the 28 EU member states. Against the background of national housing stocks and changing housing needs, individual national housing policy profiles have developed over time. But there is a lack of research dealing specifically with present housing policies in Europe in a comparative perspective.


With regard to similar challenges of housing provision, a comprehensive and systematic overview of goals, problems, steering approaches and actors shall be given. This includes the current status of housing policies in all EU member states as well as recent changes in challenges and responses.

This overview shall be used to identify structural similarities among the housing policies and to build country clusters. Against the background of cross-border developments through economic interdependencies and supranational policies, the relevance of European activities for the national housing policies shall be sketched.


  • Institut Wohnen und Umwelt (IWU)
    Rheinstraße 65, 64295 Darmstadt
    Martin Vaché

    Phone: +49-6151-2904-42

  • Institut Wohnen und Umwelt (IWU)
    Dr. Max-Christopher Krapp

    Phone: +49-6151-2904-71

  • Technische Universität Darmstadt
    Dolivostraße 15, 64293 Darmstadt
    Prof. Dr. Kai Schulze

    Phone: +49-6151-16-573-40

  • Technische Universität Darmstadt
    Dolivostraße 15, 64293 Darmstadt
    apl. Prof. Dr. Björn Egner

    Phone: +49-6151-16-57339


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