Brussels, 20 September 2023
Ahead of the Belgian elections in June 2024, the non-profit organisation Street Nurses is publishing its political memorandum with, as its main demand, priority access to social housing for homeless people in Brussels. As the number of homeless and inadequately housed people continues to rise, it is imperative that the next Brussels government commits to the fight against homelessness through concrete measures.
Housing is however a fundamental right
Homelessness is a flagrant violation of the fundamental right to housing enshrined in the Belgian Constitution. Street Nurses believes that it is imperative to put the issue of access to affordable, sustainable and quality housing at the centre of the problem.
Hence its will to establish a priority quota of reserved social housing within Sociétés Immobilières de Service Public (SISP) for the homeless. The goal is clear: to provide stable housing for the most vulnerable to ensure their reintegration into society. This demand is supported by various organizations in the homeless sector and the right to housing.
Mental health and regional policy
Street Nurses presents two additional demands in their memorandum. On the one hand, the need to guarantee quality mental health support by increasing funding and the capacity of care services. On the other hand, the importance of adopting a coordinated regional policy, given that homelessness lies at the crossroads of various policies.
In 2022, the Brussels-Capital Region recorded an unprecedented number of 7.134 homeless and poorly housed people, of whom 809 were in the public spaces. These numbers, which are steadily increasing, reflect an 18, 9% increase in homeless and poorly housed between 2020 and 2022. Since 2008, the number has quadrupled, highlighting the urgency of action.
About Street Nurses
Founded in 2005, Street Nurses is a psycho-medico-social organization that strives to sustainably get homeless people off the streets by applying the Housing First methodology, focusing on the most vulnerable people. We are convinced that the end of homelessness is possible in Brussels and elsewhere.