Today, Utrecht became the 20th city to sign a pledge to the European Pillar of Social Rights. The Deputy Mayor for Social Affairs, Maarten van Ooijen, who is also our vice-chair of the EUROCITIES Social Affairs Forum, signed a strong commitment to principle 19 on housing and assistance for the homeless.
Utrecht is committed to deliver a new strategy to prevent and combat homelessness as part of the city's strategic approach for a Healthy Urban Living for Everyone.
Utrecht pledges to:
- improve the quality of shelters and care by offering 24-hour shelters with tailor-made assistance by a multi-disciplinary team of experts
- provide sustainable solutions to prevent homelessness by identifying debts in time and offering quick assistance as well as providing continued guidance to former homeless people who found a place to live to prevent repeated homelessness
- invest in Housing First by creating sufficient social housing and cooperating with local and national partners in the City Deal for an Inclusive City
Utrecht's Deputy Mayor for Social Affairs, Maarten van Ooijen, said: “Our goal as a human-rights city with housing as a fundamental social right is to enable everybody have a shelter and live a normal life.”
Utrecht follows 19 other cities that signed pledges to the European Pillar of Social Rights: Madrid, Stuttgart, Gothenburg, Ljubljana, Braga, Vienna, Barcelona, Timisoara, Nantes, Leipzig, Warsaw, Turku, Athens, Ghent, Leeds, Glasgow, Lille Metropole, Malmo and Milan.
This is part of the EUROCITIES initiative ‘Inclusive cities for all: Social Rights in my city’. This initiative aims to build political momentum to get mayors and deputy mayors to implement the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights at local level. We will officially launch this campaign during a political event at the European Parliament on 21 February 2019.
EUROCITIES will continue this campaign throughout 2019 as part of its strategic partnership with the European Commission under the Employment and Social Innovation programme. We aim to collect as many city pledges on different principles of the social pillar as possible. Our goal is to build an inclusive Europe with inclusive cities for all people.
Read the full pledge from Utrecht below.