Socio-economic cohesion and convergence were key principles underpinning the European social model, which emerged as the continent was trying to recover from the devastating wounds fascism and Nazism had inflicted on it. Most major European countries developed their welfare states, in an attempt to support the post-war effort and to rebuild wealthier, more equitable and fairer societies. Housing played a fundamental role in securing decent living standards for everyone and as part of people’s right to the city.
Major global shifts and new political rapports de forces brought changes that prioritized other principles –mainly competitiveness– and thus member states across the EU increasingly adopted neoliberal policies weakening their welfare systems. Housing provision suffered more than other welfare policies by commodification the loss of its function as social right. Even countries with more developed and ecumenical welfare states were eventually affected by this turn.