Family photo at Informal Ministerial Meeting on Housing and Urban Development in Gijon
01 December 2023

Gijón Declaration: housing for all in sustainable, healthy, and inclusive built environments

On the 13th and 14th November, ministers met for the Informal Ministerial Meeting on Housing and Urban Development organised by the Spanish Presidency in Gijon. The discussions centred around the challenges of the housing sector. Over the past decade, there has been an increase in homelessness in the EU. Additionally, more than 40.8 million EU citizens spend more than 40% of their income on housing, for rental dwellings the number of people is even higher according to Eurostat. 

As a result of the meeting, ministers agreed on and signed the Gijon Declaration, addressing the issues of the housing stock in the EU. In 13 points the ministers acknowledge the importance of continuous work for adequate, decent and affordable housing and underline the need to promote more sustainable, healthy and inclusive built environments. Furthermore, emphasis is placed on the need for implementation of policies enabling wider accessibility to affordable housing and collaboration across governments. In this regard, the Urban Agenda for the EU is recognised as an essential instrument to ensure this multilevel governance. Additionally, ministers point to the value of sharing successful experiences and best-practises between countries.