Combating Homelessness and Housing Exclusion
Luxembourg advocates the European Typology of Homelessness and Housing Exclusion (ETHOS), therefore addressing the problem of homelessness in its broadest sense and covering all housing situations that can be considered inadequate.
The policy to reduce homelessness and housing exclusion is transversal and requires, to be effective, the commitment of all the actors involved at the governmental, regional and municipal levels as well as at the level of civil society. The Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region is responsible for coordinating these policies.
On 18 January 2013, the Luxembourg government adopted the national strategy against homelessness and housing exclusion 2013-2020.
This strategy provides a framework for the actions undertaken by different government institutions to combat all forms of homelessness and housing exclusion.
It is based on the ‘housing first’ principle and its comprehensive approach considers the social, psychological and medical needs of the homeless person.
It outlines a set of fourteen concrete short- and medium-term actions subsumed under four objectives, namely:
- Objective I: To provide private, stable and adequate housing for people who have experienced long-term or chronic homelessness, people in precarious and inadequate housing, and people who have left institutions.
- Objective II: to rapidly and adequately respond to emergency situations.
- Objective III: to prevent homelessness.
- Objective IV: to consolidate existing measures and reinforce governance.
In early 2017, an intermediary assessment of the strategy was published by the Ministry – its goal was to create transparency on the state of implementation, and the progress of the strategy’s actions and objectives. Additionally, the Coalition Agreement 2018-2023 foresees a final external evaluation of the strategy.
The Ministry has signed conventions with numerous organisations that offer different types of accommodation facilities for homeless people or those threatened by homelessness. It also organises the 'Winter Action' every winter.
Emergency Night Shelters
Emergency night shelters are open every night of the year. These facilities provide temporary accommodation solutions for homeless adults. In most cases, beneficiaries suffer from a multitude of ailments, ranging from precarious housing to health problems, addictive behaviour, financial difficulties and legal problems.
The staff of these facilities organises activities and provides personalised social support
The Ministry has signed conventions with two emergency night shelters:
- the Centre Ulysse run by Caritas Accueil et Solidarité asbl
- the Foyer Abrisud run by the City of Esch-sur-Alzette.
Night halts are low-threshold structures that are open every night of the year. They allow people to rest during the night, to warm up, to wash themselves, to wash their clothes, and they provide people with a snack and breakfast. At the beneficiary’s request, staff provides socio-educational support and social reintegration work.
The aim of these innovative projects is to create favourable conditions for reconnecting with the most excluded people. The most vulnerable people who are unable to find a place or a form of assistance adapted to their situation in any of the existing structures, can thus be sheltered.
Currently, three night halts exist in Luxembourg City. Admission is done through the following street work services:
The service "Premier Appel" of Inter-Actions reaches out to people on the streets who find themselves in distress outside of the regular opening hours of most other facilities. Premier Appel supports people by satisfying their basic needs (e.g. if it’s freezing outside, food, shelter,...) and, if necessary, by accompanying them to specialised services. The service is primarily intended for homeless people and for the professionals who are in contact with this specific population.